BLISS logo image

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.

Week 3: (6/20 GSAS Fair); 6/21 Lunch Seminar

Not mandatory, but mentors should release fellows interested in attending:
Wed, June 20, 2:30 - 7:00pm, Dudley House and Queen's Head Pub: GSAS Integrated Life Sciences Fair & BBQ

Thurs, June 21, 12:15 - 1:45p, WJH 1550: Lunch Discussion with Mina Cikara (Please be seated and ready for the discussion by 12:15p, which may mean leaving your office/workspace at noon!)

More details can be found on the calendar.

Meet this year's cohort of Fellows!

The photos and bios of the 2018 BLISS cohort have been posted here.


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 the program?

A: We always start 11 days after Commencement. In 2018 the program runs from Monday, June 4, through Thursday, August 9 (presentations on August 7 and 8). In 2019 the program will run from June 10th to August 15th, with presentations on August 13 and 14.

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!

image of Escher-like bunny mural in Leverett House with the word "ARCHIVE" overlaid