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SSRP Frequently Asked Questions

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 22, 2020). 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 2020?

All applications must be submitted through our online application system (OAS). A link to the OAS will be posted when applications open on Monday, September 16, 2019.

When will applications open for SSRP 2020?

Applications will open on Monday, September 16, 2019 and will remain open until midnight on Monday, December 2, 2019.

Is it possible to apply after midnight on Monday, December 2, 2019?

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?

While MetroCards are provided to students to cover their travel to and from the university during the duration of the program, we are unable to offer financial support or assistance for other travel expenses (i.e. airlines, cars, commuter rail).

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 9, 2020).

How many students participate in the SSRP each summer?

The number of SSRP students is entirely dependent on the number of volunteer mentors available each summer. In general, the cohort ranges between 40-50 students, including students returning from the prior summer.

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 lab of their choosing?

An effort is made to accommodate the research interests of the student, however, many laboratories at Rockefeller are unable to host students due to the nature of their research (i.e. labs focusing on infectious diseases or those conducting studies with human patients are not amenable to high school research). Also, placement depends upon the availability of volunteer mentors. All placements must be made through RockEDU. Students should not attempt to arrange for research experiences 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 2020 are Monday, June 22- Thursday, August 6. Students accepted into the program must commit to attending on a full-time basis (generally 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday) for the duration of the seven-week program.

What is the time commitment?

Students are expected to attend all sessions from 9am-5pm, Monday- Friday, starting June 22 and ending August 6, 2020. There are 3 hours of classes and lectures every week. The remainder of the time will be spent in the lab for a total of 40 hours a week for 7 weeks.

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.

Is there any time for individual, outside research?

No, the available research projects are based on work currently being performed at Rockefeller. Furthermore, the SSRP is an intensive summer experience — it involves full-time laboratory work, lectures, workshops, and preparation for a poster presentation, which will require the students’ full dedication.

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 RockEDU is unable to provide housing. It is the responsibility of the student to secure housing before the program begins.

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

Acceptance to the SSRP is contingent upon being successfully matched to a scientist-mentor. Because we strive to ensure that each SSRP student is matched to the ideal mentor, this process can take some time. Students will be advised of their Phase 1 status by early January and their Phase 2 status by early March. Students who advance to the final phase may not receive official acceptance to the program until late June. While it is a rare occurrence, students who do not successfully match with a scientist-mentor will not be admitted to the SSRP.

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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