Participants are required to attend all SHURP activities including Orientation, Career and Research Discussions, the Leadership Alliance National Convention, and Student 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 summer program and will include an overview of Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, and available resources at participants' disposal. The program co-directors and coordinator will be in attendance in addition to peer mentor coordinators to answer questions regarding research, lab and other resource locations, lodging, and program requirements. Participants will be escorted to have their ID pictures taken and accompanied to the lab where they will typically meet with both their research mentor and lab advisor.

Career Discussion sessions are typically held from 12 – 2 PM every Tuesday and are meant to give SHURP participants an opportunity to meet with and listen to current and recent graduate students and faculty about their experiences in their respective programs/at their respective organizations. Topics include (but are not limited to): 

  • Giving Presentations and Finding Original Literature
  • What Can You Do with a Science PhD
  • PhD or MD/PhD Admissions and Graduate Student Experience
  • Networking and Mentoring

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 program faculty with the first two sessions dedicated to an introductory style lesson what is expected and how to successfully deliver the presentation. In addition, these sessions also encompass the Responsible Conduct of Research Series (RCR) which includes lectures on Research Documentation, Image Manipulation in Research, and Life in the Lab. This series is meant to give participants the tools necessary to identify and prevent research abnormalities and detrimental lab experiences.

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 speak with the SHURP director about research interests to determine faculty/lab placement. Depending upon faculty availability participants will be placed in labs based on the availability of advisors in addition to a designated lab mentor (graduate student, postdoc) who will work with the advisor to ensure a smooth transition into the lab and act as an additional resource for the summer project.

Throughout the program, there will be standard meetings setup between lab advisor/mentor and the participant as well as between the participant and program directors. In addition, participants will be paired with a current graduate student with similar research interests (typically a former SHURPer) 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.