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School of Arts and Sciences

Visiting and Early Research Scholars’ Experiences Program (VERSE)

Students in the VERSE program with Associate Professor of Psychology Ayanna Thomas

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is committed to developing programs that will enhance the educational experiences of underrepresented, undergraduate students. VERSE creates a cohort of underrepresented students through focused, culturally-competent mentoring to participate in a 10-week summer research immersion experience. The goal of this program is to enable students to connect to faculty mentors with active research labs and projects, and gain valuable hands-on training that will build their confidence in conducting research and equip them to design their own research projects in the future. In this way, we can help students find the inspiration to pursue doctoral studies at Tufts and envision research careers.

Activities: Each summer VERSE enrolls underrepresented undergraduate students who have not had research training and have not yet established a mentor-relationship with a funded research faculty member. VERSE students are supervised by their faculty mentor along with a designated postdoctoral associate or advanced graduate student during the 10-week program. Students gain valuable research skills in human and non-human models depending on their faculty lab selections. They participate in research team meetings and engage in research projects designed for them. Two to three social events designed to create a cohort environment for the VERSE students occur throughout the summer. Senior program staff dedicate office hours for VERSE students and senior program staff initiate “check-ins” with students to assess their experience.

VERSE is designed to coordinate with the Tufts Summer Scholars Program (TSSP). VERSE students live in the same dorm as the TSSP students and participate in the opening and closing ceremonies of the TSSP.  Summer events hosted by the TSSP are open to VERSE including on-campus presentations related to research experience and graduate education, professional/personal development workshops, and social events.

Please contact Jackie Dejean for questions about the program.