Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science and Technology A National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center

Program Details for Summer 2012

Program Dates

June 4 – August 10, 2012.

Application Deadline

January 31, 2012.

Program Schedule

Download the 2012 CELEST Summer Program schedule.

General Information

The CELEST summer program is designed to encourage education in the sciences for talented undergraduate students, especially those from minority groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences: African-American, Hispanic, Native American/Native Alaskan, Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Polynesian, Asian (excluding Asian Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and Thai), and females.

The program fellowship includes housing, a $4500 stipend, and up to $550 for travel expenses to and from Boston. Please see below for further details.

In addition to research and lab experiences with a CELEST faculty advisor, the 10-week program will include other enrichment activities and social events, some of which will be coordinated with the Boston University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

Application Process

What are the application requirements?

  • Rising Junior or Rising Senior ONLY
  • US citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Online application, two letters of recommendation, and official transcript

I am not a US citizen or US Permanent Resident (green card holder). Can I apply?

No. Unfortunately, our funding source allows us to offer fellowships only to US citizens and Permanent Residents.

I am a BU student. Can I apply?

Yes. The program is designed primarily for students from other colleges and universities, but we may also select some outstanding BU students to participate as peer mentors.

I am not a member of an underrepresented minority group. Can I apply?

Yes. We welcome applications from all eligible undergraduate students interested in participating in the CELEST summer program.

How do I submit my application materials?

The application itself must be completed online. The letters of recommendation may be sent by email or as hardcopies. The official transcript must be mailed as a hardcopy. All materials must arrive by the application deadline of January 31, 2012.

Hardcopy application materials should be mailed to:

Ms. Cynthia Bradford
Boston University
CELEST Summer Program
677 Beacon Street
Room 201
Boston MA 02215

Emailed application materials should be sent to with the phrase “CELEST summer program” in the subject line.

Who should write a letter of recommendation for me?

Your two letters should be from faculty members who can evaluate your academic potential. If you have previously been involved in research, we suggest that you request a recommendation from the professor who supervised that research. The recommendation should evaluate your academic achievements and your potential as a researcher, communicate information about any relevant laboratory skills, and address your general character and work ethic. Recommendation letters are weighed heavily in the selection process, so applicants should make sure they are submitted by the January 31 deadline.

How are CELEST summer program participants chosen?

We consider an applicant’s higher education and career goals, personal statement, research interests, academic record, and the availability of a suitable CELEST faculty research mentor.

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

All funding decisions will be made by March 16, 2012.

How do I know who my faculty mentor will be?

A list of CELEST faculty summer program mentors is available on the web page. In the application, you will be asked to select up to three faculty members whose research interests are similar to yours. If you are awarded a fellowship, then you will be working in the lab of one of the mentors indicated on your application.


Accepted applicants will be housed in a Boston University apartment-style multiple-occupancy residence for the 10 weeks of June 4 through August 11. Two CELEST summer program participants will share a room; males will be paired with males and females with females. The apartments are furnished with a dresser, a desk, a bed frame, an extra long twin mattress, and a chair for each resident, as well as a refrigerator, a stove, a kitchen table, and some additional seating. Residents must provide their own linens, cooking utensils, dishes, silverware, and cleaning supplies. (There are some stores nearby for purchasing these items if you would prefer not to bring them with in your luggage.) Residences are not air conditioned, and air conditioners of any kind are prohibited in the residences. Participants are not required to live in university housing for the summer, but we cannot provide a subsidy if you choose to live in non-BU housing. We do not have housing available for married students or any other couple arrangements.

The housing cost will be billed directly to CELEST.

The move in date and time is Monday, June 4 from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

The move out date is Saturday, August 11 before 10:00am.

The exact location of the housing will be provided in June, once CELEST receives the assignment information from the BU Housing Office.


The $4500 stipend is intended to cover living and meal expenses for the 10-week program. Each apartment-style residence includes kitchen facilities. Residents must supply their own pots, pans, and other kitchen supplies. The stipend payments will be provided as checks in three equal installments at the beginning of each of the months of June, July, and August. Please plan personal finances and bank account access for check cashing accordingly.


You are allowed up to $550 for travel expenses. Any travel costs beyond this amount are your own responsibility. For those of you who will fly to Boston, CELEST will buy your airline tickets directly through the Boston University travel agent, in consultation with you, so that you don’t have to be out-of-pocket on this expense. Other travel expenses (for example, airport taxis) will be reimbursed to you but you must provide written receipts for any expense reimbursement. We do not recommend that you bring a car to Boston for the summer, but you are of course free to do so. The public transportation system is excellent, while parking permits are expensive (~$300 for the summer) and often do not guarantee you a spot.

Orientation Session

An orientation session will be held from 9:00am–10:00am on Tuesday, June 5 in the CELEST Lounge (room 313) at 677 Beacon Street. A continental breakfast will be served, followed by a campus tour and the set up of a BU ID card and email account. After a return to CNS for a group buffet lunch with your faculty lab mentors, you will be escorted to your respective CELEST labs.

For more information about the city of Boston and Boston University itself, please visit the Boston University Information Center website.

CELEST Contact Information

Please contact the CELEST Administrative Director, Ms. Cynthia Bradford, with any programmatic or financial questions at or 617-353-7670.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Police 617-353-2121
Fire 617-353-2121
Medical 617-353-2121
Student Health Services 617-353-3575
Escort Security Service (after 8:00pm) 617-353-4855