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High School Application

The Rockefeller University’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP) is designed to offer intellectually curious, highly motivated high school students with a strong aptitude in the life or physical sciences a total-immersion experience in laboratory research. Students are matched to a lab according to their stated field of interest and are individually mentored by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or lab heads. These mentors volunteer to design and supervise individualized summer projects for their students. In 2019, the seven-week program will run from June 24 through August 8. Students must be 16 years old by the start date of the program in order to participate.

Stipends may be awarded to students experiencing financial hardship and who meet all the attendance and research requirements of the SSRP. Students outside the Tri-State area may apply, however the SSRP is unable to provide housing, so it is the responsibility of the student to secure housing before the program begins.

Application Components

  1. The completed online application form.
  2. Essay Questions: Choose one of the following:
    • Assume that you have unlimited resources and scientific expertise to create a new scientific technology, or markedly improve an existing technology. What would it be and how would you apply this technology to benefit humanity?
    • At the root of science fiction stories and characters is a scientific idea that has been stretched beyond what is humanly possible. Assume the constraints of reality have been removed, and you can use science to give yourself a superpower. What would this superpower be, and why would you want it?
  3. A commentary of 750 (or fewer) words on a Newswire articles linked from The Rockefeller University’s Home Page ( Please address the following questions:
    • How would you explain this work to a 5th grade student? Keep in mind that the language being used should be accessible.
    • What interests you about the research discussed in this article?
    • What would you do next if you were the researcher?
    • What are the broader implications of this research?
  4. School transcript (unofficial/student copy) to be scanned and uploaded online.
  5. A current curriculum vitae or resume to be uploaded online.
  6. Two letters of recommendations, which must be from a math and/or science teacher.  A third optional letter of recommendation (from an advisor, mentor, or community leader), which will be completed online by the recommenders.
Applications must be submitted no later than December 3, 2018.

Students can expect to hear about their application status between March and June, 2019.
Applicants must provide a valid e-mail address, as this is how all information will be disseminated.

Students should state a preference for working in particular areas of research (please see section 3 of the application). However, we cannot guarantee that specific preferences will be met. Students are placed through RockEDU Science Outreach, it is not the responsibility of the student to find placement.  For a listing of research areas, we encourage you to visit the Research Areas section of the Rockefeller University Website:

For help completing the application, please read our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions concerning the Summer Science Research Program should be directed to:

RockEDU Science Outreach
(212) 327-7930
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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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