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Diving Into Research

The Diving Into Research (DIR) program is an immersive summer research experience for pre-matriculated students (incoming freshmen) from groups traditionally underrepresented and underserved in the sciences. The program is designed to introduce these students to scientific research, encourage them to consider a career in the sciences, and provide them a smooth transition to Vassar prior to New Student Orientation. 

Students who are selected to participate in DIR will work directly with a Vassar faculty member in a science/math research laboratory. Returning Vassar students will serve as peer mentors outside of the lab. DIR students will conduct real scientific research, meet other science and non-science students, learn about campus services and the surrounding community, and participate in a variety of social activities (e.g. BBQs, hikes, local events, picnics)

The Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid will screen the applications of students admitted to Vassar to identify those who meet the qualifications for the DIR program. Students who meet the criteria will then be invited to apply. The DIR program application will be emailed to these students in early May, and will be due electronically in mid-May. Notifications of acceptance into the DIR program will be made in late May.


  • Students who have been accepted to Vassar and who will matriculate during the coming fall semester
  • Students who are 16 years or older
  • Students who have an interest in the sciences
  • Students who are from groups traditionally underrepresented and underserved in the sciences (e.g. socioeconomically disadvantaged families, underrepresented ethnic groups, first-generation college students, undocumented students)

2017 DIR Program Details

  • 3 July – 5 August, 2017
  • Stipend paid to each DIR student: $1900
  • Meal allowance provided
  • On-campus accommodations provided free of charge
  • Travel expenses to/from Vassar fully reimbursed