Department of
Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

BCMP Summer Scholars Program (BSSP)


BCMP Summer Scholars is a Harvard University summer internship program for motivated undergraduates with a strong interest in pursuing graduate studies focused on molecular mechanisms in biology. The program offers students the opportunity to gain experience in hands-on laboratory research; to interact with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and other summer interns; to attend weekly luncheon/seminar presentations by department members on specific research projects and cutting-edge research tools; and to improve presentation, writing, and communication skills.
Laboratories participating in the BCMP summer internship program offer a broad range of basic and disease-oriented research topics using the analytical tools of biochemistry, molecular genetics, biophysics, chemical biology, and structural biology. Research interests of the faculty include:
The control of all stages of gene expression; the mechanisms of DNA replication, recombination, and repair (Buratowski, Bender, Richardson, Lassar, Walter, Struhl Laboratories);
The structure and function of proteins, protein-RNA complexes, and membrane transporters using crystallography (Blacklow, Harrison, Sliz), NMR (Chou, Wagner) and single-molecule methods (Loparo, Walter, Wang Laboratories);
The structural dynamics of how viruses enter host cells and replicate (Harrison, Hogle, Coen Laboratories);
The biosynthesis of membrane lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins; principles of antibiotic and natural product synthesis - Clardy Laboratory.
Computational approaches in structural biology (Python programming, grid computing, drug discovery and molecular dynamics) - Sliz Laboratory.
Applicants may be from Harvard or any other college or university and must be authorized to work in the United States. Previous research experience is recommended but not required. Admittance into the program is based on grades, recommendations, and research interest.  Selected applicants will be matched with one of the participating laboratories.  Students receive a $4400 stipend and will work full-time (40 hours/week) on research projects under the guidance of a BCMP research scientist. A 10-week series of luncheon/seminar meetings will begin with a training session on laboratory safety, followed by presentations from current graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the department. Students will present their own work during a poster session at the end of the program in August.
Please note that the BCMP Summer Scholars are not Harvard students and are not eligible for some of the Harvard student benefits such as housing, health insurance, or access to athletic facilities. Students are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements and they will cover travel, accommodation, food and other personal expenses associated with the participation in the BCMP summer internship program. A list of potential students housing accommodations adjacent to the Longwood Medical School campus is available upon request.