Inaugural Du Bois Scholars Program accepting applications from HBCU students

D Lahoud/

3 min read

The Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery (H&LS) initiative, in partnership with Harvard College, has launched the Du Bois Scholars Program, an intensive, 9-week summer research internship at Harvard College for scholars from research-intensive Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program is named after renowned scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, who was not only Harvard’s first Black Ph.D. recipient but also an alumnus of Fisk University. The application process for the inaugural cohort is open through March 11.

“HBCUs have always played a crucial role in educating exceptional researchers,” said Roeshana Moore-Evans, executive director of the H&LS initiative. “Through the Du Bois Scholars Program, we aim to contribute to those efforts by providing HBCU undergraduates with exposure to cutting-edge research and methodologies at Harvard while also facilitating opportunities for Harvard undergraduates to work with and learn from their HBCU peers.” Guided by the recommendations and findings of the Report of the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery, H&LS’s mission is to address systemic inequities by developing and advancing visible, lasting, and effective action grounded in Harvard’s educational mission. Through the Du Bois Scholars Program, H&LS will leverage the University’s educational and research resources to strengthen ties with HBCUs and provide learning and networking opportunities for participants.

During the application process, prospective scholars select a project and faculty mentor they would like to work with over the summer. While on campus, up to 20 scholars will receive dedicated hands-on mentorship, be integrated into a rigorous research and learning environment, and participate in networking events. Working alongside students from other participating institutions and Harvard, scholars will have the opportunity to establish a foundation for a life-long network of academic colleagues. Scholars will live in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village along with participants of other Harvard summer undergraduate programs and will present their research achievements to fellow scholars, faculty mentors, and other Research Village residents during the last week of the program. Shahara C. Jackson, who is leading HBCU Strategic Initiatives as part of the H&LS initiative, has played a major role in launching this program and will be a dedicated resource to the scholars and HBCU partners.

Applicants must be rising juniors and seniors in good academic standing who are enrolled in one of the 18 partner R2 and research-intensive HBCUs. All scholars will receive a $5,000 stipend for living expenses, and the program will cover room and board, as well as one round-trip ticket.

“Establishing the Du Bois Scholars Program is an exciting step forward in strengthening Harvard’s partnerships with HBCUs,” said Sara Bleich, vice provost for special projects, who leads the overall work related to the implementation of the recommendations from the Presidential Committee. “This program pays tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois’ intellectual contributions by fostering the next generation of path-breaking researchers. We are thrilled to welcome our first cohort this summer and look forward to seeing all they accomplish.”