Tufts Summer Research Experience
** Due to overwhelming demand for Summer 2021, this program has reached its capacity and we are not able to accept additional applicants. We welcome you to check out our exciting lineup of available programs for this summer!**
Welcome to Tufts Summer Research Experience - Virtual! Thanks to the wonders of digital platforms, we are able to bring the exciting and rigorous academic experience of TSRE safely to you in your home.
We welcome high school juniors and seniors with prior research experience to join us for a virtual (web-based) summer research experience at Tufts under active mentorship by Tufts' world-class researchers and their teams. Students will learn about laboratory techniques, research methods, and data collection and analysis skills. Students will gain proficiency in authentic scientific practice as they work with faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students on real life, cutting edge research projects. While the particular techniques and research areas will depend on the individual host team, all students will be directly involved in the day-to-day research work. They will learn about research ethics and how to evaluate information objectively. Live sessions will be complemented with asynchronous work, both individually and in groups. Guest lectures, team learning, and a virtual lab time will be capped with a virtual poster session to round out the experience.
Each student selected to participate in this competitive program will be paired with a Principal Investigator who directs one of Tufts' many outstanding research laboratories. The majority of time in the program will be virtual mentored research through a Tufts laboratory. Students will be fully integrated into the research team, which may include post-doctoral scholars and graduate / undergraduate students, along with including team meetings and research presentations, an incredible opportunity to interact with world-class researchers. Students will Zoom in to all mentoring sessions and online meetings. They will also perform research activities on their own and in groups.
While most participating labs are located on the Medford/Somerville campus, others are on our Boston Health Sciences campus (Medical, Dental, and Nutrition) and our Grafton Campus (Veterinary). This summer, all research activities are conducted remotely and all student research experiences will be integrated with this web-based approach. All of Tufts University, including its world-class research labs, is learning how to adapt to this new online environment in order to demonstrate our commitment to public health and the specific well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Although we know the virtual lab will not be the same as being a part of a physical lab, we believe the virtual setting offers new and exciting opportunities to augment both research and student experiences.
Join us for your summer studies and share the Tufts experience!
Need more information? Explore our content below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
^This video is a general representation of the general educational experience this program provides, but should not be taken as indicating specific activities that will occur in Summer 2021, as it was created for Summer 2019.
- Work with and learn from world-class faculty and researchers
- Gain experience in evaluating real data sets as a part of conducting lab research
- Investigate a question related to the lab’s research and develop a poster to present at a virtual poster session
- Participate in journal clubs, guest lectures, and networking events
- Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world
- Improved ability to interpret, use and analyze real experimental data
- Increased understanding of and comfort working with a rigorous laboratory and research team
- Research poster and lab notes for future applications
- Refined verbal and written communication skills from participating in a poster session and in-depth conversations with other researchers
- Enhanced understanding of college-level research
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver this summer, but due to the ever-evolving situation, is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.
Meet Your Program Staff
Program Staff information for Summer 2021 is coming soon!
Our program begins with a virtual orientation and welcome event on Monday, July 5. During this required orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Staff will be on-hand to address any issues. The required orientation will continue on Monday with a series of virtual lab safety training sessions in advance of students' first lab session. Additional training will be provided throughout the program.
The morning block of time in the program (9:00am-3:00pm ET each day) will be virtual mentored research with the student’s home laboratory. During this time, students will be introduced to and participate in research happening in the lab and will be fully integrated into the research team with activities including team meetings and presentations - an incredible opportunity to interact with world-class researchers. Mentors will guide students in understanding the ongoing scientific inquiry and will work with the students on interpreting journal articles related to that research. Throughout the program, students will work virtually with their mentors and PIs to build their research skills and interpret and extrapolate on real experimental data. Where possible, each student will be able to complete a research project they design with their mentor. All of this learning will culminate in the student producing a poster about their lab’s research to be presented at the program’s virtual poster session at the end of each term.
In the afternoons, students will participate in a variety of activities to supplement and prepare them for their mentored research:
- Journal Clubs: begin to distill critical information from previously published scientific research through weekly meetings led by a program Classroom Assistant (CA). Journal clubs are designed to prepare students to interpret data and published scientific research, including being able to answer the following types of questions:
- Problem - what is the problem? why is this needed?
- Significance - why do we/public care?
- Approach - what technique(s) did they use?
- Results - what were their major conclusions?
- Analysis - what did you think about the results, techniques etc.? do you find them reliable?
- Figure Interpretation - what was the best figure that helped you come to this conclusion?
- Library Seminars: learn the practical skills necessary for conducting database research, illustrating data, poster design tips and tricks … and more! Students may also use this time to conduct database research on their own and begin working on their research posters.
- Guest Presentations: hear from Tufts faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and senior members of Tufts' administration about their research, career path, experience in the field of research and their current research. Plenty of time will be allowed for Q&A.
- Networking Sessions: students will have the opportunity to informally discuss their ongoing research with their peers and program CAs.
Closing Event: Poster Session
One of the highlights of our program is the opportunity for each student to develop a poster on a research question being investigated in their lab. The student's mentor will help them develop this poster, a critical skill for any researcher. At the end of the summer, all of our students will display their posters at a Virtual Poster Session with the opportunity to explain their research and answer the questions of their peers, researchers, and scientists from across the University. The virtual poster session will take place on August 13, 2021 at 3:00PM ET. Friends and family are welcome to view all posters and participate in the digital discussion! All posters will be available for virtual viewing along with a recorded (or written) presentation from the student. A digital discussion board will be available so viewers can comment on student's posters and ask questions and, for students who can attend live, a Zoom discussion forum will be available for guests to ask questions live!
Please note: the below is a sample schedule based on information at this time, considering an individual student attending the program scheduling independent work / recorded sessions in particular time slots. The schedule is subject to change as we continue to evolve the program and speaker list to be as meaningful as possible for our students and will look different for students choosing to attend live or independent work / recorded sessions differently. All times are in EASTERN TIME (please see "Attending from Outside the Eastern Time Zone" section below for concerns regarding those not in ET). Because this is a virtual program, meals will not be provided for students even if a meal is stated on the schedule - this is for demonstration only. Activities may occur during meal times.
If you live on the West Coast or internationally, you may be wondering how you will be able to participate in a program that has both in-person and virtual options. Please know that Tufts sees a diversity of geographical perspectives as not just beneficial but essential to a twenty-first century education. We have been working hard with our staff to ensure all students who are offered a spot in our programs will be able to attend - whether in live, streamed, or recorded sessions. We will be updating this section with program-specific accommodations as we seek improved ways to suit our students' needs and have a better sense of the geographic distribution of our students.
Besides this and the technology requirements listed under "Technical Needs & Support" below, no materials will be necessary for participation in this program. We will, however, be mailing you some fun Tufts Pre-College Programs swag and your Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
Tufts Pre-College Programs staff is developing a series of virtual social activities throughout the program so that students can meet each other across programs and so that students from all time zones can participate. Some examples of potential activities include:
- Morning Meetups: start (or end) your day by catching-up with your classmates and classroom assistants about current events, last night's late night show, recent lectures or events over breakfast!
- Lunch & Learns: join your peers from around the world to discuss an interesting topic in a staff-led discussion. Can't attend live? No problem, we'll post recordings so you can view them later!
- Trivia Night: Unwind with your classmates and some friendly competition.
- Wellness Courses: To get you moving and feeling your best, attend at-home guided meditation, yoga, or other workout classes.
- Game Club: Create teams and play games like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, Chess, and more. Teams will make moves when on their own time and games will play out over the course of the program or summer.
And more! Look out for a social events calendar that may include a virtual talent show, dance party, cooking classes, photo challenges, scavenger hunts, 'quarenTHEME' spirit days, museum tours, and more!
Most programs will offer independent study time for students in a shared (and monitored) virtual "Common Rooms" "Studio Spaces" or "Study Rooms" that will allow students to work in the company of their peers, sharing questions and chatting.
Many programs are also planning their own program-specific activities, often thematically relevant to the program content itself. Look out for these activities in the program description above and in the information provided after you enroll!
Tufts Virtual Campus
We endeavor to make each moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Tufts Virtual Campus brings new meaning to this as we strive to recreate the critical learning and social environment students expect from Tufts University through digital tools. Tufts Virtual campus exists on a series of software platforms to which students will have full access during their program. In particular, the following two platforms will be used for the majority of our activities:
- Zoom: allows students to connect for lectures, webinars, breakout sessions, one-on-one mentoring, phone calls, chat sessions ... and more!
- Canvas: provides a collaborative space for course content, assignments, and grading. Many programs will host course material (syllabus, readings, review questions, etc.) on a Canvas course site.
Tufts Virtual Campus programs are being designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive experiences to our students. We are carefully designing them to have the same academic rigor and expectations for teaching, studying, and achievement as their on-campus counterparts. The benefits of learning in a virtual environment include giving students greater freedom to interact with course content (lectures, presentations, discussions, forums, etc.) on a schedule that works for them, using a wider network of resources to achieve educational goals.
Tufts University is not only a leading institution of higher education and academic research, but it is leading the nation in terms of higher education's response to our public health crisis.
To ensure the safety of our Pre-College students, we are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, and following local, state, and federal guidance as it pertains to our Pre-College programming.
After careful consideration we, at Tufts University, have decided that Summer 2021 Pre-College Programs, with the exception of Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers*, will be conducted online through our virtual campus.
*Courses at Tufts for High Schoolers: As of today, planned in-person courses will still be held on campus during Summer 2021. Virtual options are also available. Updated information regarding course modalities will be posted here as it becomes available.
For more information about Tufts' response and action planning regarding COVID-19: Please visit Tufts University's COVID-19 homepage.
Students are required to attend all elements of the program schedule and any expected absences must be communicated to program staff in advance. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously, even in the virtual environment. Students who enroll will receive more information about our virtual safety protocols.
Tufts makes reasonable efforts to secure background checks and to provide Title IX training to every staff person responsible for students in its Pre-College Programs.
Students will need access to the following in order to participate in this program:
- Computer: either a Mac or PC with the following
- Mac - running at least OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- PC - running Windows 7/8/10. Users on Windows 10 will have to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
- Smart Phone: any phone capable of accessing social media platforms like Instagram
- Internet Access: A reliable, high-speed (cable or broadband) internet connection is required. Students are expected to log into Zoom and Canvas and to check email daily, and will need regular and reliable access to the internet.
- If you do not have reliable access to internet, programs may have internet hotspots available for students with demonstrated financial need. While this cannot be guaranteed, and supplies may be limited, please check with your program for availability.
- Web Camera: either integrated into your computer or external, set-up and working
- Web Browser: one of the following browsers updated for the latest updates:
- Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Safari.
- Software*: programs capable of
*software may vary by program
We will provide you will access to other software that is required for your program for the duration of your program. As long as you have technology that meets the above requirements, you should have no trouble accessing the software. Depending on the program, this software may include Zoom and Canvas.
Trial Run: Getting Connected
Most programs will send software in advance with instructions to complete a trial-run before the program begins. We will also use orientation time to ensure everyone is connected and comfortable!
Accessing Tufts Email
Critical university emails will go to your Tufts email address. You can access your Tufts email through a web‐based email reader used to manage your Tufts email. It includes calendar and contact management tools as well. You must read Tufts University email, since this is the primary way that the university will send you information about registration and payment. Access Tufts Exchange via this link. You can also set up your Tufts email to forward to your personal email account using these instructions.
First, please try contacting the Pre-College staff at 617-627-2926.
If they cannot answer your question, they will pass you along to our technical support team who is available 24x7 to students who are actively enrolled in a program.
Application & Policies
Tufts Research Experience is a highly competitive program that fills up quickly. We highly recommend applying as early as possible. Update 4/28/21: Due to overwhelming demand for Summer 2021, the Tufts Summer Research Experience has reached its capacity and we are not able to accept additional applicants.
|Program||Application Opens||Deadline: All Materials*||Deadline: Deposit^||Deadline: Payment||Deadline: Enrollment Forms|
10 days after acceptance
10 days after acceptance
10 days after acceptance
*Applications submitted after the payment deadline will require payment in full on admission to hold their seat.
* Admission is granted on a rolling basis and a wait list for seats may begin before Deadline for All Materials. We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible if you are interested in this program. ^ Includes weekends and holidays.
- Current high school grades 11-12 *or* a Spring 2021 high school graduate
- Must be age 16 by the first day of the program
Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs, although please note we cannot sponsor visas for this program during the academic year.
Non-Native English Speakers
If you indicate that English is not your primary language, you will be asked to submit evidence of English Language proficiency. Please see our "How to Apply" page for details.
Step 1: Complete an Online Application (now open for Spring 2021 and Summer 2021)
The online application will ask you for the following information:
- Basic personal information, including parents/guardians and emergency contact (if you are under 18, we will contact a parent for permission to enroll)
- Program preferences (e.g., whether you would like to be a residential or commuter student)
- Up to 3 lab preferences, indicating your order of preference
- Please note that students indicating only 1 lab are not typically considered for additional labs if their first choice is unavailable
- For each lab preference, you will need to submit one 250-word statement describing your interest in that specific lab
- One 250-word Personal Statement describing your research experience and your interest in research
- Contact information for 1 individual to submit a Letter of Recommendation - this individual can be a teacher, counselor, or mentor. We will contact this individual on your behalf
- Test scores - optional, unless you must submit scores as evidence of English proficiency
- Warrants and signatures
If you need to log back into this application after starting, click here: return to my application.
Step 2: Upload Your High School Transcript
During your application process, you will be asked to provide us with contact information for an official from your high school. They will receive an email with further instructions to upload your transcript.
Step 3: Parental Consent and Letter of Recommendation
As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide contact information for both a parent/guardian and a recommender. Once you submit your application, our systems will automatically email the parent/guardian and recommender you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online permission or recommendation form.
Please note your application will not be considered submitted and review of your application will not begin until the materials from Step 2 and Step 3 have been received by Tufts Pre-College Programs.
Pre-College Admissions Decision
Once an applicant has submitted an application and all required admissions documents are received, the applicant will be considered for admission by the Tufts Pre-College Programs review committee for the specific program(s) to which they applied.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis and students will typically receive an official email informing them of their admissions status within 10 days (including weekends and holidays) of Tufts receiving all required materials.
If you do not receive your email within two weeks of all materials being submitted, please contact us at email@example.com or 617-627-2926.
Disclaimer: This program is not related to Tufts University Undergraduate Admissions. Participation in this program does not result in admission to a Tufts University degree program. Tufts reserves the right to admit as requested, to deny admission, or to offer provisional admission. The program will not provide feedback to applicants if admission is denied.
Admitted students must do the following prior to the start of the program:
- Submit a deposit to hold your seat; this program requires a deposit within 10 days (including weekends and holidays) of the date on which the admissions decision was posted
- Pay your balance in full prior to the stated deadline
- Complete all enrollment forms and/or follow-up requests prior to the stated deadline
Should the above not be completed prior to the stated deadlines, the student will be automatically withdrawn from the program.
Program Fees - Summer 2021
Virtual Program Fee: $7,500
- Includes: all program activities, PI mentorship, opening/closing events, poster session, lab notebook, included daily activities
- Excludes: anything not explicitly stated above.
Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550, applied to the Program Fee
- A pre-payment on program fees is required to reserve space in the program within 10 business days of admission to the program
- This deposit will be applied toward program fees and is not an additional fee
- The balance of payment for program fees is due upon notification of charges, and no later than May 15
- This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program
Other Key Financial Policies
Availability of Awards
Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to aiding students from all backgrounds. Although we have only limited financial aid available, we do our best to distribute the funds to students for whom it can make the greatest difference in their ability to attend.
Financial Aid awards are made on a rolling basis to students with demonstrated need. We aim to provide enough aid to eligible students that they are able to successfully enroll and participate in the program. Seasonal aid awards are as follows:
- Fall: we currently do not offer aid for the Fall term
- Spring: we currently do not offer aid for the Spring term
- Summer: we will typically distribute awards monthly beginning in February and will continue until the enrollment deadline or until aid is fully distributed
- International students are not eligible for financial aid at this time. Families should expect to contribute to the remaining portion of the program cost as well as other expenses like travel, books, etc.
- We currently do not offer aid for students participating in our Leadership for Social Change Intensive
- Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
- During the application process, you will be asked to indicate whether you are interested in being considered for financial aid.
- After submission, you will have the option of completing a financial aid application in your student portal
- We will review your financial aid application. Your financial aid application will be considered for the next monthly aid award(s).
- If you receive an award,
- You will be notified by email of the amount of the award
- You will have 10 days (including weekends and holidays) to accept the award by completing your Financial Aid Award Form and submitting your deposit
- Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received
- Please note: Your enrollment in the program is still contingent on payment of any remaining balance after the award is applied to your account, and on receiving your enrollment forms
- If you do not receive an award you will be notified via email
Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies.