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Program Overview

PRISE is a 10-week summer residential community of undergraduates participating in research affiliated with Harvard Faculty, drawn from the entire Harvard undergraduate population. The Program seeks to create a diverse group of Fellows including but not limited to women and underrepresented minorities who are inspired by and are committed to pursuing excellence in scientific research.

Summer 2014 will be the ninth year for this prestigious program, which has been designed to stimulate community and creativity among a cohort of motivated Harvard undergraduates.

The Program tentatively will run from June 4-August 14, 2014, and offers PRISE Fellows free lodging and a partial board plan. While there typically is no stipend or research funding associated with the Program (individuals with little or no funding will receive a modest living allowance), participants who are financial aid recipients will be eligible to receive awards that compensate for their summer saving obligation.

PRISE participation is open to any continuing undergraduate student who is in good standing and affiliated with a Harvard Faculty sponsored laboratory, regardless of whether or not they are funded for their summer research by the lab or a research-sponsoring program (such as Herchel Smith, Stem Cell Institute, etc.). Students who are in laboratories for the summer to gain research experience with Harvard Faculty but are not being paid are eligible to apply.

PRISE Fellows are expected to fully participate and contribute to the community of scholars in evening enrichment activities not associated with individual lab research throughout the term of the Program. While many activities are voluntary, other PRISE activities, especially those associated with Harvard faculty are mandatory for all fellows. Individuals who are taking summer school courses, who are preparing to take the summer MCAT, or who are engaged in full-time public service projects are not eligible to participate in PRISE.

PRISE consists of the following components:

Residential life

PRISE Fellows will live together in one of the River Houses (to be determined).  PRISE will have on hand its own staff, including the director, resident dean, proctors and program assistants during the ten weeks of the Program.


Essential dining services will be available to PRISE Fellows. Full evening meal service will be available in Dudley House, sometimes in conjunction with evening activities. Breakfast or mid-day meal service will be provided through a debit card usable at any HUDS facility in Cambridge or Longwood.

Special Campus-wide Events and PRISE Evening Programs

A special PRISE evening program series featuring prominent scientists in the Harvard community and the Boston area will be open to all Harvard undergraduates.

Seminars for PRISE Fellows will include a number of topics specifically designed to augment and enrich their knowledge about scientific research and careers in sciences. Topics such as research ethics, poster presentations, and postgraduate career opportunities will be offered throughout the Program.

In addition, Fellows will have the opportunity to practice speaking about their research, in both small and large groups throughout the summer.

Recreational and Social Programs

PRISE Fellows are eligible to register for free use of Harvard athletic facilities, including the Malkin Athletic Center, Hemenway Gymnasium, and Blodgett Pool.

A calendar of activities will include a range of opportunities to socialize and take advantage of Boston's cultural and recreational summer offerings with your PRISE colleagues, including a variety of excursions, Red Sox games, and PRISE Fellow-initiated community events..