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Research Scholar Initiative

The GSAS Research Scholar Initiative is a non-degree granting post-baccalaureate program that provides mentored research and training for individuals interested in pursuing doctoral studies.

Research scholars work with a Harvard faculty member as a research assistant and participate in professional development seminars. Research scholars are considered full-time, non-degree-seeking students and register each term as special students. In addition, scholars may take undergraduate and/or graduate coursework in preparation for doctoral studies. While GSAS cannot guarantee admission to Harvard or peer doctoral programs, the goal of the initiative is to enhance scholars’ competitiveness when applying to a doctoral program. We mainly accept students from disciplines in the life sciences (including neuroscience and engineering), classics, and in some years, economics. We may accept applicants from other disciplines on a case-by-case basis, but these slots are not always guaranteed. 

Admissions decisions are made in March and April, and the program begins in July. Only US citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply. 

Update, March 1, 2023: The RSI application is now closed and we are no longer accepting applications for the 2023–2024 application cycle. Thank you for your interest.

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Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?

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