Presenting Partner    RBC

ISSYP is an exciting and challenging two-week online program for Canadian and international high school students with a keen interest in theoretical physics who intend to pursue physics at the university level. Operated by Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, ISSYP is now in its 19th year and includes over 850 alumni in 60 countries.



Over two weeks of online activity, the program super-charges potential "Einsteins" and "Curies" with:

  • Mini-courses – these short sessions provide a sound conceptual introduction to the profound and revolutionary ideas at the foundations of modern physics, including topics like quantum mechanics, special relativity, cosmology, general relativity, and black holes. They will include:
    • Independent work conducted before scheduled live sessions – mandatory preparation will include background reading, sample problems, and viewing of recorded lectures.
    • Interactive online sessions – scheduled live sessions will include instructor-led content, lots of time for your questions, and group work in breakout rooms.
    • Hands-on tasks – complete simple experiments from home at the same time as your fellow participants.
  • Keynote sessions – Perimeter Institute researchers will discuss their work, providing a window into the deep mysteries facing 21st century theoretical physicists, with lots of time for your questions.
  • Career insight – ISSYP alumni and researchers at different career points will answer your questions about university life, research careers, and Life as a Physicist. The questions for these Q&A sessions will come from you!
  • Connection to like-minded peers – Past participants indicate that meeting other future theoretical physicists is a valuable part of ISSYP. We’ll take breaks from the scientific content to get to know each other and build relationships that last beyond the program dates.


  • November 27 - Applications open
  • Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - Application deadline is 11:59 PM ET
  • May 10, 2021 - Selected students will receive email invitations to participate
  • July 19-30, 2021 - Online program in session.


Students are welcome to apply if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They have a passion for and strong ability in physics and mathematics as reflected in high school course grades and extracurricular activities; and
  • They intend to pursue studies in physics at the university level in the future; and
  • At the time of application, they are in the final two years of secondary school (for Canadian students, this means Grade 11 or 12 or first year CEGEP); and
  • At the time of ISSYP, they will be 16-18 years of age; and
  • They are fluent at speaking, reading, and writing in English. The entire program is conducted in English.

Age and Grade Level Exceptions:

  • Students who are in Grade 10 at the time of application, or who will be younger than 16 years of age on July 1, 2021 may still apply and will be considered; however, they should use part of their essay to clearly indicate why they are applying for ISSYP 2021 instead of waiting to apply to ISSYP 2022.
  • Students who will be 19 years of age at the time of ISSYP but meet all other criteria in the section above may apply and will be considered.
  • Students who completed high school in 2020 and are currently taking an unplanned gap year due to the pandemic are eligible to apply.
  • Students who have begun or will begin full-time university or college courses before July 2021 are not eligible and will not be considered.

International Applicants:

  • Students around the world who meet the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply. 
  • Students outside of the Eastern Time Zone should expect that the daily schedule (approx. 10am-4pm ET) may not match their usual daily routine of meals or waking and sleeping times. A detailed schedule will be provided in acceptance packages.
  • It is highly recommended that prospective applicants consider the time difference between Waterloo and their community before applying.


For ISSYP 2021 the program fee is $250 (CAD) payable upon acceptance into the program. Students will receive a small package of supplies at their home address before the program begins. No additional material or equipment fees are anticipated, but students may need to gather some common household items for hands-on activities. There is no application fee.

Financial Aid: Funding is available to help offset the program cost for students with financial need. Information regarding this funding will be made available as requested by students accepted into the ISSYP program.


There is no application fee. The entire application package will be completed online and includes 7 tasks:

  1. Personal Information Form
  2. Extracurricular Activities and Essay
  3. Teacher Assessment (Confidential)
  4. Reference Letter (Confidential Option)
  5. Upload Transcript/Report Card
  6. Applicant Consent Form
  7. Parent/Guardian Consent Form

Applications are now open. If you have questions, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page before contacting us.