Cluster groups are an integral part of the Summer Research Program. These weekly meetings are designed to give students the opportunity to discuss their research progress, to facilitate the writing of their final scientific report and to present their work in a small group prior to the final forum.

Below are Specific Guidelines for Cluster Group Leaders and Students:
  • Student attendance is required and recorded at all Cluster Group weekly meetings.
  • Cluster Group faculty leaders will begin to meet with students the first week of the Summer Research Program to outline the goals of the Group, and will meet each week thereafter until the conclusion of the program.
  • Each Cluster Group will identify one Student Liaison to facilitate communication throughout the program between their Cluster Group faculty leaders and the students in their Cluster Group.
  • Cluster Group Leaders will provide guidance on their availability to meet weekly.
  • It is imperative that students assigned to that Cluster Group attend as one of the professional activities of the program and actively participate with faculty leaders who are volunteering their time during the summer.
  • The normal structure of these group sessions is for students to present their project hypothesis, research methodologies, progress and challenges. Suggestions, guidance, and critiquing are all part of the exchange between students and the Cluster Group Leader.
  • One of the most important goals of the Cluster Group is to facilitate the writing of the final scientific report. Each week students will be required to submit a portion of their report to the SRP website ( Part of each Cluster Group session will be devoted to the essentials of that section of the final scientific report.
  • If progress is being impeded for a student for whatever reason, it is appropriate to raise these concerns to the Cluster Group Leader. Should the Cluster Group Leader not be able to resolve the issue, the problem(s) will be remanded to the Summer Research Program Co-Chairs for discussion.
  • When feasible, Cluster Group Leaders are encouraged to talk about broader professional development issues (such as how one incorporates research into one’s career goals, and the resulting rewards, difficulties, and sacrifices) as well as consideration of other research opportunities beyond the summer (resources, funding, and mentor availability).
  • Cluster Group Leaders may be asked to validate the student’s online assignments if the mentor is unavailable.