The ISS Program


Sleek Geek & regular ISS speaker Dr Karl Kruszelnicki with one of our cheeky scholars

If you will be in Year 11 or 12 in 2017, love science and want to stretch your mind and expand your horizons, you'll love the Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS).

The ISS takes place every two years, usually in the first half of July (the mid-year school holidays in NSW, Australia). The program runs for two weeks, and each day is packed with inspiring talks by leading researchers from Australia and overseas, hands-on activities and experiments, and tours of scientific research labs and facilities.

And when the science is done for the day, the evenings and weekends are packed with social events and activities — movie nights, a dinner cruise of beautiful Sydney harbour, city tours, bushwalks, even the infamous ISS Talent Night.

"This program is truly incredible and life changing.
My perspective on the world around us feels like it has changed
with the things I learnt over the two weeks. I have made
some amazing life long friends and have had the most
exciting and wonderful time here at the ISS."

— ISS2015 Scholar

  • If you're in Year 11 or 12 this year, a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, and attending a school in Australia, you can apply to be an ISS scholar. Unfortunately we do not accept applications from Australian students attending schools overseas.
  • The ISS runs for two weeks in the middle of the year: ISS2017 will run from Sunday 2 July to Saturday 15 July 2017.
  • ISS Scholars are selected on academic merit and aptitude: city or country, public school, private school or independent school ... it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you're into science you should apply!
  • Attendance is free! ISS scholarships cover all expenses so students attend at no cost to themselves. Scholarships are valued at around $3,500 and cover travel within Australia, all food, accommodation, events and activities.
  • All scholars stay for two weeks: all participants — even those from Sydney — will stay in student accommodation for the entire program, to give you a chance to get to know a whole group of amazing people from across the country and all over the world.

International Students:

  • The ISS is truly International! Of the 140 ISS scholars, around two-thirds come from the states and territories of Australia. The final third come from eight other countries: China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the USA.
  • Overseas students are selected by their home country: we have selection panels in the countries listed above, and they have their own system for selecting students to attend ISS2017. We do not accept applications directly from students outside Australia.