The Science Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provides an opportunity for local high-school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to work on a year-long independent research project in astrophysics under the guidance of a CfA or MIT astrophysicist. Students learn what it is actually like to conduct real, cutting-edge research and work closely with living scientists from diverse backgrounds. 


Outline of the program

  • Do real science with a Harvard or MIT astrophysicist or planetary scientist.
  • ~10 students per year, paired up in teams of 2 or 3 students per mentor.
  • Program runs throughout the school year: September - end of May.
  • 2 meetings a week, 2 hours each time.
  • Monthly advisory meetings with the director and all students.
  • Students meet with their mentors at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics or MIT.
  • At the end of the year, students will present their research in talks and posters as part of a symposium at Harvard.
  • Laptops provided.
  • Stipends provided by the City of Cambridge.


End-of-year symposia

At the end of the program, the students present their results in short talks and posters at a symposium hosted by Harvard University. Click on the links below to watch past years' symposia:

2017-2018 cohort

2018-2019 cohort

2019-2020 cohort


Apply for SRMP

See "Join Us" tab for information about the application process for this program.

For more information, please contact the program director Dr. Clara Sousa-Silva directly at


Junior Scientists (e.g., PhD student or post-doc) Interested in Mentoring?

For more information, please contact the program director Dr. Clara Sousa-Silva directly at



This program is supported in part by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-1602595, the City of Cambridge, the Wolbach Library at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, members of Rotary Cambridge, and generous individuals. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.