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Research Scholar Initiative

The Research Scholar Initiative is a post-baccalaureate program that helps scholars enhance their competitiveness and preparation for a doctoral program.

The Research Scholar Initiative (RSI) strongly encourages applications from students from groups underrepresented in the academy.

Through the RSI, individuals interested in pursuing a PhD can participate in mentored research and training opportunities in one of three programs: 

Applications for the 2024-2025 cycle will open December 1, 2023. Please fill out this interest form and we will send you an application once it opens on December 1.

RSI Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the purpose of the Research Scholar Initiative?  

The Research Scholar Initiative helps scholars build skills, gain experience, and/or undertake coursework to enhance their competitiveness and preparation for a doctoral program. 

Am I eligible to apply for the program?  

In order to apply for the program, you must have completed your bachelor's degree by the start date of the program (July) and be a US citizen or permanent resident. Currently, we are able to accept scholars interested in life sciences or classics. In some years, we have accepted scholars in other disciplines such as psychology, but these slots are not guaranteed each year. Please reach out to if you have questions.  

Are international students eligible to apply to the program?  

Unfortunately, no. Due to funding restrictions, we are only able to accept US citizens and permanent residents.  

I am interested in pursuing an MD/PhD. Would this program be a good fit for me?  

The life science track of RSI is designed for students interested in pursuing a PhD and therefore does not provide support for MD applicants.  

Is there a minimum GPA required to apply for the program?  

No, there is no minimum GPA requirement. 

When will the application be available?  

The application will be available on December 1.  

How do I apply?  

Please fill out this interest form and we will send you an application once it opens on December 1. Alternatively, you may also request an application by emailing, but due to the sheer volume of emails we receive, the interest form is the best way to access the application. Once the application opens, we will also include the link on this website so you may access it directly. 

When are admissions decisions made?  

Admissions decisions are made in March or April. 

When does the program begin?  

The program begins in July. This provides time to settle in, to consult with the program director(s) to determine your individualized plan for the academic year, to take part in summer "boot camps" that build technical skills, and to begin your work as a research assistant. 

Classics research scholars who opt into the Classics Scholars-in-Training Summer Program start in June.  

How many scholars are admitted to the program each year?  

We typically admit five or six life science scholars, three or four economics scholars (when applicable), and one classics scholar each year.  

Will I receive funding if I am admitted into the program?  

Most of our scholars are awarded a monthly stipend, health insurance, and a one-time relocation fee. If you take courses, tuition for one to two classes per term is also covered. 

How long will I be in the program?  

Each scholar spends one to two years in the program. This is determined in consultation with the program director(s) and your faculty mentor.  

How will my time be spent in the program?  

The program is meant to build skills that will enhance your competitiveness in applying to top PhD programs in your field. Scholars will be paired with a faculty mentor and work as a research assistant, and some will also enroll in courses.  

In addition to working as a research assistant and potentially enrolling in courses, life science scholars meet as a group once a week for paper reading sessions, meet-the-professor events, and other skill-building workshops. Economics scholars typically join one of the many weekly workshops put on by the Department of Economics. Classics scholars can join workshops and lectures run by the department. Classics students enroll in four courses per semester, typically a combination of language work and research. It is expected that one of the courses will be a reading and research class leading to the preparation of a research paper that can be submitted as a writing sample at the time of graduate applications. 

There will also be social activities to periodically bring the group together. 

Other questions?  

Please email

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