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Summer Science Research Program

a home lab setup

Summer Science Research Program (SSRP) 2023

Applications for SSRP 2023 are now CLOSED.

Applications were due on Friday, January 6, 2023 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. Letters of recommendation were due on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 11:59pm Eastern Time.

Program at a Glance:

  • Mentored biomedical research program taking place on campus at The Rockefeller University
  • Monday, June 26 – Thursday, August 10, 2023
  • SSRP scholars will be on campus up to 35 hours per week during normal business hours
  • Students must be a current high school junior or senior (age 16+ at program start, no exceptions) and must commit to the entire program.

Program Overview:

The RockEDU team is excited to present a new model for the SSRP by leveraging what we learned from our remote mentored research experiences that took place throughout the pandemic. SSRP scholars will have the opportunity to design and conduct their own research project as part of a themed research track. Each research track is modeled after a Rockefeller research topic and/or technique, and includes a team of scientist mentors from the Rockefeller community. The majority of research will take place in the RockEDU Laboratory — a 3,000 square foot authentic research space exclusively dedicated to support biomedical research skills development. SSRP scholars will also visit various laboratories around campus, and participate in activities such as lab meetings, equipment training, and more!

Additional Details:

As participants in the SSRP, our scholars should expect to spend up to 35 hours per week (M-F), June 26 through August 10, 2023, engaging in the scientific process. We have designed our program to promote a deepened understanding of biomedical research, and how it intersects with our society. Like all RockEDU programming, the SSRP will uphold critical values around access, inclusion, equity, and justice. Components of the SSRP include:

Core Sessions:

Regularly scheduled throughout the week, all SSRP 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.

Research Tracks:

Groups of 8-12 SSRP scholars 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. Examples of past research tracks include:

  • RNA Virus Discovery and Bioinformatics
  • Coronavirus Immune Response
  • Silkworm Biomaterials
  • Evolutionary Behavior in Fruit Flies
  • Nanobody Binding Patterns
  • Mathematical and Neurological Basis of Smell Patterns
  • Cultivation of Wild Yeast
  • Modeling Microbes in Milk and Cheese
  • Ant Social Biology

Please note: 2023 SSRP research tracks are determined by our RockEDU Fellows cohort. Each RockEDU Fellow is a Rockefeller scientist who works with the RockEDU program in an official capacity to design their research track theme. More details will be provided in late spring, 2023.

Professional Development:

Being successful in the SSRP 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 support systems, based on specific student needs, to help students leverage their experiences for educational and professional advancement. While every student in the SSRP 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.

Application Process:

The SSRP application process involves 2 main steps:

Step 1: Interested students should complete an online application for the SSRP. All applications are reviewed by RockEDU team members.

Step 2: Selected SSRP applicants will be invited for an interview, to take place over Zoom throughout February and March. Students will receive application decisions by early April.

Eligibility and Expectations:

To be eligible for SSRP participation, students must be enrolled as a junior or senior in high school, and must be at least 16 years old at the start of the program.  All participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and be willing to wear a mask and practice social distancing as per university and CDC guidelines dictate. We cannot make exceptions.

In order to participate in the SSRP, students must commit to the entirety of the seven-week program — we can not accommodate attendance gaps. Please be aware: students are prohibited from using any aspect of work performed during the SSRP for science competition submissions.

Applications for SSRP 2023 are CLOSED

Applications are no longer being accepted. Applicants will receive a status update on their applications in the spring.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please refer to our updated SSRP 2023 FAQ page for more information about the program.

Contact Us

Douglas Heigl
Program Administrator

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