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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Program Basics

2. Structure of SRI Courses

  • Can I take additional courses in the summer? Can I work part-time as well?

3. Research Streams

4. Research Outside the Program

5. Registration

6. Scholarships/Fees


Who can participate in the SRI program?

SRI is for students who have had the equivalent of at least one year of college and introductory college science, math and/or engineering (= STEM) courses in their intended STEM major. AP scores of 4 or 5 may apply to that requirement. Prior research experience is not necessary.

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Who is chosen for the SRI program?

Admission into SRI is based on the student's academic record indicating sufficient preparation to be successful in the program, the student's essay indicating background and career aspirations, and recommendation forms from professionals familiar with the student's aptitude for science and/or engineering. The number of slots in the SRI program is limited.

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How long is the program?

SRI is a two-course program over 10 weeks. The first half of the program covers theory, techniques, protocols and data management of the research. The second half consists of applying that to the research problem and presenting the results.

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What are the steps to enroll in the program?

1. Complete the application process, including submission of references, by April 14.

2. If admitted to the SRI program, pay your deposit online no later than May 15.

3. If you need University housing, complete the application process for that by May 15.

4. If you are not initially accepted into the SRI, you may be placed on a waiting list. Applicants will be notified if slots become available.

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Are all parts of the SRI program mandatory or are parts optional?

If you accept your offer of admission to the SRI, you agree to commit to all parts of the summer program and to complete the two-course sequence.

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I want to participate in the SRI program, but I was notified that the slots are full. Is there any chance I can still be a part of the program?

A waiting list will be maintained. If an admitted student declines the program, the next person on the list will be notified, and so on and so forth.

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I have no previous experience with research. Will I be at a disadvantage in comparison to the other students?

This is a step-by-step program that allows students to progress at a rate that makes sense given different backgrounds and experience. Students will be provided with constant feedback and guidance to help them develop their research skills. Thus, previous research experience is not necessary.

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Does the program follow a regular grading system?

Yes, if students are taking the SRI program for credit, they will receive grades for SRI courses. However, the grades for the SRI courses are not on a curve. This means there is not a pre-determined distribution of grades. The course grades are based on achieved competency and research progress.

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Are SRI courses structured like regular college courses? For example, will I have the ability to go to office hours and get additional help?

The SRI program is run as a real research lab. If students want additional help, they can and should ask the faculty or teaching assistants for assistance, just as the student would if conducting an independent study project. In addition, the SRI program monitors the progress of all students and checks individually with students about their progress.

Can I take additional courses in the summer? Can I work part-time as well?

Learning how to conduct real research and then actually having enough time to apply that knowledge to a real research question requires a minimum of 35 hours per week for the 10 week period of the SRI program. In other words, it requires being immersed in the research. So, no, you cannot take other summer school courses. And a part-time job would have to be outside the required time for the SRI program.

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Do the students in each Research Stream work independently or with one another?

For the research conducted, students will work in teams of three to five. We have students work inter-dependently because developing teamwork and collaborative skills are so important in research today. Each student team will work on a research question that is related to the overall objective of the Research Stream for that year.

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Can I switch my Research Stream?

Contact the SRI program. If slots become available in the Research Stream you are interested in, you may be able to switch Research Streams. You should not count on this though. SRI is more about the research experience than the research topic. Once you complete the program, you can pursue research opportunities outside of that field.

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When do I find out which stream I am accepted into?

SRI has rolling admission starting on Feb. 1. Applicants are notified within a few weeks of application.

I am a pre-health major. Which research stream should I choose?

The following streams are especially appropriate for pre-health majors: Biofilms, Biomedical Chemistry, Molecular & Biomedical Anthropology, and Neuroscience.

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I wasn't admitted to the SRI program, can I still do research at Binghamton University?

Yes, either as an enrolled student at Binghamton University, or by applying for the next SRI program. Once you come to the University, you will have access to many professors who are at the top of their field in research. To begin, we recommend going to the Binghamton University website, typing in the department you are interested in and clicking the faculty to identify which faculty conduct research you are interested in. By clicking on each faculty member, you can find their research interests and get links to their publications. From there, you can contact the professor and express your interest. You can also contact the Undergraduate Research Center for assistance.

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I am a transfer student, can I still do research at Binghamton?

Yes. An excellent place to start is the SRI program because you will meet faculty through that program. Once you transfer to Binghamton, you can also connect with the Undergraduate Research Center.

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How do I register for SRI courses?

Once admitted to the SRI program, you will be able to register. The admission letter will provide details.

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Do I get scholarship money for participating?

No. There is no monetary award for the SRI program. Benefits of the program include:

  • Development of skills important to employers and graduate school
    • critical thinking and research skills
    • professional skills (e.g., communication, teamwork, time management)
  • Powerful connections with University faculty
  • Recognition for personal research (e.g., poster presentation, possibility of publication and attending national conferences)
  • Building academic credentials for later schooling and career opportunities

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Are there any additional fees associated with the SRI program?


  • BU's Comprehensive Fee for summer session. This fee covers costs for use of University facilities.
  • Activity fee of $125. This fee covers costs of an array of career development events sponsored by SRI and other summer research programs for undergraduates, such as Bridges, LSAMP and McNair.
  • Laboratory Fee: $150 for Research Stream Part 1 and $150 for Research Stream Part 2, for a total cost of $300. Research-grade equipment and supplies are expensive.

The laboratory fee subsidizes the cost of the research-grade supplies and the need for students to be able to repeat procedures as they learn protocols and design and run experiments.

  • If you plan to park a vehicle on campus, you will have to obtain a parking permit.

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Last Updated: 8/5/17