2018 Crimson BioAcademy

Advanced Biology Research & Training with a Harvard Professor
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What Will I Gain As A Crimson BioAcademy Fellow?

Think Like an Advanced Researcher

Through the Kunes Core Curriculum, hone your research intuition and creative problem-solving skills by “reliving” key biology research breakthroughs  

Intensive Lab Research

Extensive work with state-of-the-art equipment in the Harvard University laboratory, working both individually and in groups

Peer-Review Journal Literate

Develop advanced research literacy through readings and discussions of published biological science research papers

Communicate as a Scientist

Improve science communication skills through discussions led by Dr. Kunes

Peers Who Will Inspire You

Make life-long memories and friends who share your passion and curiosity for the biological sciences

Individual Assessment

Receive a final qualitative assessment from Dr. Kunes
The Kunes Core

Innovative Biology Research Core Curriculum

The groundbreaking “Kunes Core” curriculum draws upon Classic Papers in biology to re-create real research challenges and hone students’ creative problem-solving through original thinking, just as past world-class scientists have done. Combined with intensive laboratory work, original research project design, and an intimate community of like-minded peers, the 2018 Crimson BioAcademy offers a fully-immersive, transformative experience for future pioneers in biology research.

About Dr. Kunes

Dr. Sam Kunes is a tenured Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University and an expert in the field of vision and the brain. He has 24 years of teaching experience at Harvard College, where each Fall he offers an undergraduate course on neurobiology and the brain. Prof. Kunes also is a Freshman Advisor, and each year counsels a new group of freshmen on the transition to college life and studies. He is passionate about inspiring young scientists to think with creative problem solving skills to make greater future contributions through research.


– Limited to 12 slots globally

– Highly motivated students entering Grade 11 or 12. Younger students with advance biology preparation may apply for consideration on case-by-case basis

– Engaged students who can complete lengthy readings of research papers and participate in complex discussion

– Students with a passion for biology and a strong desire to develop their skillset as college-level and professional biological researchers
We encourage you to just apply to share your case for candidacy, or leave a comment in the inquiry box below.
What Makes the Crimson BioAcademy community unique?

Gifted students don’t learn from instructors or curriculum alone. Social learning with intellectual peers is a critical part of discovery at the highest levels. The Crimson BioAcademy gathers the most advanced students in biology from across the world to learn from collaborators who will inspire, challenge, and bond with each other. Whether your background is in biology competitions, conducting your own research experiments, or unyielding reading into biology topics, if you have a certain advanced background in molecular and cellular biology, you will find an intellectual incubator like no other here at the Crimson BioAcademy. Come celebrate the joy (and hard work) of discovery with us!

Currier House

Currier House is a historic Harvard residential hall where all Crimson BioAcademy students will reside together, creating a true college residential community experience. Living in the same facilities as past Harvard alumni—such as Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Yo-Yo Ma, Caroline Kennedy, and Neil deGrasse Tyson—may offer additional inspiration as you bond over late-night discussions and community activities with your friends and R.A.

Testimonials from Past Crimson BioAcademy Fellows
Despite attending Intel ISEF and performing several research projects on my own, I became a more strategic, resourceful researcher through the Crimson BioAcademy. Discussing Nobel prize-winning experiments and recent discoveries at the frontier of the biological sciences, we refined research-specific critical thinking and learned about new technology that unlocks creative methods of scientific inquiry. The Crimson BioAcademy expanded our "toolbox" to push the boundaries of human knowledge.
Reading Classic Papers is very different from studying for the Biology Olympiad. I can better form my own thesis topic after understanding others’ inspiring ideas and unique approaches. Following Professor Kunes’ instructions, we learned to analyze data and charts of each paper, then grab its reasoning on our own. Compared with memorizing knowledge in text books, I find comprehending core logic lines uniquely enriching.
Working with Professor Kunes was a great experience for me. He is attentive and caring about each student’s thoughts. Whenever we had any questions about either the lessons or subjects outside class, he was willing to explain clearly and patiently. In the lab, Professor Kunes demonstrated each step first and reminded us about steps requiring great caution and carefulness. During my one-on-one talk, Professor Kunes gave me lots of good suggestions about my future research plans.
Past Research Images

Where and When does the academy occur?

The Crimson BioAcademy 2018 will run for 3-weeks, from July 5-July 26, 2018 on Harvard University’s campus.

How do I apply?

Application Form available by clicking “Apply Now” above.
Step 1 – Submit Online Application by clicking on “Apply Now” in the header. Should you have any problems or questions about the application process or the program generally, please leave your question in the question box on the website.
Step 2 – After confirmation of receipt, await optional interview notification and complete as requested
Step 3 – Receive admission notification.
Step 4 – Pay deposit to secure your space in the limited class of 2018 at Crimson BioAcademy

Round 2 deadline has passed!
 If you missed the first and second round, submit your application early in the third round. Over a third of the limited spots have already been filled. We continue to receive more applications each week.

Deadline 2: Rolling until April 30, 2018.

Deadline 3: Rolling until May 31, 2018.

Email info@kunescamp.com with any questions.

How much does Crimson BioAcademy cost?

Tuition is USD10,000, which covers all classroom, laboratory, residential, and planned social programming expenses. This includes student meal cards to be used at the Harvard student cafeteria. Students will cover their own transportation costs of the arrival at and departure from Crimson BioAcademy, and where applicable, the costs of visas.

What should I bring to the academy?

Enrolled students will receive a detailed list of what things to bring.

Is the dormitory and campus safe?

The Currier House and classroom experience is akin to that experienced by Harvard undergraduate students. Trained Residential Assistants will live alongside and accompany Crimson BioAcademy students in the Currier House and during planned meals and programming. Students are required to remain on campus as per student conduct policy.

Will I be able to get a letter of recommendation from Professor Kunes?

Any good reference letter must be earned through hard work. Professor Kunes is experienced in working with all levels of researchers for many years and has the utmost authority to assess one’s performance and potential. He is dedicated to student learning and growth throughout the academy and has gladly given his written support to past Crimson BioAcademy scholars who’ve earned it.

What is a daily schedule at Crimson BioAcademy like?

Crimson BioAcademy is designed to be an intensive, fully immersive experience for aspiring researchers and young biology enthusiasts. The Kunes Core provides structure to the classroom and laboratory work. Seminars, discussions, and exercises with Professor Kunes are designed to maximally challenge a student’s routine way of thinking by applying knowledge of research technology to hypothetical situational research challenges in an applied Socratic-method. Advanced laboratory work reinforces theoretical understanding and unlocks new learning through guidance by Professor Kunes himself and utilization of state-of-the-art research equipment uncommon to many research programs. At night, students can expect to be engaged in lively discussions on project work, complete assigned individual readings and exercises, and enjoy the pleasure of intellectual discovery with and the general company of like-minded peers.

What field of biology will I explore as a Crimson BioAcademy Fellow?

Professor Kunes is an experienced neuroscience researcher. The academy’s laboratory research will largely explore topics in neuroscience but will also encompass other inquiry within the broad scope of molecular and cellular biology.

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