The Research Science Institute (RSI) program, offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is a prestigious summer opportunity that allows high school students to engage in cutting-edge research and gain valuable experiences. In our previous blog post, we explored some essential tips on how to get into RSI. Now, we will delve further into the subject, providing additional recommendations that will boost your chances of securing a spot in this esteemed program. Furthermore, we will explore the profound benefits that participating in the RSI program can have on a student’s college admissions process.
Research Science Institute
Wondering how to get into RSI (research science institute) to gain some experience? Research opportunities for teens in lab settings are sparse, so consider RSI. This program is a prestigious, free summer program in partnership with MIT, with only 80 coveted seats. What’s more, students gain admission purely on potential and achievement, not according to who they know. Students take courses in STEM fields, engage in intensive research, and prepare a conference-style presentation on their findings. If you don’t gain admission, however, don’t be heartbroken. There are plenty of ways to get into RSI and independently gain similar experience this summer. So, if you want to know how to get into RSI at MIT – read on!
RSI (Research Science Institute) is a free rigorous and prestigious science theory and research camp. One more time: this camp is free to 70-80 admitted rising seniors! They typically admit 30 international students.
The 5-week program at RSI takes students through a research cycle. This includes learning to read peer-reviewed publications, writing a detailed research plan, and crafting an oral and written report: conference-style.
Lastly, check the program’s website for the most up-to-date deadlines for applications. Here’s your guide on how to get into RSI.
What to expect week by week
RSI hosts students at the MIT campus. While there, expect to explore on-campus scientific theory, combined with off-campus trips to relevant science and tech applications.
- Week 1: Students participate in week-long intensive STEM classes with top professors. You’ll be asked to read a humanities book to emphasize cross-industry collaboration and communication.
- Weeks 2-6: Research internship. Conduct individual projects under experienced MIT mentors: scientists, alumni, and researchers. Guest speakers include Nobel Prize winners, and industry professionals.
- Week 7: Students prepare written and oral presentations on their research projects- awesome preparation for presenting at future academic conferences!
Prestige, if you please
RSI offers super strong payoff in the college admissions process for STEM field college-bound applicants. This is because the program has quality name recognition among admissions officers, with the added bonus of merit-based admission into the program without any cost. In addition, the covered cost of the program rules out the question of privileged financial accessibility, highlighting just merit. Refreshing, eh?
Who gets into RSI?
On average, 1600 students apply to the camp, and the camp selects 80. If you’re worried about how to get into RSI – remember that admission is solely based on academics and accomplishments. No one gains favor due to something called legacy. In other words, this means an applicant’s parent or sister or cousin attended (usually referred to as a legacy admissions privilege). Instead, it’s just you and your credentials: a high GPA, demonstrated leadership, rigorous coursework, and a promising PSAT or SAT or ACT score.
Some notable RSI alumni include Feng Zhang, inventor of CRISPR gene editing, the founder of Pinterest, the second female math tenured professor at Harvard, Dr. Lauren K. Williams, now teaching at Berkeley.
How do I write an RSI essay?
To get into RSI at MIT, you will need to know how to write your essays. In your essays, explain the central mission that drives you and your goal-orientation. Further, demonstrate how you make the most of the resources available to you to drive a passionate purpose you’ve carved out for yourself. The admissions officers know that a student who lives in Hutchinson, Kansas has different constraints than a student in the heart of Silicon Valley. It’s not about who you know or where you’re located; rather, it’s about being resourceful and leveraging opportunity.
Best of luck to all applying!
I didn’t get into RSI. Plan B – contingency plan
If you didn’t get accepted the first time around – don’t worry. Here’s how to get into RSI after being declined the first time around. If not admitted, you can try to simulate the experience and participate in similar programming on your own to parallel the RSI benefits; also, you’ll earn bonus points for independent initiative, resilience, and growth mindset!
Independent research conducted with a college professor or grad students is incredibly valuable for STEM-bound applicants. Beyond that, independent or group research that results in a published journal paper? Great! Anywhere the student is mentioned as a co-author or credited as a research assistant is a huge achievement. As RSI prepares students to speak at academic conferences, you can do so, too.
Aim to pursue a research topic that will match up with the STEM field that you plan to pursue as a major. You may need to cold email several professors and/or lab directors at universities before you get a response. Nonetheless, your research assistance is needed. Cast a wide net, and stay strong!
Present at a conference
You can bookmark the IEMS conference which is held annually in March in Clearwater, Florida, accepting presenting high school students in the fields of Industry, Engineering, Management Systems, and related STEM fields. IEMS hosts professors and scholars in Industrial Engineering, and branches out into related applied fields and industries.
The conference directors believe in preparing and empowering high school students to share their innovations and network with other academics- leading them to add a rare high school and undergraduate student presenting track!
Track fields include but are not limited to: Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing and more!), Automation and Modeling, Business Analytics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Corporate Governance, Data Analytics, Engineering Innovations, Healthcare Systems, Human Factors & Cognitive Engineering, Leadership & Diversity, Quality Planning & Process Improvement, Supply Chain Management, etc. See a full list of tracks in the Call for Papers.
Compete with this!
Additionally, original research that a student begins with a professor or grad students can be later used to enter amazing science competitions such as:
- Intel ISEF
- Google Science Fair
- Regeneron Science Talent Search
Whether you started your research with RSI or independently, you can take your findings to compete in science fairs and other math or science-based competitions. Students have gone on to apply for: Rhodes Scholars, Waterman Awards, and Simons Investigators.
An Empowerly counselor can help you chart out a dynamic and rigorous summer. Click below to schedule a consultation and learn more about how you can get into RSI at MIT.
Cultivate a Strong Research Background:
- One of the key factors that admissions committees evaluate when considering RSI applicants is their research potential. To increase your chances of acceptance, actively engage in research activities early on in high school. Seek out opportunities such as science fairs, research competitions, and mentorship programs to develop your skills and demonstrate your passion for scientific inquiry. By showcasing your ability to formulate research questions, design experiments, and analyze data, you’ll demonstrate your readiness for the RSI program.
Pursue Specialized Courses:
- Enrolling in advanced STEM courses can significantly enhance your chances of being accepted into the RSI program. Take advantage of rigorous courses in subjects such as physics, biology, chemistry, computer science, or mathematics. These classes not only provide a solid foundation of knowledge but also demonstrate your commitment to academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. Make the most of your school’s resources and actively participate in class discussions and projects to showcase your enthusiasm for learning.
Personalize Your Application:
- When completing your RSI application, remember that it’s not just about your academic achievements. Take the opportunity to showcase your unique qualities and experiences that set you apart from other applicants. Highlight your extracurricular involvement, leadership roles, community service, and any other relevant experiences that demonstrate your well-roundedness. Admissions committees appreciate applicants who show a genuine passion for their interests and have made a positive impact in their communities.
Seek Out Research Opportunities:
- Beyond your school curriculum, actively seek research opportunities that align with your interests. Reach out to professors, researchers, and professionals in your desired field of study, explaining your passion for research and inquiring about potential projects or internships. Collaborating with experts in your chosen field will not only deepen your understanding but also provide valuable mentorship and guidance. These experiences can be invaluable when constructing your application for the RSI program.
Develop a Strong Personal Statement:
- The personal statement is your opportunity to convey your motivation, research goals, and how the RSI program aligns with your future aspirations. Craft a compelling narrative that highlights your passion for research and your drive to contribute to the scientific community. Explain how participating in the RSI program will help you advance your knowledge and skills, as well as contribute to your long-term goals. Seek feedback from mentors, teachers, or peers to ensure your personal statement effectively communicates your unique qualities and motivations.
Leverage Your Network:
- Utilize your existing network to gather insights and advice on the RSI program. Seek guidance from former RSI participants, teachers, counselors, or alumni from your school who may have valuable knowledge or connections. Engage in conversations with those who have experienced the program firsthand to gain a deeper understanding of what the admissions committee is looking for and how to tailor your application accordingly.
Why Choose RSI?
The Research Science Institute (RSI) program, offered by MIT, is a highly prestigious and sought-after opportunity for high school students interested in research and scientific exploration. RSI provides a unique and immersive experience that sets it apart from other programs. Let’s explore why RSI is a great place for students.
RSI, also known as the RSI MIT program, offers an intensive six-week summer program that allows students to engage in cutting-edge research with leading scientists and researchers. The program provides access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources, enabling participants to tackle complex research projects and make significant contributions to their chosen fields. This hands-on experience fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration skills that are invaluable for future academic and professional endeavors.
One of the remarkable aspects of the RSI program is the unparalleled mentorship it offers. Students work closely with renowned faculty and mentors who guide and support them throughout their research journey. This mentorship not only enhances students’ technical skills but also provides them with insights into the research process, the scientific community, and potential career paths. The relationships formed with mentors and fellow participants can have a lasting impact and open doors to future opportunities in academia and industry.
Getting into RSI is highly competitive, but with proper preparation, it is possible to increase your chances of acceptance. To secure a spot in the RSI program, it is essential to demonstrate a strong academic background, a genuine passion for research, and a clear articulation of your research interests and goals. Highlighting any prior research experience, academic achievements, and extracurricular involvements in STEM fields can strengthen your application.
The RSI program offers a comprehensive and immersive experience beyond research. Participants engage in seminars, workshops, and discussions that expose them to a wide range of scientific disciplines and interdisciplinary connections. They also have the opportunity to network with peers who share their enthusiasm for research and discovery. This vibrant community fosters intellectual growth, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas, creating an inspiring environment for learning and personal development.
Overall, the RSI program, known as the Research Summer Institute program, provides a transformative experience for students passionate about research. It offers access to world-class resources, exceptional mentorship, and a vibrant community of scholars. Participating in RSI can serve as a stepping stone to further academic pursuits, contribute to personal and intellectual growth, and provide invaluable connections and experiences that will shape the future of aspiring scientists and researchers.