Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Information

For more information, please review the frequently asked questions above. If your question is not answered here, please contact: 

How do I apply?

Applications for ISSYP 2019 are now closed. Information for ISSYP 2020 will be available on December 1, 2019.  

When is the application due? HOW WILL I KNOW IT HAS ARRIVED?

The completed application package must be sent by mail or courier and must be received at Perimeter Institute on or before March 29, 2019. The application period opens on December 1, 2018, providing ample time to prepare documents.   

Due to the volume of applications received, we cannot confirm receipt of individual packages. To obtain tracking information and confirmation of delivery, send your package by a trackable courier or mail service. You may also include a self-addressed postcard which will be mailed back to you on or before the first Friday in April.

Can I submit my application electronically or by email? 

Perimeter Institute will not accept emailed packages. Only mailed/couriered paper applications received by the deadline will be reviewed. Applicants within driving distance of Waterloo may drop off their applications at reception during normal office hours but will not be able to discuss their application with program staff.

What are the dates for ISSYP 2019?

ISSYP 2019 will be held July 14–July 27, 2019. Sunday July 14 is the arrival and registration day for the program and participants will depart from the program on Saturday July 27.  

What costs are associated with attending ISSYP?

Program Costs: For ISSYP 2019 the program fee is $500 (CAD) payable upon acceptance into the program. The fee is a small portion of the full program cost and supports activities, accommodation, and meals. The balance of the cost is covered by Perimeter Institute and partners. Students may wish to bring spending money for souvenirs or additional snacks.

Travel Costs: CANADIAN students will have their roundtrip air, train, or bus fares within Canada, as well as return ground transportation between Toronto airports and Waterloo, covered by Perimeter Institute. INTERNATIONAL students must fund their own roundtrip airfare from their home country (or home city if residing in Canada) to Toronto's Pearson International Airport and must purchase appropriate travel/health insurance. Return ground transportation between Toronto's airports and Waterloo will be provided by Perimeter Institute.

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

Who is ISSYP for?

ISSYP is for energetic students who have a passion for and strong ability in physics and mathematics, are currently in the final two years of secondary school (or year one CEGEP), and intend to pursue physics at the university level. The recommended age for ISSYP is 16-18 years of age at the time of the program, and many will have already completed Grade 11. However, students who fall outside of this age/grade range may still apply and will be considered. 


The program accepts 40 students each year - 20 from Canada and 20 from around the world. Students who are not accepted are welcome to apply again the following year if they are still eligible.

What grades are required to qualify?

There are no specific grades required to apply to the ISSYP program, however there must be evidence of a strong academic background in physics and math. Acceptance is based on the strength of the applicant's overall application package.  

What is PI looking for in applicants?

Applicants should:

  • demonstrate keen interest and passion in the areas of theoretical physics and mathematics
  • be well-rounded individuals with extensive life experience particularly in the areas of theoretical physics and mathematics
  • intend to pursue physics at the university level
  • follow the submission guidelines carefully
  • speak, write, and read English fluently

Are Homeschooled students eligible?

Yes. Please email the Educational Outreach Coordinator ( for information on required modifications to the application package.

Is the Reference Letter the same as the Teacher Written Assessment?

No. You require both a Teacher Assessment (includes ranking and written assessment) and an additional reference letter from another source.  

My referee gave me my reference in a sealed envelope. Can I include it in my application in the sealed envelope?

Yes, reference letters and teacher assessments will be accepted in sealed envelopes.

What does a typical day at ISSYP include?

There is no such thing as a typical day at ISSYP! The schedule runs from approximately 730am-10:00pm. This includes a mix of meals, classroom sessions, mentoring sessions, presentations by leading scientists, social activities, and independent study time. Topics covered include quantum mechanics, special relativity, cosmology, general relativity, black holes and thought experiments. Social activities include team-building games and usually a physics fun day and a trip to Niagara Falls.

Will students be able to interact with Perimeter Institute  scientists?

Students will interact with Perimeter scientists in the following ways:

  • Group instruction from a mentor (PI physicist) will provide an up-close look at what physics research is really like by guiding the students through an open-ended, mind-stretching problem.
  • Attendance at keynote presentations given by PI physicists on their specific fields of research. Presentations go far beyond anything available in popular treatments or textbooks and provide deep insight into what lies at the forefront of our understanding of the physical world.
  • Informal 'speed-mentoring' forum to discuss life as a physicist

Will there be a lot of spare time on evenings and weekends?

The summer school is very busy and fully immersive. Students should not plan to complete other work or projects during the program.

How will students be looked after during the program?

Students will attend the program at Perimeter Institute’s award-winning facility located in Waterloo, Ontario. While at PI, students are supervised by Outreach staff. Outside of program hours, they will be under the supervision of experienced male and female chaperones who plan and supervise a variety of evening social activities. Parents may contact the Educational Outreach Coordinator at or 1+519-569-7600 ext. 6007 if they need to reach students at any time during the summer school.  

Where will students stay while attending ISSYP?

Students will stay at a local university student residence allowing them to experience university living. Experienced chaperones will stay with the students at the residence. 

Are relatives or friends able to visit with students during the program?

Students who attend the program will want to get the most out of the ISSYP experience, including engaging in all activities, eating meals together, participating in fun evening activities and bonding with their peers. The two-week program goes by quickly and it is important that students take full advantage of their opportunity to engage in research at Perimeter Institute. Should there be an emergency or other urgent circumstance where a visit is necessary, parents should contact the Educational Outreach Coordinator ( or 1-519-569-7600 ext 6007).