Frequently Asked Questions

Our Programmes

How are CCIR Academy programmes different from other summer programmes?

A number of things differentiate CCIR Academy from other programmes: OXBRIDGE-ONLY FACULTY AND TEAM We only partner with Lecturers (equivalent to assistant professors or above at US universities) or above at either the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford. Founded by Cambridge alumni, CCIR prioritizes offering partnership opportunities for Oxbridge faculty. We are also an organization currently run by Oxbridge students and alumni. Throughout the admission process, every single point of contact an applicant interacts with will be either a current Oxbridge student (PhD or above) or an Oxbridge alumni. SMALL GROUP TEACHING/INTIMATE MENTORSHIP At the heart of our programmes is the relationship between students and their mentors. For our Cambridge Future Scholar programme, our class is limited to no more than 5 students. The small classes ensure ample interaction and thought provoking discussions always take place at each session. RESEARCH-ORIENTED LEARNING Unlike lecture-only programmes, where students learn passively, our programmes emphasize on hand-on research. This kind of project based learning allows students to really dive into the subject and learn in an independent and autonomous manner. HIGH ACADEMIC STANDARDS Our commitment to maintaining the highest academic standards is reflected in our admissions, our courses, and in the expectations we have on our students. All our programmes are meant to be genuinely challenging and enriching academic experiences for our students.

What are the benefits of attending a CCIR programme?

Most importantly, by the end of your time at a CCIR programme, you will have completed a substantive independent research project. In certain cases, under the guidance of the mentors and our team, your research project will also be published in academic journals or presented at conferences. All our CCIR programmes award graduation certificates and in-depth evaluation reports. Finally, you will have fostered a close personal relationship with a Oxbridge faculty member from whom you can request a letter of recommendation.

What kind of experiences can I expect?

Because of the academic rigor and the small size of our programmes, we are able to deliver an experience for our students that is at once fun and academically enriching. Over the course of the programme, as students work with one another and with the faculty, they will develop relationships that will push them both personally and intellectually.

Will my mentor or TA write me a letter of recommendation?

All our students have the option of requesting letters of recommendation from their mentors. While we cannot guarantee letters of recommendation, we can say that in the past, because our admitted students are all capable and passion at, not a single student who has requested a letter of recommendation has had their request denied.

Does attending CCIR improve my chances of being accepted at top universities/graduate programmes?

Attending CCIR may improve your chances in college/graduate admissions in a number of ways. Most importantly, CCIR offers you a great opportunity to produce and possibly even publish a genuinely impressive piece of academic work. In addition, since you will be interacting intimately with your Oxbridge mentor over a long period of time, your mentor will also likely become an excellent referee for you in the admissions process.

How much work do mentors assign?

Generally speaking, our programmes consist of roughly 1-2 hours of face-to-face interaction hours per week. In addition to the class time, students will be expected to do readings and write essays. On average, including interaction hours, students are expected to devote a total of roughly 4 hours a week for their programme.

Will all the sessions be online?

All CCIR Academy programmes are conducted online with the support of multiple platforms — video conferencing, learning management systems, etc.

Where can I find tuition information?

Detailed tuition information, including merit scholarship opportunities, can be found in our programme prospectus.

What's included in my tuition

Most importantly, your tuition covers supervisions, lectures, and additional weekly one-on-one office hours (30 minutes), if requested. Additionally, your tuition covers your access to Cambridge or Oxford’s academic database (via mentor), Data collection guidance (by the mentor), academic journal submission guidance (by the mentor and CCIR Academic Team), and academic support both during the course of the programme and in the follow up (when you need to request letters and evaluations).

How can I get more information about the programme?

To get more information about our programmes, contact our academic coordinator Aiko at If you’re a counselor or a teacher interested in collaborating with our programme, contact Oliver, our outreach director at


What is the CCIR admission criteria?

CCIR is looking for students who are not just academically strong but who are genuinely passionate about the subject matter for which they are applying. This means you have to demonstrate academic strength in your GPA and your other test scores (if applicable) and show us that you are someone who possesses a genuine passion for learning.

What grade levels are the programmes designed for?

CCIR’s Future Scholar Programme and Future Entrepreneur Programme is designed for sixth form (11th and 12th grade in the US) students. The programme’s curriculum mirrors first-year teaching material at Oxbridge. However, we often receive applications of, and admitted, talented students attending lower levels. The 1-on-1 Mentorship Programme, on the other hand, is much more flexible. In the past, we have both offered mentorships for younger students who were especially talented and mentorships for undergraduate students.

What if I don't have PSAT, SAT, or ACT scores yet?

We are standardized test optional in our admissions. As long as we can see your school transcripts, you’ll be fine.

What is the deadline to apply?

For the 1-on-1 programmes, our applications are rolling all year round. For the Future Scholar Programme, applications for these course are all rolling once opened, until the each class is filled at maximum number of five. The Spring 2021 programme will start at 20 March, 2020. For the Future Entrepreneur Programme, applications are also all rolling once opened, until the team is filled at maximum number of seven. The Spring 2021 programme will start at 20 March, 2020.

Can I apply for scholarships?

All applicants are automatically considered for the merited scholarships. If you face economic hardship and seek financial aid, please inform our Academic Coordinator at and we can make arrangements to best accommodate your situation.

How should I prepare for my interview?

We definitely don’t want you to stress over the interview. While there is an evaluative dimension to our interviews, the primary purpose of these interviews is to get a sense of what you have already known about the subject and what your academic passions are. The interviews are all very casual and conversational in style—so just be prepared to come in prepared to chat about your academic interests.

Online Learning

How does the programme accommodate students who live in different time zones?

Our students come from all around the world and we have become extremely good at coordinating schedules that work for everyone. At the start of every course, we will hammer out the logistics to make sure that we can find a time that works perfectly for everyone involved.

What do I do if I have technical difficulties during video conferencing?

Every video conferencing session will be hosted by a CCIR operations team member. You are welcome to raise the issue through chat at any time. You can also send an email to, which is monitored at all times during active sessions.

Will the lectures and TA sessions be recorded?

Yes. Every session will be recorded and made available after class. You can access them via an unlisted playlist on YouTube or your Learning Management System.

What kind of technology is required?

The only requirements are the Internet (Zoom or compatible browser), front-facing camera, and microphone. Some courses may require specific softwares to be installed. Your mentor and TA will do their best to help you install those softwares.

Doing Research

How demanding are the programmes?

In a word: quite. We are hoping to push you academically and intellectually. However, be assured that you will be closely guided and thoroughly supported throughout this challenging process. And in terms of time commitment, we understand that you are busy so our mentors will ensure that you will not be overloaded with work.

How do I gather data for my projects?

Depending on your project, this may take a number of forms. Survey-based research is a definite possibility, for instance, in the social sciences. In other cases, we instead rely on existing data sets that are either open-source or that are requested from other researchers.

I am interested in science. How can I do a research project without accessing the lab?

In the age of big data, a growing amount of research in the sciences is actually conducted outside of the lab context. Large amounts of data already exist and what is needed is for researchers to mine that data for insights. Our mentors will teach you the skills and tools needed for scientific computing and data analysis.

What is the programme's approach to teaching and learning?

Our programmes ultimately all adopt a project-based learning methodology. However, the project-based methodology is supplemented by more traditional methods of lecturing and supervision wherever necessary. Worth highlighting is the supervision format of our teaching: this small group teaching style, based on critical peer-to-mentor and peer-to-peer interaction, is a Oxbridge hallmark and one that we have made central to our pedagogical methods.

the Cambridge Future Scholar Programme

The Future Scholar Programme is an online 2-5 student research-focused programme taught by current teaching faculty members at the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and select Ivy League universities; we offer 21 unique courses in STEM, Business, Social Sciences, and the Humanities.

Research courses that empower you to explore your passions

Autumn/Winter 2021-2022 Round Admission is OPEN
Early Admission: 9 October, 2021
Regular Admission: 23 October, 2021

Programme Outcomes

A Semester's Worth of Teaching
Weekly lectures and supervision from Oxbridge or Ivy League faculty mentors and PhD TAs.
An Independent Research Project
Complete a journal-level research paper supervised by an Oxbridge or Ivy League faculty mentor.
Browse the 2021-2022 Prospectus for:
  • Programme structure
  • Research course catalogue
  • Mentor biographies
  • Tuition & Scholarship
Oxbridge Level Writing Centre

Our writing centre, staffed by Oxbridge students and alumni, is constantly on call to provide prompt feedback on your writing.

Programme Details

4 Hours

13 Weeks

weekly course work

2 to 5

students per course


average faculty to student ratio

A Letter of Recommendation
The option to request a tailored letter penned by your Oxbridge or Ivy League faculty mentor.
Journal Publication Guidance
Our expert Academic team will guide you to the best forums for showcasing your work
A Signed Evaluation Report
From your Oxbridge mentor, issued by the programme, at the student's request.
Journal Publication Guidance

Publishing requires know-how.  Our expert team will not only help you transition from high school to academic writing, we will also actively assist you in getting your work published.  Our academic advisors actively maintain our database of publications so that we know how and where to best showcase your work.  We will help you avoid predatory academic forums and support you as you publish your work in legitimate journals and conferences.

Independent Ethics Review Committee

For research involving human subjects, an ERC review is often required to ensure the experiment adheres to research ethics.  CCIR's independently-run ERC is led by Dr Tom McClelland at the University of Cambridge. 

Acceptance Rate


as of Summer 2021

2021-2022 Research Course Overview

Each designed and taught by current Oxbridge and Ivy League faculty.

21 unique research courses, carefully designed

Course Structure

Each 13-week course is divided into two parts

Lecture Weeks (1 - 7)
Build up your foundation of knowledge

With support from your mentor and TAs, you will first gain a grounding in your field of research.  In addition to 1 hour of lecture a week from your mentor, you will also receive 1 hour of seminar discussion from your TA, and an 30 minute office hour on request.

Research Weeks (8 - 13)
Plan and execute your own research project

Beginning with a research and methodology session, you will then transition into self-directed work.  During this research phase of the course, your lecture sessions will become research workshops and your TA sessions will become writing sessions.

This extended structure ensures you will be able to succeed at CCIR while still balancing your existing school work.

Expected Weekly Engagement

1 Hour

1 Hour

session with Oxbridge or Ivy League PhD candidate TA

30 minutes

1-on-1 Office Hour upon request


correspondence and guidance

session with faculty Lecturer


How to Apply

Step 1: Read Course Prospectus

Download the course prospectus, explore the courses on offer, and carefully review the admissions process page.

Step 2: Submit Application Form

After deciding upon which course to apply for, complete and submit the required application form and documentation.

Step 3: Interview

Successful applicants will be invited to an interview with either the course's Teaching Assistant.

During the 15 to 30 minute interview, we'll assess your background, interests, and your ability to think through problems in your field.


Every applicant for the Future Scholar Programme is automatically considered for our CCIR Scholarships based on merit.  Last year 48% of admitted students for this program received some form of merit-based scholarship.

Application Deadlines
Autumn/Winter 2021-2022 Round 
Early Admission: 9 October, 2021
Regular Admission: 23 October, 2021


Urban Planning and Architectural technology

Dr Reyhaneh Shojaei, Cambridge | Centre for Housing and Planning Research How to make the construction faster, with fewer defects and cost advantage from economies of scale? This is the question constantly discussed by real estate developers, architects, or even policymakers. By answering this question through research, we might be able to offer solutions for the housing crisis in many countries.

Regenerative Neurobiology and Gene Therapy

Dr Bart Nieuwenhuis Cambridge | Department of Clinical Neurosciences Injury to the brain and spinal cord has devastating consequences. This research course covers cellular and molecular biology of the nervous system and is particularly focused on regrowing nerve fibres after an acute injury.We will also discuss gene therapy, an approach to promote repair in neurons, DNA manipulation, cell culture, and microscopy. For the independent research project, students will get hands-on experience in analysing real experimental data from fluorescence microscopy of neurons and how to present scientific results.

Quantum Computing and Modelling: An Applied Category Theory Perspective

Dr Carmen Maria Constantin Oxford | Mansfield College This research course is an invitation to discover Category theory, a central hub for all of pure mathematics and essential to Quantum Computing, and explore cutting-edge applications including Database Theory, Contagious Disease Modelling and Navigation. By developing their independent research project, students will have mastered a powerful conceptual and mathematical language.

Neuroscience and Brain-Computer Interfaces

Dr Alejandro Carnicer-Lombarte Cambridge| Department of Engineering Brain-computer interfaces can be used from studying the complex nervous system to implementing augment human capabilities. Students will develop independent projects and analyse real datasets recorded from brain-computer interfaces, investigating the language of the nervous system and the way brain-computer interfaces make sense of this language.

Computational Genetics: Data Science, Biology, and Medicine

Dr Struan Murray Oxford | Department of Biochemistry We will learn how modern, cutting-edge experimental techniques are able to observe molecular events across the genome of an organism, producing vast quantities of data that can then be analysed computationally.

Particle Physics: from Quantum Mechanics to Cosmology

Dr Federico Nova Oxford | Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Understanding particles will answer fundamental questions about our universe and the laws that shape it. This research course will examine the theoretical breakthroughs which have marked the amazing progress of the last 100 years of research. We will also discuss topics such as the matter and antimatter, Feynman diagrams, Higgs boson and more. All the topics will culminate in each student’s independent paper on Quantum Mechanics or related areas.

Mathematical Logic: The Foundations Of Mathematics, Philosophy, and Computer Science

Dr Owen Griffiths Cambridge | Faculty of Philosophy Mathematical logic is the formalized study of the basic principles of reasoning and rational thought. In this course, you will attain fluency in multiple logical systems and we will explore foundational issues in mathematics, philosophy, and computer science.

Bio-inspired Robotics: Machine Learning, Design, and Control

Dr Thomas George Thuruthel Cambridge | Department of Engineering Increasingly, roboticists are looking to the biological realm as a source of knowledge and inspiration for their work. In intelligence, engineering, and biology. In this course, we will explore the cutting-edge field of bio-robotics that has emerged at the intersection of artificial intelligence, engineering, and biology.

Neuroscience: From Molecules to Complex Brain Disorders

Dr Gonca Bayraktar Cambridge | Department of Clinical Neurosciences The Nobel Prize winning biologist Francis Crick once the study of our own brain. In this course, we will explore the radical advances in neuroscience in recent decades—starting at the molecular level, and working our way up to a systematic understanding of disorders of the brain, such as dementia.

Materials Science and Engineering: Computational Approach to Advanced Materials Development

Dr Sina Askarinejad Cambridge | Department of Engineering The need to develop advanced materials with exceptional mechanical properties is a must in modern technology. We will start from the basics of material properties, to modern, cutting-edge experimental and computational techniques that are able to guide us toward advanced materials development. Students will gain research skills and conduct independent research on the design of experimental materials.

Quantum Mechanism: Theory and Applications

Dr Andrei Constantin Oxford | Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics We start by reviewing the principles of quantum theory. We will then introduce the uncertainty principle, discuss measurements in quantum physics and the impossibility of measuring simultaneously conjugate variables. Finally, we will cover the EPR paradox, entanglement, hidden variables, non-locality and Aspect’s experiment and elements of quantum information theory and cryptography. In particular, we will see how quantum mechanical properties can be used to perform cryptographic tasks and secure communication.


Economics and Policy-making of Future Energy Systems: From Climate Change to A Sustainable Future

Dr Karim Anaya Stucchi Cambridge | Judge Business School This research course aims to introduce current and future energy systems, key challenges and strategies concerning the green movement in the energy sector. Students will also examine the different energy approaches in key countries and new areas such as green finance. Meanwhile, students will conduct an independent research project on future energy systems.

Entrepreneurship: Fundamentals To Kick-off Your Business Idea

Dr Keivan Aghasi Cambridge | Judge Business School This course provides an overview on the principles of entrepreneurship and the nature of the entrepreneurial process. It is designed to introduce students to the core theories, concepts and tools used to increase the likelihood of business success in launching and running new ventures both in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

Social Sciences

Computational Economics and Social Science: Networks and Modeling of the real world

Dr Daniele Cassese Cambridge | Faculty of Economics Networks are all around us. From the architecture of financial systems, trade between companies and across countries, to the complex transportation system linking cities. This research course will explore how the events within the network interact and influence one another, and how can we represent, describe, or predict the events? We will emphasise a computational approach to social and economic network applications. Students will learn how to use Python to set and simulate network models; they will become familiar with the most recent research and techniques in network science and will develop excellent research skills.

Researching and Combatting Violent Extremism: From ISIS to the Far Right

Dr Lydia Wilson Oxford/Cambridge | Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies This course will be the fruits of a decade of researching different forms of extremism in many countries, asking the basic questions: why do people join extremist organisations, and what drives them to make the ultimate sacrifice of life and family? Further, what can we do to combat this phenomenon? The lectures will cover Dr Wilson’s ground research on both sides of ISIS), the far right, incel movement, online extremism, and more.

Applied Linguistics and Big Data

Dr Victoria Fendel Oxford | Faculty of Classics O Why are languages so different – and thus so hard to learn? We will explore the social relevance of language and the results of language contact. Students will conduct independent research by constructing linguistic data, analysing big data and performing context-oriented keyword analysis. Students will investigate how language develops, how languages interact and how and to what extent we can manipulate our patterns of language usage for specific purposes.

Race, Racism, and Society: A Global Perspective

Dr Dana Brablec Cambridge | Department of Sociology Issues relating to ‘race’ and ethnicity, whether #blacklives- matter or COVID-19, today lie at the forefront of public debate. In this course, we will critically analyze the concepts and processes of ‘race’ and ethnicity, understood as social constructions, looking at the UK, the US, and beyond.

AI Ethics and Society

Dr Jonnie Penn Harvard/Cambridge | Department of History and Philosophy of Science What does the development of artificial intelligence hold for the future of humanity? How will AI alter the international political and economic landscape? In this course, we will explore these questions historically—by looking back and exploring the material infrastructures and ideological commitments that have shaped the historical development of artificial intelligence.

Psychology, Cognitive Science, and Philosophy

Dr Tom McClelland Cambridge | Faculty of Philosophy Because the mind is such a complex thing, the scientific study of the cognitive sciences encompasses multiple disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and anthropology. But there are still deep problems we haven’t yet solved. That’s why we will eventually enter the realm of philosophy. This research course will examine the core topics in cognitive science, philosophy, and psychology. Students will also research and investigate the crucial issues in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and psychology.


The Political Economy Of Post-war Britain: Politics, Economics, and International Relations

Dr Eoin Devlin Cambridge| Faculty of History The years following World War II was for Britain a period of intense reconstruction, redefinition, and reckoning. In this course, we will explore and analyze from a historical perspective the politics, economics, and international relations of post-war Britain.

Rhetoric and Politics: From Ancient Greece to Today

Dr Victoria Fendel Oxford | Faculty of Classics Making one’s voice heard in public was a sought-after skill for those at the heart of the Athenian democracy, the Roman republic and later the Roman empire. The skilful use of language was a critical tool and a powerful weapon. We will focus from the orators of the Athenian democracy to the politicians of the Roman republic. Students will develop an independent research project on political rhetoric, ancient history or relevant areas in the context of its time and discourse.