Information on the Youth Scientist Program has been updated for 2020-2021.


The National Graphene Research and Development Center offers a youth scientist program for high school students. In this program, we mentor talented students to experience the joys of research with computers and brilliant minds, and to pursue high achievement in scientific research. Life-time research skills will be taught to prepare students for excellence in their futures. Most of our alumni got into top Universities, such as MIT, Harvard, CalTech, Stanford, Yale, Princeton, UPenn, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, UChicago, UC Berkeley, Brown, etc.

Previous Achievements


2020 peer reviewed journal publications:
  • A first-principles investigation of α, β, and γ-MnO2 as potential cathode materials in Al-ion batteries
    by Joshua Fu and Xuan Luo
    RSC Advances, 2020
  • A first-principles study on potential chelation agents and indicators of Alzheimer's disease
    by Bryan Wang and Xuan Luo
    RSC Advances, 2020
  • Theoretical pressure-tuning bandgaps of double perovskites A2(BB') X6 for photo-voltaics
    by Eric Yang and Xuan Luo
    Solar Energy, 2020
  • DFT screening of metallic single-replacements for lead-free perovskites with intrinsic photovoltaic functionalities
    by Clark Zhang and Xuan Luo
    RSC Advances, 2020
  • A density functional theory study of the structural and electronic properties of pure and H2 doped polyethylene under high pressure and high temperature conditions of earth layers
    by Kelvin Yuan and Xuan Luo
    AIP Advances, 2020
  • Adsorption behavior of CO2 molecule on AlN and silicene—application to gas capture devices
    by Katherine Jia and Xuan Luo
    PeerJ Materials Science, 2020
2019 peer reviewed journal publications:
  • Tuning the Catalytic Properties of Monolayer MoS2 through Doping and Sulfur Vacancies
    Applied Surface Science, 2019
  • First-principles investigation of low-dimension MSe2 (M = Ti, Hf, Zr) configurations as promising thermoelectric materials
    by Jonathan Tseng and Xuan Luo
    Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, 2019
  • Tunable bandgap of graphene/MS2 (M=W, Mo) heterobilayers for photovoltaic materials
    by Jintong Li and Xuan Luo
    Materials Research Express, 2019
  • The investigation of 2D monolayers as potential chelation agents in Alzheimer’s disease
    by Neha Pavuluru and Xuan Luo
    AIP Advances, 2019
  • A first-principles investigation of spintronics of nitrophosphorene doped with 3d transition metals
    by Lawrence Shi and Xuan Luo
    Journal for Applied Physics, 2019
  • Topologically nontrivial phases in superconducting transition metal carbides
    by Richard Zhan and Xuan Luo
    Journal for Applied Physics, 2019
  • The structural, electronic and optical properties of γ-glycine under pressure: a first principles study
    by Aaron Mei and Xuan Luo
    RSC Advances, 2019

2019 preprint publications:
  • A Systematic Study to Improve the Performance of SrCoO3 as anAnion-Intercalation-Type Electrode for Supercapacitors Through Interface, Oxygen Vacancies, and Doping
    arXiv, 2019
  • Tuning the Catalytic Properties of Monolayer MoS2 through Doping and Sulfur Vacancies
    arXiv, 2019
  • The investigation of metal-ion coordination to amyloid-beta and potential chelation materials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
    by Neha Pavuluru and Xuan Luo
  • Characterization of Lattice Thermal Transport in Two-Dimensional BAs, BP, and BSb: A First-Principles Study
    by Charles Shi and Xuan Luo
    arXiv, 2018

Meeting Abstracts:
Year Regeneron STS

Year Science Fairs
Counts are cumulative, e.g. State winners are also counted as Regional winners
ISEF FinalistsState 1stRegional 1stSchool 1st

Year Siemens Competition
Counts are noncumulative, e.g. Regional Finalists are not counted among Semifinalists
Total StudentsNational FinalistsRegional FinalistsSemifinalists

Youth Scientist Program

The youth scientist program consists of three consecutive sessions:
  1. Research Preparation Session:
    Students will learn science knowledge and scientific research skills, such as basic scientific reading and writing skills, basic physics and chemistry knowledge for research projects. More universal computation skills are also taught, such as using Linux, writing scripts, writing papers, collecting references and plotting view graphs, etc. With foundations laid throughout this session, students will be prepared to execute a real research project.
  2. Research Project Session:
    Students will execute a real, cutting-edge research project in one of the following categories: Physics, Chemistry, Biophysics, Bioengineering, Environmental Science, Materials Science, Earth Science, and Geology. Students will conduct computational experiments utilizing computer resources. By the end of research project session, each student will complete a research paper and be able to deliver a presentation of their work in front of the entire class, including parents.
  3. Research Paper Session:
    After the research project session, the mentor will help revise and edit the research paper. With mentor's approval, the research paper may be submitted to research competitions and/or peer-reviewed journals. Mentors may also invite students to attend professional conferences.

Registrations and Applications

The application process is three-step:
  1. Call (202)-384-5595 to discuss options and set up an interview
  2. Conduct the interview
  3. Submit application package
The deadline for applications is May 26th, 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is the schedule for the Youth Scientist Program?
    1. The program will last 10 weeks, from June 15, 2020 to August 21, 2020;
    2. Eight-week classes will be scheduled at 6:00-9:00 pm Monday through Friday, from June 15, 2020 to August 7, 2020;
    3. The final oral presentation (seminar) will be held on Saturday, August 8, 2020;
    4. iTwo-week classes for revising, editing and submission research papers are scheduled at 6:00-9:00 pm, Monday through Friday, from August 10, 2019 to August 21, 2019;
    5. Extra individual research paper tutoring will be available in September, 2020 by appointment.
  2. Where is the class located?
    Class location is 2 miles off exit 54 on I-495 (near TJHSST).
  3. Should I do an individual or team project?
    Students are welcome to choose either option. If you would like to be in a team, you can form teams with your classmates or friends on your own. Each team consists of 1 to 2 students.
  4. Are there any equipment requirements/recommendations?
    You will need to prepare a laptop with high speed, high memory and multi-CPU.
  5. Can I publish my research paper?
    Depending on the quality of the work, at the mentor's discretion, students' research results may be published in peer-reviewed journals. Students may be the first author, depending on their contributions.
Intellectual Property: All research results belong to National Graphene Research and Development Center.

National Graphene Research and Development Center
Phone: (202)-384-5595