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Presenting Partner    RBC

ISSYP is an exciting and challenging two-week program for Canadian and international high school students with a keen interest in theoretical physics who intend to pursue physics at the university level. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ISSYP 2020 will be held online. All selected and waitlisted candidates were notified by email on Monday, June 1, 2020.


ISSYP is now in its 18th year and includes over 800 alumni in 60 countries. The program is operated by Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and takes place in the Institute’s award-winning facility in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

The program super-charges potential "Einsteins" and "Curies" with:

  • Presentations by Perimeter Institute researchers on cutting-edge theoretical physics: hot topics such as quantum mechanics, black holes and dark matter.
  • Opportunities to work with international theoretical physicists in small group mentoring sessions.
  • Mini-courses on modern physics designed to deepen their insights into Einstein's ideas and the quantum nature of our universe.
  • Hands-on labs, tours of neighbouring research facilities, and other exciting activities with like-minded students from around the globe.
  • Awareness of their own potential as future researchers in theoretical physics.


  • November 27, 2019 - Applications open
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - Application deadline is 11:59 PM ET
  • April 7, 2020 - COVID-19 related changes announced
  • June 1, 2020 - Selected students will receive email invitations to participate in modified, online program
  • July 12 - 25, 2020 - Online program will take place within these dates, schedule TBD.


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 12, 2020 may still apply and will be considered; however, they should use part of their essay to clearly indicate why they are applying for ISSYP 2020 instead of waiting to apply to ISSYP 2021 or 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 prior to December 2019 or who have already begun full-time university or college courses are not eligible and will not be considered.


The program fee is $500 CAD. Please see the FAQ section for full details on fees, travel costs and financial aid. 


There is no application fee. The entire application package will be completed online and includes 7 tasks. In the application interface, you will see a list of your tasks, specific instructions for each task, and your progress on each. You will be able to save your progress and return to edit your application before completing your final review and submitting it. You will also be able to check whether or not your teacher and/or referee have submitted their components. Once you have marked each task as complete, you will be able to “Review and Submit” your final application.

The 7 tasks are:

  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

If you have questions during the application process, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. If you are unable to find the answer in the FAQ section, you may contact issyp@perimeterinstitute.ca.