A nationwide educational initiative from MIT that empowers students to turn their ideas into a reality.

Applications for the 2018-19 competition are now closed. Check back here next fall!

Subscribe to our mailing list to keep up with updates!

Welcome to THINK!

What is THINK?

THINK is an annual science research and innovation competition for high school students. Rather than requiring students to have completed a research project before applying, THINK instead caters to students who have done extensive research on the background of a potential research project and are looking for additional guidance in the early stages of their project. The program is organized by a group of undergraduates at MIT.

How do I apply?

Students are expected to submit a proposal (of no more than 10 pages) before the application deadline detailing the problem they are attempting to solve, how their idea/system combats the target problem, developmental procedure, a timetable of milestones, and budget allocation (see the guidelines section below for a full description).

What are the benefits?

Selected finalists are invited to a four-day all-expenses paid trip to MIT’s campus where they meet professors in their field of research, tour labs, attend MIT’s xFair, and hang out with members of the THINK team! Finalists also have weekly mentorship meetings with THINK team members for technical guidance, helpful resources, and updates on the project’s progress and are given up to $1000 in funding for their project.


THINK project proposals are science, technology, and engineering ideas that span many fields, from green technologies and practical devices to software applications. As long as it can be completed in one semester with a $1000 budget, almost anything is fair game! A good proposal has an insightful idea, clearly defined goals, and a well thought-out procedure for implementation.

Proposal Overview

Your submission should be approximately 10 pages long and contain the following components:

  • Title/Cover Page
  • Abstract: Brief introduction to the target problem and your idea.
  • Problem: What's the problem you're trying to solve? Why is it important?
  • Approach: How will you go about building/developing your idea?
  • Timeline: Table of milestones breaking your project down into bite-size goals.
  • Budget: How will you utilize THINK's funding?
  • Personal Reflection: What inspired you to pursue this idea? What are your passions?

What We're Looking For

Your proposal will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Impact: How interesting and relevant is the problem you’re trying to solve?
  • Innovation: How original or creative is your proposed solution?
  • Clarity: How clear are your goals and timeline?
  • Feasibility: Can your stated goals be accomplished within time, cost, and resource constraints?

Before applying, make sure to read through the full guidelines here: Complete Guidelines for 2018-19 Program

  1. Early Fall 2018
    THINK applications open. Students complete applications and upload their project proposals to be evaluated.
  2. January 1, 2019
    Application Deadline. No more applications will be accepted after this date.
  3. Mid January 2019
    Finalists announced and notified of trip to MIT.
  4. February 3-7, 2019
    Finalists visit MIT, tour the campus, meet professors in their field, and hang out with the THINK committee!
  5. March - June 2019
    THINK mentors work with finalists to complete their projects.
  6. June 2019
    Expected completion of all finalists' projects.

See full list of THINK winners from 2017, 2016 ,and 2015.



If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to email us at think@mit.edu .