The Program

Bates Science Fellows are selected in the summer before their first year  or sophomore year, and carry this distinction throughout their Bates career.

Bates Science Fellows working on a projectFirst-year Science Fellows meet as a group with Professor John Smedley once a week during the fall and winter semesters of their first academic year. Sophomore Science Fellows meet together weekly with Dr. Karen Palin of Biology in the fall and winter semesters. These weekly meetings are in the form of a course, with a half-credit earned in the fall and another half-credit in the winter. The courses include discussion and exercises as well as some homework. On average, Science Fellows spend three to four hours per week preparing for and participating in program sessions and activities. It’s a manageable commitment that offers both short- and long-term payoffs.

In these weekly sessions, the Fellows:

  • Explore current and enduring questions and quandaries in the sciences
  • Make connections to ongoing course work in STEM courses
  • Talk about challenges in courses and strategize solutions
  • Experiment with online resources to build laboratory skills
  • Discuss ethics in scientific research
  • Explore science careers with scientists from the Bates faculty and alumni
  • Meet with campus experts in writing, quantitative reasoning, grantwriting, career development, and medical studies
  • Develop skills for success in the sciences at Bates

Professors Smedley and Palin provide individualized advising throughout the year and beyond.


Unique Opportunities:

Science Fellows have the opportunity to participate in summer research early in their career through the Science Fellows Program Faculty-Student Summer Grants, in which a science fellow joins a student-faculty STEM research group for an 8 to 10 week paid research internship.

Science Fellows are also encouraged to become teaching assistants, Peer Assisted Learning leaders in STEM courses, math tutors, and assume other leadership roles.

Benefits of the program:

As a Bates Science Fellow, you will:

  • Have the opportunity to kindle your passion for scientific exploration and discovery
  • Work with a small cohort of like-minded, talented students interested in science
  • Gain experience in group work, a major component of science courses at Bates
  • Enhance your quantitative reasoning, time management, and study skills
  • Strengthen your ability to reason from evidence
  • Increase your proficiency at lab work
  • Learn strategies to master key content in scientific literature
  • Receive guidance throughout the year from a science faculty mentor
  • Earn a half-credit per semester in a once-weekly, low-enrollment, year-long seminar