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Undergraduate Summer Research Programs Unveiled

2.7.11

Starting this summer, the College will offer two new research programs for undergraduates. Modeled in part on the popular Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE), the programs will match students with faculty mentors, and will include housing and evening programming to create a sense of community and help participants explore related issues such as research ethics.

"This is very much a part of the larger commitment ont he part of the College to make research opportunities available to as many students as possible," Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris told the Crimson. "Part of what it means to get a solid college education is not just being able to consume knowledge but to be a part of producing it."

The Behavioral Laboratory in the Social Sciences (BLISS) will match students with professors from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Harvard Kennedy School, the Graduate School of Education, and the Medical School, to study everything from face recognition to migration flows of Chinese-born U.S. residents. (See the list of projects and participating faculty members.)

The Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO) will match students with Harvard Business School professors for projects "on topics ranging from business strategy to social media, and from innovation management to private equity." (See the list of projects and participating faculty members.)

Both programs are 10 weeks long and seek to attract groups including, but not limited to, women and minorities underrepresented in their respective disciplines. The programs "are characterized by their diversity, broadly defined," Gregory Llacer, director of the Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives, wrote in an e-mail announcement—"including gender, ethnicity, class year, concentration, and levels of academic experience."

In this first year, the new programs will remain small, admitting a total of 35 students. Information sessions on BLISS will be held February 8 and 16; on PRIMO, February 8 and 16. Applications for both are due February 28.

PRISE, offered for the first time in the summer of 2006, admits about 120 students a year.  Applications for that program are due February 22.

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