One of the many reasons I decided to come to Tufts was its extensive resources for undergraduate research opportunities. There are various options ranging from working as an undergrad research assistant to conducting a senior thesis (which can be also found in another awesome Jumbo Talk blog). In my current blog, I want to hone in on the Summer Scholars Program, a program I’m participating in currently as a rising senior.
When I first heard about the Summer Scholars Program, I knew it was something special. What caught my attention was the program's emphasis on allowing students to pursue our research interests independently, with the backing of experienced faculty mentors. As someone who had always yearned to delve deeper into my field of interest – diversity at workplaces – this program seemed like a perfect fit for me.
The beauty of the Summer Scholars Program lies in its flexibility. Unlike structured coursework, you have the freedom to choose your research topic, aligning it with your passions and interests. For me, it was a breath of fresh air to explore the topic of diversity at workplaces as I aspire to go into academia within the field.
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the program is the financial support it provides to students during the summer. I can't stress enough how crucial this funding was for my research project. Not only did I receive a stipend of $3500 for living expenses, but I also have access to a $1000 research grant to cover expenses related to my project, which is actually available to me until I graduate!
With this funding, I am planning to subsidize my participants and attend conferences to present my findings. Another great thing about this grant is its flexibility to reimburse any research-related costs, even extending to expenses related to graduate school admissions. For instance, I can utilize this support to cover the expenses of my GRE exam, application fees, and submission fees for transcripts and test scores. The financial support not only eased my financial burden but also allowed me to focus solely on my research, without distractions.
Additionally, working closely with my faculty mentor was an invaluable experience. Their guidance and expertise helped me refine my research question, navigate challenges, and gain insights I wouldn't have gained on my own. I’m hoping to continue my summer research into a senior honors thesis and further develop my relationship with the faculty mentors, which will not only help me secure strong recommendation letters for graduate school but also more importantly, foster meaningful mentorship connections that will extend far into the future.
I’m heading toward the end of this program, and the 10 weeks of the summer spent immersed in my research has shaped not only my academic pursuits but also my personal and professional aspirations. I’m excited to move forward with this research project and my graduate school admissions process in the upcoming fall!