FLi Sci Scholars Program FAQ

This page currently reflects responses for the 2020 FLi Sci Scholars Program. Please check back later for updated responses to these questions.

In the meantime, please direct any inquiries to gabriel@flisci.com

General FLi Sci Scholars Program Inquiries

Why was the FLi Sci Scholars Program created?

COVID-19 required many programs to shift to virtual formats but not all opportunities were able to do so. In particular, science research opportunities for diverse students were mostly canceled instead of accommodated to our current circumstances. Thus, the FLi Sci Scholars Program aims to address a critical need of providing hands-on experience and mentorship for students from disadvantaged backgrounds with scientific aspirations.

How long will the program last?

We anticipate beginning the first FLi Sci Scholars Program this year around mid-September with an introductory kick-off session held via Zoom or Google Meets. There we will coordinate regular meeting times and share expectations for the Fall term, but we expect to meet for at least 2 hours every week.

Currently, the FLi Sci Scholars Program is scheduled until mid-December. However, depending on student interest and funding, we may extend until mid-May.

Is this a paid opportunity?

Yes! All FLi Sci Scholars who participate will earn $150 as a research grant for their participation in the Fall program. More details on this will be shared in mid-September to selected scholars.

How many people do you anticipate selecting?

We plan to admit 10 people to the pilot program. If our funding increases, we are considering expanding to recruit as many students as we can serve.

I am not a FLi Sci Scholar but would love to participate. Will there be opportunities?

While we intend to prioritize all programming related to the FLi Sci Scholars Program for the FLi Sci Scholars, we are planning to host events inclusive of the general community (though this is not guaranteed). In that event that we do, you are welcome to attend and we will announce those workshops on this website.

Is this program affiliated with Columbia or Stanford University?

No, FLi Sci is currently independent and not affiliated with any institution of higher learning. While the current founders are graduate students at both Columbia and Stanford, a formal partnership is not established with either of them.

Will participation in the FLi Sci Scholars Program increase my chances with admission to Columbia College, Stanford University, or any college in general?

This is a difficult question to answer because we are not admissions officers nor is the FLi Sci Scholars Program directly involved in the undergraduate admissions process of any schools. Participation in the FLi Sci Scholars Program will not guarantee automatic admission to any competitive college in the U.S.

However, listing FLi Sci Scholars Program on your college application can certainly be fruitful since many research-intensive programs value research experience favorably. In fact, our goal is to provide meaningful research opportunities to our FLi Sci Scholars to help boost their application not only for college admissions but also applications for future research programs in general.

During the FLi Sci Scholars Program, we will have sessions that break down the pathway from college admission all the way to navigating graduate school programs. If you have further questions about this, please feel free to speak to your college guidance counselor for more info or directly with an admissions representative at a school you are interested in.

Eligibility Questions

One of my parents has a college degree. Can I still apply?

No. This program is currently for students in which neither parent has earned a U.S.-based degree.

My parents have a degree but not from the U.S. Am I eligible?

Yes. While technically, your parents are in possession of higher education credentials, the FLi Sci program recognizes that the U.S. does not honor these degrees similarly as U.S. degrees and therefore create similar challenges. Please submit an application if you feel you are one of those students and would benefit from this program.

I am not low-income but my parents have college degrees. Am I eligible?

Currently, the FLi Sci Scholars Program requires students to be both first-gen AND low-income. If you only satisfy one of these criteria, you are not eligible at this time.

My parents do not have degrees but I have an older sibling in college or graduated. Am I still first-gen?

Yes, you are considered first-gen. The definition of "first-generation college student" for the purposes of this program is that neither of your parents have earned degrees in the U.S. If your older sibling is currently enrolled and/or has graduated from a U.S. postsecondary institution, you are eligible to apply.

My mom/dad went to college but never graduated. Am I still first-gen?


I just graduated from high school but I am currently taking a gap year. Can I still apply?


I am a high school first year. Am I eligible for this program?

Yes. We encourage all students who feel they can benefit from this program from all high school years to apply. However, preference will be given to seniors since this will be their final year to participate in a program.

In the event you are not selected but remain eligible to apply, we encourage you to submit an application in future years and be on the lookout for other opportunities to remain involved.

Can I apply even though I go to school in X state?

Yep! This program is completely virtual this year. Therefore, all students regardless of state can and should apply! So whether you are based out in Maine or California or Alaska or Puerto Rico or any other state, you can apply.

Application Questions

When will applications for the FLi Sci Scholars Program open?

Applications open around end of August until mid-September. Reviews will begin a week after applications open and will be rolling afterwards.

Can I send my application via snail mail?

No, please submit your application using the link.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement to be selected?

No, there is not. This is not a merit program and we intend to recruit holistically. Your GPA will not negatively or positively impact your selection for this program.

I cannot get a transcript to submit. What should I do?

Please upload a document that lists the courses that you took by year. Include whether or not these were honors, AP, or courses taken at a community college or university. (Grades not needed).

I do not have a CV/resume. Can I still apply?

Yes, absolutely! We ask for resumes to allow students a chance to showcase their background. If you do not have a resume, please submit a document explaining your involvement and/or more about how this experience can help you achieve your goals. If you need help, please email Gabriel about this for assistance.

The application link is not working. Who do I contact for help?

Please email Gabriel via email about this for assistance.

The application asks for personally identifiable information such as name, email address, and others and I'm not comfortable sharing that. What should I do?

We understand that data privacy is a legitimate concern — especially with youth below the age of 18. All information submitted is confidential and restricted only to the FLi Sci Scholars Admissions Committee. Any individual who submits an application to FLi Sci Scholars can rescind at any time and request immediate deletion of their information.

Selection Process

Will there be interviews?

The admissions committee may select a few candidates for short phone interviews if deemed that more information is needed prior to finalizing decisions. However, these interviews neither hurt nor significantly help your application.

Are there interviews?

The admissions committee may select a few candidates for short phone interviews if deemed that more information is needed prior to finalizing decisions. However, these interviews neither hurt nor significantly help your application.

When will we find out if we were selected?

All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until 10 FLi Sci Scholars have been identified and selected for the program. We will formally announce in two waves: September 14th and 18th.

I was waitlisted. Is there anything I can do to improve my odds?

Simply indicate your desire to remain on the waitlist. We hope to be able to admit as many students as possible to the program, and if additional funding is secured, we intend to prioritize candidates on the waitlist.

I was not selected as a FLi Sci Scholar. Am I able to request feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, due to anticipated volume of applications to be received, we cannot provide individualized feedback at this time. However, please know that we intend to provide statistics regarding the application for insights to help students who wish to apply in future years.

More questions? Please feel free to email us at gabriel@flisci.com for any inquiries.