Celebrating 25 Years of Outstanding Summer Research Experiences

This summer we are launching the 25th year of the Leadership Alliance’s flagship program, the Summer Research – Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). This long-standing opportunity provides students from underrepresented backgrounds with the mentorship, network and professional capital to succeed in doctoral programs and subsequently become leaders in all fields and across all sectors. In many cases, participation in SR-EIP is a career-defining event. Below, Tiffany Brannon, Assistant Professor at University of California Los Angeles, describes how her SR-EIP shaped her research.

What started with 92 students at seven research institutions has blossomed to over 320 students at 20 research institutions across the country this summer. This growth has been fueled by funding from ​our institutional members, federal funding agencies, ​​and foundation partners to support ​undergraduate ​researchers in ​all academic disciplines and contribute to ​the development of new programs, like FYRE (First-year Research Experiences), which provides rising sophomores from our minority serving partners with early access to the SR-EIP.

We received a lot of guidance in our research and I learned about the discipline that was expected of us. The paper I presented that summer became my writing sample for graduate school and the ideas and themes from that paper continue to be things I’m interested in today.

– Ferentz LaFargue, SREIP 1997, Director of the Center for Cultural Engagement, The Catholic University of America

The impact of the program is apparent. While half of our students began SR-EIP with no research experience, over 450 SR-EIP participants have completed doctoral degrees and 367 are currently matriculating in doctoral programs. These participants, known as Doctoral Scholars, are diversifying the national research workforce in the private, public, and academic sectors.

As we look ahead, Leadership Alliance continues to build on our efforts to provide a comprehensive summer research experience for undergraduates by providing professional development to graduate students, postdocs, and early career faculty.  Click here to learn more about the Leadership Alliance and our initiatives to support individuals through the critical transitions of their career pathways.

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