Campus & Community

Young scientists do summer research

2 min read

PRISE fellows lunch with President Faust

During this short hot summer, approximately 120 undergraduate scientists spent more time on the laboratory bench than at the local beach. These fledgling biologists, chemists, and engineers were participating fellows in the Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE), a project that came out of the 2005 report of the President’s Task Force on Science and Engineering headed by Barbara J. Grosz, interim dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

The summer residential community for undergraduate scientists creates a positive environment especially for young women and underrepresented minority students to examine their interests in a science concentration and career, while at the same time providing peer support and creating opportunities to engage meaningfully with senior scientists from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Toward the end of a season that included seminars and lectures with subjects ranging from shock physics and the missing link between fish and walking animals to public speaking and how to write grant proposals, several of the young fellows attended a celebratory luncheon with President Drew Faust at the Faculty Club, where they talked with more excitement than most people describing a summer vacation abroad.