Tag Archives: MSRP

September 11, 2017

MIT Summer Research Programs nurture tomorrow’s scientists

Dozens of undergraduate students gather each year at the annual MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) poster session to present the work they have completed over the course of the summer at MIT. This year the poster session featured research from 37 undergraduates from MSRP General, 37 undergraduates from the MSRP Bio and Neuroscience cohort, and six students from the Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems (EBICS) program. These students came from institutions around the country to pursue research and explore departments across MIT.

Marking the conclusion of an immersive research experience, the poster session showed these 80 diverse students that they have at least one thing in common: They can make an impact in their respective research areas by proposing solutions to problems that have never been solved before. Read more and watch the highlight video.

September 22, 2015

MSRP Alum: Prof. Asegun Henry at S3TEC Seminar at MIT

Asegun Henry, assistant professor of heat transfer, combustion, and energy systems, at Georgia Tech, and an alumni of the ODGE’s MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP), presented at a recent S3TEC Seminar at MIT about his work in heat transfer, particularly regarding phonon gas models. You can watch his talk here and find out more on his work on his faculty website.

August 24, 2015


Increasing Diversity of People and Ideas at the Media Lab Through MSRP

MSRP brings undergraduates from schools across the country to MIT to prepare and excite them for the graduate school experience. The program seeks to provide underrepresented minorities with access to opportunities for research and discourse with STEM faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. This challenging summer program demands a great deal from its participants, somewhat aiming to recreate the graduate school experience. It gives students a sense of whether an advanced degree is something they would want to pursue, and if so, if MIT (and in this case the Media Lab) is the right place for them.

Taken a step further, by increasing the number of students the Lab hosts through MSRP, we are increasing the range of people who have access to (and ultimately interest in) the work that we do. This summer, the Media Lab hosted six MSRP interns, Randi Williams, Claudine Humure, Pedro Colon-Hernandez, Elizabeth Gallardo, Ziv Epstein, Hayley Hinsberger, the most we have ever hosted at once, in four research groups: Biomechatronics, Fluid Interfaces, Object-Based Media, and Social Machines. The Media Lab community had a lot to learn from the interns, too; this is a group of students with a vast range of life and research experiences. They each brought their own take to the work, seeing it through a new and unique lens. Not to mention, this was a great mentoring and learning opportunity for the graduate students and postdocs that supervise the interns. Read Monica Orta’s full story at the MediaLab on Medium.com.

December 4, 2014

Now Hiring: MSRP PA applications due Dec. 22!

The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education is now hiring Program Assistants (PAs) for the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP), where talented undergraduate students spend a summer on MIT’s campus working in a research laboratory.  PAs provide mentorship and facilitate a positive research experience for approximately 50 summer students, commit to 20 hours per week from June 9 to August 8, 2015, as well as five training sessions in the spring, and receive a $5,000 stipend for 10 weeks, paid weekly (here is a full job description).  To apply, complete the online application by Monday, December 22nd at 5:00pm, and then email your transcript to susman@mit.edu.  For more information, please contact Dean Eboney Hearn at ehearn@mit.edu or by phone at (617) 253-9462.


May 13, 2014

MSRP/CONVERGE Alumni Become NSF Graduate Research Fellows

Nine of the 2013 MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) alumni and a CONVERGE alum have been awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships to begin their graduate programs:

  • Kristin Dettmers – incoming MIT Math PhD student
  • Roberto Falcon – incoming Berkeley student
  • Edward Guzman – incoming Harvard student
  • Julie Hofstra – incoming CalTech student
  • Brett Lopez – incoming MIT Aero/Astro PhD student (CONVERGE alumnus)
  • Kemi Oyewole – incoming MIT Economics PhD student
  • Kristina Pardo – incoming Princeton student
  • Monica Perez-Cuevas – incoming GA Tech student
  • Angel Santiago-Lopez – incoming GA Tech student
  • Cesar Torres – current UC Berkeley PhD student

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.  Professor Patricia Ordoñez of the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras and Dr. Frances Carter-Johnson of Evaluation and Assessment Solutions, have worked with the MSRP interns for the past 7 years on crafting strong NSF applications.  Congratulations to the awardees!

February 19, 2014

Mareena Robinson speaks at 2014 MLK Celebration

Mareena Robinson, a two time alum of the MIT Summer Research Program and PhD candidate in Nuclear Science and Engineering, was the graduate student speaker during the 2014 MLK Celebration.  The event also featured the MIT Gospel Choir and an Invocation by Rev. Rahsaan Hall.  The MLK Celebration is an assembly of speakers, presentations and song which serve to inspire the community to rededicate to the vision of Dr. King.

Read more about Robinson and the event on MIT news; click “Read more” to see a video excerpt from the Celebration (Robinson’s talk begins at 14:40).
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December 9, 2013

MSRP alum Gamboa interviews groundbreaking scientist and alumna Villa-Komaroff

As a part Roadtrip Nation, a movement that empowers people to travel the country and speak with leaders from across disciplines, MSRP alum Jackie Gamboa joined two other inquisitive travelers for a journey from California to Massachusetts. In the course of their trip, Gamboa and her fellow travelers met with MIT graduate alum Lydia Villa-Komaroff – the third Mexican-American woman to earn a PhD in the United States and co-founder of SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

View a video of this inspiring interview online at Roadtrip Nation’s website.

November 22, 2013

Program Assistants

Now Hiring: Program Assistant applications for MSRP due Dec. 20

Program Assistants (PAs) for the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) are responsible for working closely with the MSRP Director and Assistant Director of Diversity Initiatives to provide mentorship and facilitate a positive research experience for approximately 50 interns. PAs meet with interns to provide assistance and mentoring, and to assist them with various program requirements including scientific posters, abstracts and research papers. Applications are due Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 5:00pm. Direct questions to Monica Orta, Assistant Director, Diversity Initiatives & MIT Summer Research Program, at mmorta@mit.edu.

The program is scheduled to run from June 8 to August 9, 2014. PAs are expected to fully participate in the Summer Program, with a time commitment during the summer of approximately 20 hours per week. There will be 5 mandatory meetings and trainings throughout the spring. Additionally, PAs must be available for the duration of the program, the first and last week in particular. All MIT graduate students are eligible for this position. Strong organization and communication skills, knowledge of presentation skills and techniques (including PowerPoint), as well as experience teaching and/or mentoring undergraduates are required. PAs must be able to comfortably and effectively interact with students from a variety of ethnic, social and geographic backgrounds. The compensation is a $5,000 stipend for 10 weeks, paid weekly.

November 15, 2013

MSRP Alum Gopeesingh named Rhodes Scholar finalist

MSRP Alum and Hampton University senior Josh Gopeesingh (Chemical Engineering) has been named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He will interview in Barbados on November 23rd. Out of approximately 1,000 applicants who are endorsed by their respective universities, only 200 achieve finalist status. Rhodes Scholars further their studies at Oxford University in England.

A native of Trinidad, Gopeesingh is a student in the Honors College and captain of the HU sailing team. He was awarded the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award this year as well. Gopeesingh has a 3.76 grade-point average and during the summer months has conducted research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.

Read more about Gopeesingh on the Hampton University News website.

November 5, 2013

Meyer discovers new role for ‘hunger hormone’

About a dozen years ago, scientists discovered that a hormone called ghrelin enhances appetite. Dubbed the “hunger hormone,” ghrelin was quickly targeted by drug companies seeking treatments for obesity — none of which have yet panned out. MIT neuroscientists have now discovered that ghrelin’s role goes far beyond controlling hunger. The researchers found that ghrelin released during chronic stress makes the brain more vulnerable to traumatic events, suggesting that it may predispose people to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Perhaps we could give people who are going to be deployed into an active combat zone a ghrelin vaccine before they go, so they will have a lower incidence of PTSD. That’s exciting because right now there’s nothing given to people to prevent PTSD,” says Goosens, who is also a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Lead author of the paper is Retsina Meyer, a recent MIT PhD recipient, 2009 Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and former MSRP Program Assistant. Other authors are McGovern postdoc Anthony Burgos-Robles, graduate student Elizabeth Liu, and McGovern research scientist Susana Correia.

Read the rest of the article on MIT News.

September 17, 2013

Nicholas explores intersection of law and business

An 2008 alumna of the MIT Summer Research Program, Shanita Nicholas is currently in her second year of Columbia Law School’s three-year J.D./M.B.A. program. “Business and law are so interconnected,” she says. “To be able to study them at the same time and merge ideas is wonderful.” Her interest in the overlap and intersection of these two disciplines was piqued in 2010, while developing a paperless requisition process for the FBI as an IT consultant. “Being able to merge the two in ways that I’ve always thought of them as being related,” she explains, “and seeing how [that relationship] plays out in everyday life outside of academia, has been really interesting.” Read more on the Columbia Law School website.

August 22, 2013

MSRP 2013

Building community for underrepresented minorities may be key to American competitiveness in the sciences

On the blackboard in this MIT classroom, a list of positives and negatives are represented not with pluses and minuses but with pluses and deltas.  The Greek letter here stands for “change,” as it does in myriad formulas familiar to these undergraduate students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  The distinction in symbols comes from a spirit that favors momentum to inertia, because here — where the ultimate goal is innovation — an outcome that isn’t positive needn’t be final or permanent.

The two graduate students who serve as advisors to this group of 11, POD 2, are leading them through a call-out session where everyone must share something good and something that needs to be changed from their past week as summer research interns.  A young woman records the running tally. The students are almost entirely women and minorities severely underrepresented in the STEM fields — African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans — the target demographic of the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP).

Every summer, MSRP brings approximately 50 undergraduate students from different universities and colleges to MIT for nine weeks, hoping that by the time they return to their home campuses for the new school year, they will have decided to pursue a graduate degree in STEM. Continue reading at Aljazeera America. Photo by Justin Knight Photography. 

July 17, 2013


Cyntrica Eaton on her life and work as a scientist

Cyntrica Eaton, an alumna of the MIT Summer Research Program, sat down for an interview and answered questions on her life inspiration and her work as a scientist. The interview is featured by ScienceLives and the National Science Foundation. Cyntrica Eaton is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of several publications, including A Framework for Detecting and Diagnosing Configuration Faults in Web Applications and Advances in Web TestingPhoto by NSF. Read more

January 2, 2013

MSRP Alumnus Valencia Makes Forbes List

Pedro Valencia PhD ’12, an alumnus of the MIT Summer Research Program, was named in the December 2012 Forbes 30 under 30: Science and Healthcare list as one rising stars who are transforming their fields. Valencia figured out how to more quickly synthesize nanoparticles that can be used to make drugs more effective and less toxic and to put multiple drugs inside the same nanotech medicine. His research led to many distinguished publications and a start-up Blend Therapeutics. Valencia earned his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007, and completed his MS in chemical engineering practice at MIT in 2009. He was the recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship, and co-advised by Professor Langer and Dr. Omid Farokhzad of the Brigham Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School. See the original post at forbes.com.

December 11, 2012

Alumnus Henry receives $3.6 M to develop high-efficiency solar reactor

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have been awarded three grants totaling more than $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop energy technology solutions.  The three new awards are for projects involving solar fuel generation, power generation from vortices of solar heated air and energy storage.  Asegun Henry, assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering as well as MIT Mechanical Engineering alumnus (MSME and PhD) and MSRP alum, will receive $3.6 million to develop a high-efficiency solar reactor to produce solar fuel.  Using liquid metal, the reactor transports heat away from the sunlight-collection point to a chemical reaction zone, minimizing the loss of solar heat.  This system could enable cost-effective solar fuels that would be used for transportation and continuous electric power generation. 
Read the entire report in the Georgia Tech Newsroom.

October 24, 2012

Meet the MIT Summer Research Program 2012 Interns! (video)

The MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) provides nine exciting weeks of intensive research experience to undergraduates considering graduate school. This past summer, 39 interns conducted research in 14 different departments, working in labs under the guidance of experienced scientists and engineers who are MIT faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and advanced graduate students. Nineteen of the host labs were new to the program, joining over 250 faculty members who have been key to MSRP’s success since it began. MSRP seeks to promote the value of graduate education; to improve the research enterprise through increased diversity; and to prepare and recruit the best and brightest for graduate education at MIT. Students who participate in this program will be better prepared and motivated to pursue advanced degrees, thereby helping to sustain a rich talent pool in critical areas of research and innovation. Click “Read more” to see a great video about this past summer, or visit the MSRP page on the ODGE website.

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May 3, 2012


Robinson wins prestigious Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship

In April 2012, Mareena Robinson was one of five students awarded the prestigious Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (SSGF), which is sponsored by DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Robinson is a first year doctoral student in the department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, with a focus on nuclear security. She is also a former participant in the MIT Summer Research Program. This fellowship program provides four-years of outstanding benefits and opportunities to students pursuing a PhD in areas of interest to stewardship science. “The holistic focus on developing students into skilled and insightful researchers in the area of stewardship science is what initially intrigued me about this fellowship.” said Robinson.  “My goal in my graduate and broader professional career is to continue to advance my technical and political intuition through diverse experiences.”  Read more about Robinson in MIT NSE News.

August 31, 2011

Diverse interns participate in MIT Summer Research Program

This year a cohort of  talented and diverse interns participated in the nine week MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP). Meet the interns here. These undergraduate students came to MIT from all over the United States, including Puerto Rico, to conduct research in preparation for graduate school. 70% are undergraduate juniors, 17% are sophomores, and 13% are seniors.

August 28, 2011

Sergio Cantu paper featured on Physics Today

Sergio Cantu, a two-year participant of the MIT Summer Research Program, just published a paper entitled Teaching introductory undergraduate Physics using commercial video games.  “Commercial video games are increasingly using sophisticated physics simulations to create a more immersive experience for players. This also makes them a powerful tool for engaging students in learning physics. We provide some examples to show how commercial off-the-shelf games can be used to teach specific topics in introductory undergraduate physics. The examples are selected from a course taught predominantly through the medium of commercial video games.”  The paper was featured on Physics Today‘s Facebook page as well as on their homepage.

July 20, 2011

Alone With Schubert and 2 Flying MIT Robots

As Pilobolus continues its 40th-anniversary season at the Joyce Theater, the group, which started in 1971 and is named after a fungus, is — by the looks of it — working hard to maintain its playful edge. For its third program of the season, Pilobolus also offered the New York premiere of “Seraph,” a short piece with a long list of creators. In it Matt Del Rosario is joined by two X-shaped robots — they dart about the stage like alien wasps — prettified by bright, sometimes flashing, lights. Choreographed with the engineers, programmers and pilots of the M.I.T. Distributed Robotics Laboratory, “Seraph” is credited to Robby Barnett, Molly Gawler, Ms. Jaworski and Itamar Kubovy in collaboration with the laboratory (directed by Daniela Rus) and the former and current M.I.T. Ph.D. students William Selby, Brian Julian, Daniel Soltero, Andrew Marchese and Carrick DetweilerRead the rest of the article in The New York Timesphoto by Andrea Mohin