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Summer Science Research Program

SSRP at a Glance:


2018 Program Dates: June 25, 2018 – August 09, 2018

Location: The Rockefeller University

Application Closed:

Application Deadline: January 8th, 2018

ssrp rockedu

The Rockefeller University Summer Science Research Program (SSRP) provides high school students with a unique and personalized opportunity to conduct hands-on research under the mentorship of leading scientists at one of the world’s premier biomedical research facilities. During this rigorous 7-week program, SSRP students become immersed in scientific culture while gaining an appreciation for the process of biomedical discovery.

Through a combination of laboratory experimentation, interactive lectures, and dynamic coursework, students will learn fundamental research techniques, become better acquainted with scientific peer-reviewed literature, and improve critical thinking. Equally as important, students will have a lot of fun — we strive to make the SSRP an inclusive and supportive environment where every student’s voice is heard and respected. Please see the Description of Coursework to read about the classes that supplement the in-lab experience. See Examples of Laboratory Projects to read about some of the past projects undertaken by SSRP students.

Please be aware that the review process for the Summer Science Research Program is extensive. This is due to the nature of the program: each student is individually matched with a volunteer scientist-mentor. A match is determined by a number of criteria, including the personal goals of the student, the needs of the laboratory, and the availability of volunteer scientist-mentors. It should also be noted that while Rockefeller has 75 laboratories, some research, such as that pertaining to infectious diseases or human studies, may not be appropriate for high school summer research. Consequently, acceptance into the program is based on a high score during the application review and on a successful match with a scientist-mentor.


To be eligible for SSRP participation, students must be enrolled in a high school and must be at least 16 years old at the start of the program.  No exceptions. Students must also commit to participating for the entirety of the seven-week program.  Labs are unable to accommodate students for a shorter period, as it can be time-consuming to properly train a student on laboratory protocols. Lastly, eligible students should demonstrate a sincere interest in science, which must be reflected by official school coursework.

For more information about the SSRP, please read through our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Application Process   

Our application process occurs in three phases.  Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications after each phase of the review process.

  • Phase 1: Initial Online Application Review

During the initial review, each student’s online application is carefully read and considered. Please note that because of the sheer volume of applications received, this process can take between 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

  • Phase 2: Committee Review of Online Application

After the initial application review, the highest ranked applications (approximately 20 – 25% of total applications) are passed on to the next round of review. During this phase, applications are independently reviewed by a committee consisting of Rockefeller faculty, postdocs, and graduate students.

  • Phase 3: Matching Process

Approximately 5-7% of total applications move into the matching process phase. This portion of the application process is where students come to the Rockefeller campus for an in-person interview with potential scientist-mentors.  To identify a match, consideration is given to the applicant’s scientific interests, previous laboratory experience (if any), and the available pool of Rockefeller mentors. Once a potential match is identified, the student and potential mentor will meet to discuss if it is the right fit.

An applicant is officially accepted into the SSRP, only after he or she is successfully matched with a scientist-mentor.  Thereafter, students will be asked to complete the Student Consent and Agreement Form (both forms signed by the student, parent(s), and a witness) and an official school transcript (to be mailed by the student’s high school). This will all be communicated in detail upon confirmation of a match.


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Contact Us

Douglas Heigl
Program Administrator

Summer Science Research Program
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Ave, Box 53
New York, NY 10065

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