Department Outreach

We are a coalition of Harvard graduate student organizations and we are contacting you to see if you and your department will support our open letter to Harvard President Larry Bacow, attached below. This letter was sent to President Bacow at 8:46am this morning, a time that represents the eight minutes and forty-six seconds George Floyd was pinned to the ground with Officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck, murdering him. 

As you may know, several members of the Harvard administration have sent out emails to show support of the Black community and have asked how they may help. Perhaps this was you recently, lending support to your department through an email and wondering if there is more you can do to support your students, faculty, and staff. Here are 3 ways you can take action and show your words of support have meaning.

  1. Sign OUR petition to support our open letter to President Larry Bacow
  2. (Harvard Affiliates only) Record the donations you have made. We want President Larry to match the dollar amount of Harvard Community giving and donate this money to organizations in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
  3. Share this petition and open letter with your network and email lists #matchmeHarvard
  4. Identify ways you and your school can better support the Black community within and outside the walls of Harvard. Examples are included below. 

Our open letter is intended as a reply to recent emails and as a call to action for President Bacow and Harvard. We have already garnered support from various stakeholders, and we hope to add the support of you and your department. 


The Harvard Coalition for Black Lives

Examples of actions your department can take, now and in the future: 

  • Donate money and/or supplies to support protesters locally and nationwide (ie. National Bail Fund NetworkBlack Lives Matter Boston)
  • Provide and require training on implicit bias and bystander intervention for all faculty, students, and staff
  • Create a committee on diversity, inclusion, and equity to evaluate the implementation any new actions and to institutionalize your department’s commitment 
  • Hire and promote Black faculty to tenure
  • Create a fellowship to support the scholarship of Black graduate students
  • Partner with or create community outreach programs to share your scholarship with the community and to provide learning opportunities for Black youth (ie. public seminars, summer programs, internships)


Scientfic Citizenship Initiative

Science and technology play an integral part in solving many of society’s greatest challenges. Critical questions and effective solutions are found in a rich ecosystem of innovation, where scientists can choose many different challenging and fulfilling careers. These careers require much more than technical training; they require skills and mindsets for effective leadership, communication, and ethics which are typically not taught in STEM curricula. SCI training programs are designed to bring these necessary skills and mindsets to the scientific community.

We envision a future in which scientists are active citizens, working as interdisciplinary problem-solvers inside and outside of academia where they learn from others and share what they know and have a meaningful impact on their communities and society.

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The Calculus Project

The Calculus Project is a program that the Department of Systems Biology has partnered with for almost a decade. Students from the group have been coming to HMS during their summer programs. The students are a part of the Boston area branch of the Calculus Project. A nationwide tutoring program initiative to dramatically increase the number of low income, African American, and Hispanic American students enrolled in the disciplines of mathematics, science, and technology. 

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Undergraduate Summer Internship

The Undergraduate Summer Internship is our headline program enabling undergraduate students to collaborate with our researchers, as well as their own peers, through Harvard's Quantitative Biology Initiative and the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. ​Participants work in our labs, gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art tools, learn cutting-edge scientific techniques in our dynamic research environment. Students interested in pursuing a PhD or MD/PhD, and students from under-represented minorities or disadvantaged...

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