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Program Overview

We welcome high school juniors and seniors with prior research experience to join us for six weeks at Tufts under active mentorship to learn hands-on laboratory techniques and/or data and processing skills. Students will work in Tufts research laboratories, actively participating in the rigorous and ethical research currently being explored at Tufts. Students will gain proficiency of authentic research practices as they work side-by-side with the faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students at Tufts University. Lab time will be supplemented with journal clubs, a poster session, and the opportunity to experience life on the Tufts University campus.

Students will reside on campus in dormitories and share meals in campus dining halls throughout the six-week program. Although the particular techniques will depend on the research team that hosts each individual intern, all students will actively contribute to ongoing research projects; and learn about research ethics and how to evaluate information objectively.

Just five miles northwest of Boston, Tufts University’s Medford / Somerville tranquil campus sits on a hill overlooking the city. Tufts’ location offers a relaxed and safe campus environment with easy access to Boston.

Join us for your summer studies and share the Tufts experience!

Program Highlights:

  • Top-ranked university just minutes from Boston
  • Work side-by-side with world class faculty and researchers
  • Use interdisciplinary strategies involving emerging technologies, computational thinking, and previously published work to investigate a question
  • Receive direct exposure to emerging technologies in a genuine research-based activity
  • Gain first-hand experience in evaluating real experimental data
  • Employ critical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills to investigate an question related to their lab’s research
  • Participate in journal clubs, and develop a poster and present it at a poster session
  • Make lifelong friends with students from all over the world

Program Outcomes:

  • Skills and foundational knowledge critical for success in lab and data-based research
  • Improved ability to interpret, use and analyze real experimental data and research from scientific journals
  • Increased comfort working in a rigorous laboratory setting and team
  • Ability to differentiate the roles that individuals fulfill on an effective research team
  • Research poster and lab notes for future applications
  • Refined verbal and written communication skills from participating in a real poster session and in-depth conversations with other researchers
  • Enhanced understanding of college life

Not for you? Check out one of our other programs.

    Program Detail

    Each student selected to participate in this competitive program will be paired with a Principal Investigator and mentor in one of Tuft’s many outstanding research laboratories. The majority of time in the program (9:00am-3:00pm each day, with a lunch break) will be mentored research in the student’s laboratory. Students will be fully integrated into the research team including team meetings and presentations, an incredible opportunity to interact with world-class researchers.

    During the program, students will be introduced to the research happening in the lab. 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 with their mentors and PIs to build their research skills, perform controlled experiments, and interpret and extrapolate real experimental data. Where possible, each student will be able to complete an open-ended 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 poster session.

    In the afternoons, students will participate in a variety of activities to supplement and prepare them for their mentored research:

    Journal Clubs: Distill critical information from previously published scientific research. Weekly meetings led by a program TA designed to prepare students to interpret data and published scientific research, including:

    • 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 / Computer Lab and 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 and post-doctoral scholars about their research, career path, experience in the field of research and their current research. Plenty of time will be allowed for Q&A.

    Network Sessions: students will have the opportunity to informally discuss their ongoing research with their peers and program TAs.

    The program will conclude with a poster session and a closing dinner for all students!

    Sample Weekly Schedule

    Times Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    7:00am - 8:45am Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
    9:00am - 11:30am Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research  
    11:30am - 11:45am Break Break Break Break Break  
    11:45am - 1:00pm Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research  
    1:00pm - 1:45pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
    2:00pm - 3:00pm Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research Mentored Research  
    3:00pm - 3:45pm Break Break Break Break Break  
    3:45pm - 5:00pm Journal Club Library / Computing Lab (optional Seminar) Library / Computing Lab Guest Presentations (students select) Network Session (all students)  
    5:00pm - 6:00pm Free Time Free Time Free Time Free Time Network Session (all students)  
    6:00pm - 7:00pm Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
    7:00pm Background Reading Background Reading Background Reading Background Reading Free Time  

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      Residential Students

      Check-in & Orientation  |  Residential Life  |  Residential Staff  |  Dining  |  Activities & Trips  |  Supervision  | Campus Security

      Check-in & Orientation

      Check-in will begin at Harleston Hall at 9am on Sunday, June 30th. Students are welcome to arrive on campus and check in anytime between 9am and 5pm. During check in, room assignments will be distributed and students will have the opportunity to meet their RAs and roommates and unpack.

      Students arriving internationally or from the West Coast may have the option to arrive on Saturday if there is no possibility of arriving on Sunday. For students arriving from out of town, there is a shuttle service from the airport and train/bus station for students arriving from out of state. We provide a lot of details about Travel after you have been admitted to the program.

      All students are required to attend Orientation, which will begin at 5pm on June 30th. During Orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Students will also have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues.

      Residential Life

      Residential Students will get the full Tufts University experience by spending their 6 weeks living in on-campus in one of Tufts Undergraduate dorms: Harleston Hall! Tufts partners with Summerfuel, a well-known provider of High School summer programming, to provide top quality residential and social experiences for its students. Rooms are air-conditioned, 24/7 security and hospitality is available, and accessible rooms are available upon request.

      Bedrooms will be doubles on a common hall. Halls are divided by gender and age and students are grouped into smaller communities known as Resident Advisor groups. Roommates and RA groups are determined based on the pre-program housing questionnaire and taking into account age and geographic diversity. Full bedding and towels will be provided and will be replaced weekly. Wi-Fi is available throughout campus.

      Resident Advisors (RA) will live on each hall and will work to create a strong, supportive residential community. A Resident Advisor’s role is to support students in every aspect of their summer experience while serving as a mentor and active leader. Summerfuel Senior Staff also live in residence and are available to help address student concerns and emergencies, day or night.

      Residential Staff

      Residential staff will support students as they adjust to living in a dormitory and being responsible members of a summer program community. The residence staff will include a director, senior staff and one resident advisor for every ten students. Prior to the program, residence staff will be trained to lead student groups, manage student conflict and resolution and oversee all safety aspects on program. They will begin the program well prepared to meet the needs of all Tufts Pre-College Program students.

      This summer's team will be led by George Kinzel, a 20+ year Summerfuel veteran. George has spent his previous summers directing the Summerfuel Amherst program before it was relocated this year to Tufts.

      Meet George

      Dining

      Residential program fees include three meals per day and brunch / dinner on Sundays. All meals on campus will be at Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center, conveniently located a few minutes from student housing. Dewick-MacPhie provides a wide variety of menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and an organic salad bar. When we are off campus on weekends, meals will be provided off-site. Tufts dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.

      Activities & Trips

      We want your summer to be fun too! It is summer after all! Summerfuel will be planning trips and activities throughout the summer that will allow students to make friends, build relationships, and relax from the world-class academic work they will be doing in the classroom.

      Weekend trips might include excursions to Six Flags New England, Crane Beach in Ipswich, downtown Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts, Duck Boat tours, Charles River Cruises, and more! The cost of any such excursions (including transportation, entrance fees, regularly scheduled meals, and supervision) is included in the cost of the program, although souvenirs, extra food, and other incidentals is not.

      Daily activities might include ice cream socials, midnight pancakes, trips to local coffee houses for poetry readings, lectures around campus, visits to Davis Square, etc. The cost of most of these activities will be included, however incidentals like coffee at the coffee house or public transportation fares for an optional activity will not be covered by the program.

      Supervision

      Students are required to attend all classes and academic sessions each day. Attendance is taken at each class. During free time, students may choose between an event organized by the residential staff or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry or relaxing in the dorm. Students are allowed freedom to explore with friends within specified areas surrounding the campus. In the evenings, students will check in with residence staff, and staff will often use that time to catch up on the day’s events. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus without the supervision of an RA or a staff member.

      Campus Security

      Tufts campus is considered very safe among U.S. college campuses. Although crime on campus is unusual, we do have an open campus in a major metropolitan area and we expect our students to exercise good judgement and responsibility as they navigate the campus. Tufts University maintains its own police department, on the job 24 hours a day, if an emergency arises. Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system and residence halls require a current and valid Tufts ID card for entry and a mechanical key for access to bedrooms.

      For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

      Harleston Hall is accessible with a current and valid Tufts ID card, which is required for entry into the building and a mechanical key for your bedroom door. Tufts University security is on 24-hour patrol and available to any student that may need assistance. The Summerfuel office is located in the building’s entrance corridor and serves as the information and security hub for students.

      A dedicated residential staff oversees student safety during the entirety of the program. Students are honor bound to follow clear safety protocols whether on campus or in the city, and are required to use the buddy system during free time.

      See our section about policies for additional information and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns.

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        Commuter Students

        Commuting to the ProgramOrientationDining | Supervision | Campus Security

        Commuting to the Program

        We know that for some students, living on campus is not the best option. We still welcome you to our program! For commuter students, the program will begin at 5:00pm on June 30 with an orientation and end at 8:00pm on Friday, August 9 with a closing dinner. Saturdays and Sundays are not program days and commuter students are not expected on campus on these days. During each day of the program, commuter students must arrive on campus at 8:45am, meeting at Dewick-MacPhie before proceeding to their labs. Students must depart from campus by 6:00pm at the latest, though students may leave at the end of their afternoon sessions at 5:00pm on most days. Students remaining on campus past 6:00pm or on non-program days will not be under the care of program staff (parents accept responsibility) except on the first Sunday and last Friday of the program, on which days the end of the opening / closing dinners (8:00pm) will be the official departure time for students.

        Commuter students and their parents are responsible for ensuring their student travels to and from campus safely and on time each day. Detailed information about traveling to the Medford / Somerville campus, including details on parking, can be found here.

        Please note: commuter students are not permitted to enter any residence halls on campus. Breakfast / dinner are not provided for these students.

        Orientation

        All students are required to attend orientation, which will begin at 5:00pm on June 30. During orientation, we will review the overall program schedule, discuss policies and safety, and answer questions. Students will also have the opportunity to confirm their course schedules and staff will be on-hand to address any issues.

        Dining

        Commuter program fees include lunch each day of the program. All meals on campus will be at Dewick-MacPhie Dining Center, conveniently located a few minutes from student housing. Dewick-MacPhie provides a wide variety of menu choices, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and an organic salad bar. When we are off campus on weekends, meals will be provided off-site. Tufts dining is able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and preferences. Please advise us of dietary needs during the application process.

        Supervision

        Students are required to attend all classes and academic workshops each day. Attendance is taken at each class. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus during class time without the supervision of a staff member. Commuter students’ commute to campus and time before 8:45am or after 6pm will not be monitored by program staff, although Tufts community members have Tufts University Police Department and other campus safety protocols available at all times.

        Campus Security

        Tufts campus is considered very safe among U.S. college campuses. Although crime on campus is unusual, we do have an open campus in a major metropolitan area and we expect our students to exercise good judgement and responsibility as they navigate the campus. Tufts University maintains its own police department, on the job 24 hours a day, if an emergency arises. Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system.

        For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

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        Life at Tufts

        Student Life | University Facilities | Health & Wellness | Supervision | Campus Security

        Student Life & Campus Tour

        We endeavor to make every moment of the student experience at Tufts memorable for our students. Every piece of the student-life experience, from our dorms to our dining halls, our athletic facilities to our check-in and orientation is designed to inform and enable students to have a healthy, fulfilling, and safe summer.

        Take a Tufts Virtual Tour

        University Facilities

        Students will have full access to the university’s facilities including the libraries, computer lab and student center. Students will also have full access to Tufts’ Steve Tisch Sports and Fitness center, featuring racquet courts, a swimming pool and cardio and weight-training equipment.

        Health & Wellness

        Tufts works hard to ensure the health and well-being of all of its students. Once accepted to the program, Tufts will ask all students to submit information related to their health and will collect details regarding allergies and accessibility concerns. Tufts and Summerfuel staff will work together to ensure students’ routine medical needs are met.

        Tufts also has procedures in-place for students with urgent or emergency needs, illnesses, or injuries. Our procedures combine on-campus and hospital-based care depending on the nature and severity of the issue. A student’s emergency contact will be notified, if one is provided, in the event of an issue. Please see our Health & Wellness Services page for additional information.

        In any type of health & wellness emergency, students should immediately contact Tufts University Police at (617) 627-6911.

        Please note: medical fees of any kind will be billed to the student and are not included in program fees.

        Supervision

        Students are required to attend all classes and academic sessions each day. Attendance is taken at each class. During free time, students may choose between an event organized by the residential staff or an individual pursuit such as classwork, laundry or relaxing in the dorm. Students are allowed freedom to explore with friends within specified areas surrounding the campus. In the evenings, students will check in with residence staff, and staff will often use that time to catch up on the day’s events. Tufts takes the safety of its students very seriously. As such, our current policy for pre-college students states that students cannot leave campus without the supervision of an RA or a staff member.

        Campus Security

        Tufts campus is considered very safe among U.S. college campuses. Although crime on campus is unusual, we do have an open campus in a major metropolitan area and we expect our students to exercise good judgement and responsibility as they navigate the campus. Tufts University maintains its own police department, on the job 24 hours a day, if an emergency arises. Tufts campus is equipped with an emergency blue light phone system. For more information, please visit our Campus Safety page.

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        Application Material & Deadlines

        Apply Now

        Application & Key Enrollment Dates

        Program Application Opens Application & Admissions Document Deadline Payment Deadline Enrollment Forms Deadline
        Tufts Summer Research Experience December 1 April 1 April 30 or upon enrollment thereafter June 8

        Program Eligibility

        *Deadlines are driven by the specific courses students intend to enroll in. Please see the Summer Session academic calendar for more details.

        Both domestic and international students are welcome to apply to and attend our pre-college programs. This page includes instructions for both types of students.

        Student Eligibility

        Program Eligibility Requirements for All Students
        Tufts Summer Research Experience Entering Grades 11-12 and must be 16 by program start

        Non-Native English Speakers

        If you are a non-native English speaker, you will be asked to submit documents demonstrating your proficiency in English. The following are our eligibility standards:

        English Language Proficiency Requirements
        Test or Course Test Score or Course Grade
        Paper-Based TOEFL 550 or above
        Computer-Based TOEFL 213 or above
        Internet-Based TOEFL 79 or above
        IELTS 7.0 or above
        CET-4 550 or above
        CET-6 520 or above
        Intermediate English Course Transcript demonstrating B+ or higher in the last 2 years
        All-English High School or Middle School Transcript demonstrating 1+ years

        Application Requirements

        Please note that, for students under 18, parents will be asked to confirm their approval of the application. The application will ask you for the following:

        Application Information & Requirements

        Basic Personal Information Recommender Contact Information Test Scores Academic History & Transcript Other Requirements
        Yes 1 Optional Yes Personal statement indicating lab preference (max 500 words)*

        *Please describe your experience and interest in lab research and why you have selected your top 3 areas of research interests.

        Official High School Transcript (back to 9th grade)

        Delivery Options:

        • Mailed to:
          Tufts Pre-College Programs
          Dowling Hall
          419 Boston Avenue
          Medford, MA 02155
        • Emailed: 
          By your high school to summer@tufts.edu
        Parent Permission Form

        As a part of your application, you will be asked to provide your parent/guardian name and contact information. Once you submit your application, our systems will email the parent/guardian you listed in the application with instructions for how to fill out the online parent permission form.

        Letter of Recommendation

        If your application requires a letter of recommendation, you will be asked to provide and name and contact information for the person you would like to write your letter. This person can be a teacher, counselor, mentor, etc. Once you have entered the contact information, our system will send this person an email with instructions for how to submit their letter of recommendation online.

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        Tuition & Fees

        Program Rates

        Residential rate: $11,000
        Commuter rate: $8,000

        Additional Information & Related Policy Information

        • Materials fee: $200 materials expense is additional for this program
        • Deposit required (see below)
        • In no cases are incidentals, medical / dental fees, transportation to / from the Program covered in the program fees

        Deposits & Health Insurance

        Non-Refundable Program Deposit: $550

        • A pre-payment on tuition is required to reserve space in the program
        • This deposit will be applied toward program tuition and is not an additional fee
        • The balance of payment for tuition is due upon notification of charges, and no later than April 1, 2019
        • This deposit is non-refundable in the event of withdrawal from the program

        Health Insurance 2018: $282

        Health Insurance 2019: TBD (Coverage dates: TBD)

        • All high school students enrolled in Tufts College Experience or Pre-College Intensives must carry valid U.S.-based health insurance
        • Students will be asked to provide evidence of sufficient insurance during the enrollment process. If your student has sufficient insurance, no further action will be necessary.
        • Those who do not have sufficient insurance will be asked to purchase a plan during the enrollment process.

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        Financial Aid

        Tufts Pre-College Programs are committed to welcoming students from all backgrounds to Tufts’ campus. 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.

        Availability of Awards

        Each of the programs offering financial aid in this way offers a very limited number of scholarships, typically covering 75—100% of the program fee based on demonstrated need. We will distribute two awards in February and will continue to issue awards in March and April, until all available funds have been distributed.

        Please note, 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

        Process

        1. Complete the Admissions Application for the pre-college program you would like to attend.
        2. Submit a Financial Aid Application (found below) for that program to summer@tufts.edu.
          1. Deadlines. Submit by the dates below to be considered for that month’s review cycle. Submissions will not be considered after available funds have been distributed.
            1. February: submit by February 21
            2. March: submit by March 24
            3. April: submit by April 24
        3. We will review your Financial Aid Application after we have received the materials below and you have been admitted into the program:
          1. Completed Admissions Application
          2. Parental Consent Form (emailed to your parent after completing your application)
          3. Letter of Recommendation (if needed)
          4. High School Transcript (if needed)
        4. If you receive an award
          1. You will be notified by email within five business days of the deadline.
          2. You will have 10 business days to accept the award by emailing summer@tufts.edu.
          3. Tufts Pre-College Programs will then credit your student account with the amount of financial aid you received.
          4. 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.
        5. If you do not receive an award, your application will be automatically considered in the next application cycle, unless funds are no longer available.
        6. Once all of our funds have been distributed, we will notify all remaining applicants.

        Financial Aid Application

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        Policies

        Please see the policies section of this website for a complete list of applicable policies, including the following :