Summer Science Research
Since 1989, the College has provided 35-plus students with 10-week summer research stipends to conduct independent research under the guidance of Bryn Mawr faculty members in the sciences and mathematics.
The program is for Bryn Mawr and Haverford students who are interested in doing discovery-based research in the laboratory or field with Bryn Mawr STEM faculty.
Workshops and Presentations
The summer program is enriched by professional development workshops and a poster session at which students present their research to the college community.
How do I get started with applying to the SSR program?
Bryn Mawr STEM department websites contain lists of faculty members, their emails, and links to their lab websites. Begin by visiting these sites to learn more about your potential mentors’ research. After that, reach out to the Bryn Mawr STEM faculty in the department(s) you wish to work (email is one easy way to do so) and schedule a 30-minute meeting to discuss the possibility of working in their lab in summer. During that meeting you will learn about the availability of projects you could get involved in; what you learn in this meeting will be excellent material for your Research Statement.
Some questions you could ask during the meeting are:
- In what field of [chemistry, biology…] are the current projects in your lab?
- Given my course work and interest in […] what projects can I work on in your lab?
- Do I need to have completed specific courses to work in your lab?
- What literature can I read to learn more background about the project?
- Is research in your lab conducted remotely or in person?
- How do I improve my chances of working in your lab as part of the SSR program? Do you prefer to take students who work with you during the academic year? If so, do you currently have openings?
- How likely am I to secure a spot in your lab? Do you recommend that I apply for the SSR program to work with you?
Some departments offer a talk in the beginning of the spring semester during which faculty members give a short presentation of their research and provide important information (such as how many students they need in summer). If your department of interest provides such a talk, attending it is very useful as it will help you learn about research opportunities and figure out which potential faculty mentors to contact. Information about these talks will be posted here when it becomes available.
- Biology faculty
- Chemistry faculty
- Computer science faculty
- Geology faculty
- Mathematics faculty
- Physics faculty
- Psychology faculty
Can I participate in the SSR program during the summer after my first year?
The answer to this question depends on the needs of specific faculty mentors – but it is definitely not a hard “no”. Some faculty mentors, due to the demands of their research, can only work with students who have taken some advanced classes. Faculty mentors should share any prerequisite requirements with you when you meet with them to learn about possible projects. That being said, over the past years several students have been successful in obtaining a SSR stipend for the summer after their first year. If you are a first-year student wishing to get research experience through the SSR program, you are encouraged to reach out to multiple faculty mentors rather than focus on a single “research area” to have better chances of finding an opportunity.
Can a student participate in the SSR program for multiple summers?
Absolutely! Many successful SSR students establish excellent professional relationships with their faculty mentors – as a result, the faculty mentors strongly desire to work with these students again during the next summer. Students must re-apply to the program each year.
I met with a potential faculty mentor and we discussed possible research projects. Does this mean I am guaranteed a spot in the SSR program?
Your potential faculty mentor will probably be quite excited as they describe their research to you during the meeting – after all, this is their bread and butter! However, each year multiple students apply to a limited number of spots in laboratories and accommodating everyone is not always possible.
Application Deadline: March 30, 2022 • 11:59 p.m.
Summer Research in the Sciences is supported by the Ann Lutes Johnson '58 M.D. Science Research Fund, the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and the Office of the Undergraduate Dean.