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The Harvard College BLISS program is a summer residential program for Harvard undergraduates designed to provide a formative and substantive social science research experience and to promote community, creativity, and academic excellence. During the ten-week program approximately 15 students work full time on social science research projects led by Harvard faculty. BLISS provides on-campus housing and partial board, a stipend for expenses, and coverage of summer savings obligations for financial aid recipients; it also provides academic and professional development programming for the student fellows (including lectures and discussions with distinguished faculty and professionals in a wide variety of fields, practical seminars, and a chance to present their research publicly), as well as a host of social activities. The call for faculty project proposals goes out in early December, with a deadline in mid-January. The projects are posted for the students on this website, and the student applications are due in mid-February.

Apr 26, 5-6 pm: BLISS Fellows Intro Mtg (Emerson 102)

BLISS Fellows will be joining PRIMO, SURGH, and SHARP Fellows for an introductory meeting about housing and other summer logistics.

Jun 4, 12-2p: BLISS/SHARP Welcome Lunch (Mentors invited!)

Fellows and Mentors are all invited (look for emailed invitation in May). Location TBD.

Week 1: Lunches 6/4, 6/5, 6/7; Dinner 6/6 (all events mandatory for Fellows)

The first week of BLISS includes a number of mandatory events for the Fellows, including several lunches. The slots below include 15 minutes of travel time on either end (so account for the full amount of time that Fellows will be away from the office). Locations TBA.

Monday, June 4, 12-2p: Welcome Lunch with SHARP (Mentors invited, too!)

Tuesday, June 5, 12-2p: "Effective Research" Lunch Workshop with Dustin Tingley

Wednesday, June 6, 5 - 7p: Orientation Dinner (Fellows only; a meeting at Winthrop follows at ~7:30p)

Thursday, June 7, 10:45a - 12:45p: Time Management Lunch Workshop at Bureau of Study Counsel

The full calendar is still being populated. In general there will be one mandatory evening event per week, occasionally two, usually starting after 6 pm. After the first week there will be only a handful of weekday events (fewer than one per week), requiring the Fellows to be released from the office for 90 mins to 3 hours.

During the final week of the program, BLISS Fellows must attend (and speak at) the final presentation sessions on August 7 and 8 (~9a to 3p, final schedule TBD). Mentors are expected to attend their own fellows' presentations, but need not stay for the entire event.


Q: Who should I contact with questions?

A: Jennifer Shephard, BLISS academic coordinator, 617.495.7906,, or Greg Llacer, Director of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, 617.384.7995,

Q: What are the dates of this year's program?

A: Monday, June 4, through Thursday, August 9, 2018 (presentations on August 7 and 8).

Q: What kinds of projects has BLISS included in the past?

A: Check out prior faculty project descriptions (meant to be illustrative, not limiting). Note that not all projects were filled; to learn more about those that were, check out the abstract books and fellow bios.

Q: What kinds of academic, professional development, and community programming does BLISS offer?

A: Many of the academic activities are listed on the calendars for each summer. To get a sense of the community as a whole, visit some of the Harvard Undergraduate Research Village blogs.

Q: Who designed the BLISS logo?

A: Audrey Effenberger, Harvard College class of 2019.

Q: Did BLISS once stand for something other than "Build Learning through Inquiry in the Social Sciences"?

A: Originally the BLISS acronym derived from Behavioral Laboratory In the Social Sciences. A new backronym was developed in 2017 to better reflect program goals and diversity of research methodologies. BLISS might also be said to represent the amazing summer experience we hope participants will have!

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