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Phase III+: The University is open for expanded research operations; only authorized personnel will be admitted on campus. More info here.

Summer Science Research Program

a home lab setup

Summer Science Research Program (SSRPv) 2021


Applications for summer 2021 are CLOSED. Stay tuned for information on SSRP 2022!

Quick Look:

  • Mentored biomedical research experience that takes place at home
  • This year’s program will run from June 28 — August 12, 2021
  • High school students, aged 16 and older

Program Overview:

There is a lot to be gained from having the agency and autonomy to conduct mentored scientific research in your own space, and we leverage this unique scenario through the SSRPv. While we initially shifted to virtual formats in direct response to COVID-19, the 2020 SSRPv proved itself to be a deeply meaningful program for our students and scientists at The Rockefeller University.

“I felt a lot of freedom to explore and that I was doing real science”

“It was so cool how so much was done by so many people in only a couple of months. And at home!”

In true RockEDU form, we are iterating on our 2020 experiences to develop an even more interactive and supportive research program for high school students from home. Like all RockEDU programming, the SSRPv will uphold critical values around access, inclusion, equity, and justice.

“I loved how the group sessions focused on the parts of science we traditionally don’t talk about, challenging the barriers of race, gender, ethnicity, and even the simple approach to science. I’ve never had that experience, and it was truly inspiring. I certainly learned a lot about what all is under the simple word ‘science’.”

Additional Details:

This summer, SSRPv students will spend approximately 20 hours per week, June 28 through August 5, engaging in a number of virtual events and home-based science experiences that have been designed to promote a deepened understanding of biomedical research, and its relationship with society. Components of the SSRPv include:

Core Sessions: Regularly scheduled throughout the week, all SSRPv students participate in sessions designed to showcase the vast diversity in experimental approach, with a focus on the Styles of Scientific Reasoning, while integrating important social, political, and economic discussions related to science. Invited speakers for these events include Rockefeller Heads of Lab and their trainees.

“I think just generally getting to hear from so many different scientists, whether through WiR, virtual lab tours, or the career panel, made me realize just how many different paths and options there are for pursuing science and how different people contribute to science in different ways.”

Research Tracks: Groups of 10-12 SSRPv students are assigned to a research track, and are mentored in a specific scientific discipline by a team of scientist-mentors actively conducting research at The Rockefeller University. In small, highly supported group settings, students will learn the foundations and experimental techniques necessary to carry out their own research project, with iteration.

“This program let me have more faith in myself and become more familiar with the process of iteration and learning from failure. Working with the limited materials I had at home forced me to think outside of the box and encouraged me to keep trying new methods when my initial results didn’t tell me everything I wanted to know”

Please note: We will establish 2021 SSRPv research tracks based on the specific expertise of our mentor pool. More details will be provided in late spring, 2021. The 2020 SSRPv research tracks included RNA bioinformatics, ant social biology, and the cultivation of wild yeast.

All research materials will be provided to students by mail, after approval by The Rockefeller University Department of Laboratory Health and Environmental Safety (LS&EH).

Students will be required to have a computer and internet access to participate in the program. If this requirement presents a hardship, please contact to see how we can support you.

“RockEDU is amazingly good at making science accessible to everyone, regardless of their background, values, and where they come from!”

Professional Development: Being successful in the SSRPv will look different for each student. Because there is no one “right” way to experience the process of science, we aim to provide students with a variety of supports, based on specific needs, to help students leverage their experiences for educational and professional advancement. While every student in the SSRPv will receive mentorship around science, other offerings may include essay-writing and/or public speaking workshops, help with resumes and LinkedIn profiles, how to find additional research opportunities, career advice, etc.

“The amount of encouragement and support I received was unparalleled. My mentors were so great at helping me learn without feeling discouraged. I was so open to taking risks and putting ideas out there because I had so much support along the way. Communication, support, and creating the idea that our dreams can come true are some definite strengths of RockEDU.”


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.  We cannot make exceptions.

Program Expectations:

In order to participate in the SSRPv, students must commit to the entirety of the seven-week program — we can not accommodate attendance gaps.


Apply for SSRP 2022

Stay tuned for application information coming this fall! 

Frequently Asked Questions

To learn more about the SSRP, please see our FAQ page.

Contact Us

Douglas Heigl
Program Administrator

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