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SSRP Frequently Asked Questions

Will the SSRP take place in person in 2021?

We have made an advanced decision to plan and host the 2021 SSRP in a virtual capacity. This means all students will be meeting over Zoom, and using other digital platforms to share and discuss their work.

Even though this program is virtual, will students have the opportunity to conduct authentic scientific research?

Yes. Students who are accepted into the SSRP will participate in their own research project at home using materials and reagents that are supplied by the RockEDU team. Small groups of 8-10 SSRP students will be assigned to a themed research track (i.e. RNA bioinformatics, as an example), and will be guided through their research project through a combination of foundational lectures, skills building activities, and dedicated mentorship from practicing Rockefeller scientists.

Is there a minimum age or grade level to attend?

Yes, students must be at least 16 years old by the start of the program (June 21, 2021). There are no exceptions to this rule. The age minimum is irrespective of grade, so a sophomore may apply if he or she will be 16 years old by the program’s start date.

How do I apply to SSRP 2021?

All applications must be submitted through our online application system (OAS). A link to the OAS will be posted when applications open on Monday, October 5, 2020.

When will applications open for SSRP 2021?

Applications will open on Monday, October 5, 2020 and will remain open until 11:59pm EST on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Is it possible to apply after midnight on Monday, January 4, 2021?

No. Late applications will not be accepted. RockEDU encourages students to submit their applications early to account for any technical issues that may occur. 

Is there a fee to apply or participate?

No, there is no fee to apply, and the program itself is provided free-of-charge.

Can RockEDU assist me with travel expenses?

SSRP 2021 will be virtual, so travel expenses will not be offered.

Can RockEDU provide or assist me with finding accommodations in NYC?

We are unable to provide funds for or assist students with obtaining accommodation in NYC.

Are stipends available for SSRP students?

Stipends may be awarded to students experiencing financial hardship, and who meet all the attendance and research requirements of the SSRP. Applications for stipends may be obtained on the first day of the program and are due 4 weeks prior to the end of the program (Thursday, July 8, 2021).

How many students participate in the SSRP each summer?

The number of SSRP students is entirely dependent on the number of volunteer scientist mentors who are available each summer, as well as the available space to accommodate a research student. However, because we are moving ahead with a virtual program, we can accept a larger cohort of students (space is no longer an issue!). We expect to accept approximately 60 students into the SSRP for 2021 (including returning students).

Can students work with human patients through the SSRP?

No, SSRP students will not be able to work with human patients since minors are prohibited from doing so.

Can students find placement in the track of their choosing?

SSRPv will consist of 4-6 different research tracks. An effort will be made to accomodate students’ research interest and available resources (ie computers with fast processors). Student’s are not guaranteed placement into any specific track. We cannot accommodate requests to switch tracks. All placements will be made through RockEDU, and students should not attempt to arrange on their own.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes, we do have a short waitlist. Waitlisted students may not be notified until mid- to late-June that placement is available.

When does the program begin/end?

The program dates for 2021 are Monday, June 21- Thursday, August 5. Students accepted into the program must commit to attending all scheduled sessions, as well as complete any asynchronous work/experimentation assigned to them for the duration of the seven-week program.

What is the time commitment?

Students should expect to spend 15-20 hours in the virtual version of the SSRP. This will include both synchronous meetings (over zoom), and asynchronous work, including experimentation, to be completed on student’s own time. Students are expected to attend all mandatory scheduled Zoom sessions from Monday- Friday, starting June 21 and ending August 5, 2021.

Can students start later or leave earlier than the SSRP’s official start and end dates?

No, if accepted into the program, students must commit on a full-time basis (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) for the duration of the seven-week program. Students who cannot fulfill this commitment are not eligible for the SSRP.

Can students apply to the program if they live outside the United States or outside of the Tri-State Area (NY, NJ, CT)?

Yes, students outside the Tri-State Area are encouraged to apply, however all of SSRPv courses are scheduled using ET.

When will students find out whether or not they’ve been accepted to the SSRP?

Submitted applications will be subjected to 2 rounds of review. All submitted applicants will be notified of Round 1 decision in early February 2021. For students who advance to Round 2, they will be notified of their status in March 2021.

Are there any minimum GPA or curriculum requirements?

No, however, we do seek students who achieve at a high level. Most accepted students rank in the top 10% of their class. More importantly, students should show a sincere interest in science reflected by science courses taken and science extracurricular activities or prior research experience.

Do I need to submit all documents (newswire commentary, personal statement, resume/cv, and transcript) online?

Yes, all documents must be submitted online. While we allow students to upload unofficial transcripts as part of their application, we reserve the right to request official transcripts prior to the start of the program.

Can I submit my SSRP research findings/poster/research report to a science fair not affiliated with The Rockefeller University?

Rockefeller University and RockEDU do not permit the use of SSRP research findings for the purposes of participation in science fairs. Students who are looking to participate in competitions of this nature should not apply to SSRP. Any scientific work you complete is the property of The Rockefeller University and may not be used outside of official university dissemination mechanisms.


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Douglas Heigl
Program Administrator

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


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