How to get started

The first step in the application process is to ask a faculty member if they will mentor a summer research project. Many faculty have ongoing research projects and would welcome student participation, particularly from interested and motivated students in their classes. You may also have your own research idea that you want to pursue with a faculty member.

We recommend you establish contact with a potential DSSI mentor in the December-March time frame, although earlier is always better. Most DSSI students find mentors by simply asking their instructors. For more information on finding a DSSI mentor, contact the program director, Dr. Stephen Dunaway at

Once you and your faculty mentor have discussed a mutually agreeable project, applying to the program is easy:

  1. Fill out the Student Application Form
  2. Ask your faculty mentor to fill out the Faculty Application Form.

To help you, Frequently Asked Questions for Students provides more detail on the application process.

Important dates

December- March: find a DSSI mentor
March 7 – April 1: Applications accepted
April 23rd: Awards announced

Frequently Asked Questions for Students:

How long should a project be?
You design the length of the project in consultation with your faculty mentor. Projects taking 8-10 weeks get highest priority in the selection process.

When does the program begin?
The program begins with a kickoff meeting. Your project may begin before or after this date, in consultation with your faculty mentor. Most projects begin around June 1st.

Are off-campus research projects considered?
In certain cases, off-campus projects are considered, although highest funding priority is given to on-campus projects.

What kind of housing is available?
Double occupancy on campus housing is provided free of charge. Single housing is available for a slight additional charge.

Are there course prerequisites?
Students having completed one year of appropriate science courses are eligible. Those who have already participated in the Drew Summer Science Institute are eligible; preference will be given to new applicants.

What is the stipend?
You will be paid $350/week for each week of full time work in the program.

Can I have other employment during the summer?
You may not have other full time employment during your DSSI work period.