Research Science Institute

June 23, 2020
By AdmissionSight

Research Science Institute (RSI)

If it’s your dream to go to a leading university like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and be among the most elite STEM researchers in the country, then the Research Science Institute is the perfect place to spend this summer given it’s the country’s most competitive summer program for math and science students. The cost-free program is designed to expand your science, technology, and engineering skills, and build new experiences and connections with cutting-edge researchers, and famed noble laureates.

RSI participants take a picture for the 2019 competition

What is the Research Science Institute (RSI)?

Founded in 1984, the Research Science Institute brings together 80 of the most prestigious high school students from all over the world for six-weeks to work with the most innovative researchers and professors to conduct lab work, and create individual research projects in Harvard and MIT facilities.

Learn from Noble Prize-winning chemists, geneticists, biologists, physicists, and industry leaders in STEM research, who previously attended the RSI program when they were high school students.

During the first week students engage in tutorials and seminars to learn about the most groundbreaking advances in science and mathematical research. The following four weeks students are assigned an individual mentor to oversee and guide their work as they conduct their own research projects in MIT and Harvard labs.

The final weeks of the program students are given eight minutes to present their written and oral projects in front of a panel distinguished noble laurates and MIT staff. Five individual research projects for both oral and written presentations will be selected for their excellency, and winners receive a $1,000 scholarship towards their college tuition.

Last year the top 5 written winners covered a range of topics such as using single-cell RNA sequencing data to study plastid differentiation dynamics with nucleus-encoded gene expression, quantum integer-valued polynomials, cooperative relaxation in supercooled liquids, designing a general-purpose differential equation solver for parameter extraction, and the orbital decay of the x-ray binary.

The top 5 oral presentation winners ranged from topics such as transfer learning for automating science journalism, Artin’s Conjecture on primitive roots, The role of UV light in prebiotic chemistry, Fq rational points of hypersurfaces in weighted projective spaces over finite fields, and determining the size of the useful field of view (UFOV) based on target object attributes.

RSI researchers conducting a scientific study in the summer 2019

RSI Alumni

A majority of RSI alumni go on to study at universities like MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Yale and Princeton, and have received awards such as the Rhodes Scholars, Waterman Awards, and Simmons Investigators. About 80 percent of successful RSI alumni end up in a STEM career, and have contributed to inventions such as gene-editing technology, Pinterest, or Facebook. RSI also provides the opportunity to meet life-long friends, and potentially secure a MIT research position or job in the future.

Although RSI only accepts 80 out of about 1600 applicants each year there are still plenty of ways to stand out. The program primarily admits students whose average GPA, and test scores fall within the top 1%. Only one test score is required from either the PSAT, SAT or ACT. Individual course work and grades will also be considered, and any published research and awards received in national or local competitions.

As the program is free, it accommodates all types students from different backgrounds. It specifically seeks to admit students who exemplify a passion for changing the world through research, and may not have an opportunity to advance in their careers otherwise.

It is important to show as an applicant that even if you live in a place that does not offer unique opportunities to excel, that you have still have found a way to make your strengths shine within your community. This might range from attending a summer course at a community college on top, to joining in an extracurricular sport or volunteer work which accents your top abilities.

Where to Apply?

The program application is available here, and the deadline to submit is January 15th, 2020 for domestic students, and March 15, 2020 for international students.

To learn more about how to increase your chances of selection into programs like Research Science Institute, book a consult now with AdmissionSight coach Eric Eng, a private college admissions consultant who specializes in getting students into the country’s most competitive universities and programs. Working through complex factors which drive a university, such as MIT, into the top rankings is no easy task. AdmissionSight is here to help students to develop a strategy for standing out as an applicant, and getting into the elite university of your dreams.

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