My experience at ASSIP for the last two summers was probably the most beneficial and impactful experience I have had in my life so far. It taught me how to be a better scientist and engineer, how to develop new ideas, and how to make those ideas a reality. I accomplished a lot that I never thought I was capable of doing as a high school student such as filing for three patents and inventing new technologies to be used by companies to help others. ..The ability to see that my work has the capability of helping others and that I can make a difference, even as a high school student, has given me the confidence I need to continue innovating."  R.N., ASSIP alum 2017,2018,  Harvard University, Class of 2023

The George Mason University Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program was established in 2007 by Dr. Lance Liotta, Dr. Emanuel Petricoin III, and Dr. Virginia Espina to give university undergraduates (from any university) and high school students 16 and older, who have an interest in STEM, access to real-world, hands-on research. 

Students  work one-on-one with faculty researchers at George Mason University and collaborating institutions using state-of-the-art technology to solve hypothesis driven questions in Biochemistry, Biodefense, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Genomics, GeoInformation Science (GIS), Mathematical Modeling, Medicine, Nanotechnology, Neuroscience, Serious Game Design, Sports Medicine, Physics, and Proteomics.

As part of the 8 week full-time training, students:

  • Gain hands-on experience using cutting-edge sophisticated equipment and technologies,

  • Develop and exercise scientific writing and communication skills

  • Explore STEM career choices through discussion forums and meetings with role models

  • Develop and exercise creative skills, crucial to performing innovative research

Hard work often pays off with participants' names published in scientific journals and their work presented at scientific conferences.

The 2021 Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program will begin with a required orientation on Monday, June 21st,  and will conclude with a required poster symposium on Thursday, August 12th, 2021.

2021 ASSIP applications are now open on our new website!



Recent ASSIP news:


Dr. Younsung Kim and her 2019 ASSIP students presented their work at the a environmental conference recently.

Check out the link: Kim, Younsung, Sunho Oh, Chanho Oh, Tarun Sivanandan, John Small, and Suk-Wah Tam-Chang. Identifying the Determinants of Recycling Rates in US: A Multi-Level Analysis. National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) Annual Conference, January 6-9. Washington, D.C.



2019 ASSIP student Ethan Ocasio was interviewed on WTOP about app aiming to help veterans




New Publications and awards from Mentor Dr. Thomas LaToza:

S. Mehrpour, T. D. LaToza and R. K. Kindi, "Active Documentation: Helping Developers Follow Design Decisions," 2019 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Memphis, TN, USA, 2019, pp. 87-96.

K. Chugh, A. Y. Solis and T. D. LaToza, "Editable AI: Mixed Human-AI Authoring of Code Patterns," 2019 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Memphis, TN, USA, 2019, pp. 35-43.

(For computer science, conference papers are considered archival, and most publications are in conferences rather than journals).

Rahul Kindi was an ASSIP intern in 2017, and Kartik Chugh was an ASSIP intern in 2018.

I'm also very happy to say that the paper with Kartik won the Best Paper Award Honorable Mention award at VL/HCC. 

June, 2019: Our 2019 ASSIP session is in full swing with our largest cohort ever of 126 participants conducting research across the University on 4 campuses! The public is invited to celebrate the work of ASSIP mentors and students at the ASSIP Poster Session on Friday, August 9th between 9-11 am at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Mason Science and Tech Campus in Manassas.

Congratulations to 3 ASSIP mentors! Natalie Burls, Thomas LaToza, and Patrick Vora were recognized with Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards that support junior faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization,” according to the NSF website. The awards come with a federal grant for research and education activities for five consecutive years.

“NSF CAREER awards are the most distinguished awards junior faculty members can receive and reflect the world-class caliber of our faculty,” said Deborah Crawford, Mason’s vice president for research, innovation and economic impact. “That Mason received four such awards this year is testimony to our Research 1 status.”

One of our long-time Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program mentors, math modeling expert Dr. Padhu Seshaiyer, has been selected from the United States for scientific excellence and will receive this honor along with other distinguished recipients from the world.  Each year the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which is one of the top-ranked universities in Europe and in the top 200 in the world, awards honorary doctorates "to committed scientists who transcend the boundaries of their own disciplines and to personalities that have been at the frontiers of societal change." These include world leaders, faculty and other distinguished members from across the globe that are nominated by the universities or the different colleges. The list of last round of recipients can be found at http://www.vub.ac.be/en/honorary-doctorates#doctor-honoris-causa and the list of past awardees over the years can be found at http://www.vub.ac.be/en/honorary-doctorates#archive.

2018 ASSIP alum Ankit Gupta and David Rudo win the Gerry Connally Congressional App Challenge!  Congratulations to our talented students and their mentors Dr. Liotta and Ms. Marissa Howard for using their talents to help others!