The Summer Research Initiative (SRI) was created in 1999 by the Office of the Dean in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). The program is designed to encourage and enhance the diversity of scholars working in the social and behavioral science fields. In that spirit, we are interested in receiving applications to the program from a broad spectrum of students, including African Americans, Latino/Hispanics, American Indian/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, as well as all students with research interests related to diverse communities. We are most interested in students who plan to pursue doctoral degrees in the behavioral and social sciences.

The program provides rising juniors and seniors with an 8-week intensive experience to develop research skills, learn about doctoral training, and increase graduate training readiness. Departments involved in the SRI  include African American Studies, Anthropology, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Economics, Geographical Sciences, Government & Politics, Hearing & Speech Sciences, Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Sociology

The goals of the SRI are to:

  • Increase the knowledge of, and interest in, doctoral-level training in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences;
  • Provide rising juniors and seniors an opportunity to learn about graduate studies and the range of research and scholarship in the social, behavioral and economic sciences at the University of Maryland;
  • Provide a laboratory experience that enhances basic research knowledge and skills;
  • Provide lectures, workshops, didactic exchanges, and other programming to enhance students' knowledge of the graduate application process, negotiating the academic rigors and professional and personal challenges encountered in graduate school, and developing career paths in social, behavioral and economic sciences; and
  • Provide mentoring and networking opportunities for students to advance their training in the social, behavioral and economic sciences.

The SRI is part of the College's longstanding commitment to increasing the number of underrepresented minorities who pursue graduate degrees in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. According to 2016 data from the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, the university ranks 12th in the country in the number of graduate and professional degrees awarded and 28th in the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to underrepresented minority students. The Summer Research Initiative is an integral part of our efforts.

The 2021 BSOS SRI will be a virtual experience (Zoom and phone) to decrease potential exposure to COVID-19. We piloted the virtual SRI experience in the summer of 2020 and student participants reported high satisfaction with the quality of the research experience and the helpfulness of the online seminars for their preparation for graduate school. 

Please direct any questions or concerns to the SRI Director, Dr. Kim Nickerson, at bsossri [at] umd [dot] edu.


A picture an SRI cohort.

2021 BSOS SRI Virtual Program Dates 

The review period is from February – April 2021 and selection announcements will be made beginning April 2021. 

The 2021 SRI program will be all virtual and runs for 8 weeks, from Monday, June 7, 2021 - Friday, July 30, 2021

SRI Eligibility

2021 SRI Application