Participants are required to attend and participate in all SHURP activities including Orientation, Peer Mentoring Events, Career and Professional Development Sessions, Research Discussions, the Leadership Alliance National Convention, and the Final Presentations.

The schedule below is representative of an in-person SHURP experience. The schedule may be modified for a virtual SHURP experience. 

Orientation will be held on the first day of the program and will include an overview of Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, and available resources at participants' disposal. The Program Co-Directors, Program Coordinator, and Peer Mentor Coordinators will be in attendance to answer questions regarding research, labs, on campus resources, housing, and program requirements and expectations. Following the Orientation, participants will pick up their Harvard ID cards and be escorted to their labs, where they will typically meet with both their research mentor and lab advisor.

Career and Professional Development Sessions are typically held every Tuesday and are meant to (1) equip SHURP students with skills that will help them prepare for and succeed in graduate school and during the program and (2) provide SHURP students with opportunities to connect with graduate students, faculty, and alumni. Topics typically include (but are not limited to): 

  • Giving Presentations and Finding Original Literature
  • "What Can You Do with a Science PhD?" Career Panel
  • PhD Admissions
  • Preparing A Strong Statement of Purpose
  • Graduate School Interviews
  • Networking and Conferences
  • Predoctoral Fellowships

Research Discussion sessions are typically held from 5-7 PM every Thursday and give SHURP participants the opportunity to discuss their research projects with other participants. These sessions are led by faculty with the first two sessions dedicated to an introductory style lesson on what is expected and how to successfully deliver the presentation. In addition, these sessions also encompass the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Series, which includes lectures on Research Documentation, Maintaining Integrity in the Digital Imaging Age, and Life in the Lab. This series is meant to give participants the tools necessary to ensure rigor and reproducibility in their research.

Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS)

Participants in the Program are required to attend the Leadership Alliance National Symposium meeting typically held at the end of July each year. The program brings participants to the symposium where they will present posters and participate in the activities which take place over a long weekend. More information about LANS can be found here

Final Presentations

Participants in the Program are required to deliver an oral presentation as the culmination of their research project.


Before the start of the summer session, incoming participants will communicate with the SHURP Co-Director and Coordinator about research interests to determine lab placement. Depending upon faculty availability, participants will be placed in labs based on the availability of advisors. In addition, each student will have a designated lab mentor (graduate student or postdoc) who will work with the advisor to ensure a smooth transition into the lab and act as their day-to-day primary supervisor.

Throughout the program, there will be advising meetings between lab advisor/mentor and the participant as well as between the participant and Program Directors/Coordinator. In addition, participants will be paired with a current graduate student and will have an opportunity to meet with their and other peer mentors during various outings and events arranged by the Peer Mentor Coordinators. Participants are strongly encouraged to arrange additional meetings as needed/desired with all available resources.