For the second year in a row, Barnard students had the unparallelled opportunity to conduct high-level science research on campus and in labs around New York as part of Barnard's Summer Research Institute (SRI). One-hundred twenty-four students studying a range of scientific topics worked with 56 mentors in the fields of biology, chemistry, environmental science, neuroscience and behavior, and physics. (See the slideshow above and click on each photo to learn about some of this year's research projects.)
Among SRI's chief goals is to create a community of scientists. Participating students often not only work collaboratively on research teams, but take part in events designed to get them talking to one other across disciplines, with physicists and biologists sharing the details of their research over dinner, or chemists and environmental science majors chatting about their work after a lecture. See a video of SRI 2014 in action.
One key feature of SRI is that students each receive about $4,500 in funding, enabling them to focus exclusively on their research without taking on extra jobs. The funding is secured through various sources, with the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and Howard Hughes Medical Institute among the chief funders. SRI also received a generous anonymous $2.5 million gift to partially endow the SRI program.
In addition, some students received their funding through winning prestigious scientific awards that had especially competitive application processes. Among them was Claire Everett '17; she was funded by the selective Amgen Foundation, which awarded only one fellowship at Barnard, and fewer than 350 worldwide. She was awarded the funding through a competitive application process based on grades, recommendations, and career goals. Yonina Frim '17 and Amen Wiqas '18 were supported through the prestigious Beckman Scholars Program, funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. After a rigorous application and review process, the two recieved funding for two summers and one academic year of research, and funds for travel to conferences.
Going forward, faculty plan to build and grow the program, allowing ever-more Barnard students to gain the unparallelled experience of doing hands-on scientific research in a collaborative environment.