Application Guide

Due to difficulties finding qualified MIT organizers and mentors available over the summer, Junction is on hiatus and will not take place in Summer 2018. If we are able to run Junction in the future, we will email everyone with accounts on our website.

Guide to the Junction Student Application

Your application is our chance to get to know you and, hopefully, allow you to work on a cool project with us this summer. Please read all instructions on the application carefully. If you have any questions or even just want to say hi, feel free to e-mail us.

Admission to Junction is somewhat selective. Former Junction students, admitted MIT pre-freshmen, children of MIT faculty or staff, and siblings of MIT students do not receive any advantage or special treatment in the application process. Thus, every student must submit a high-quality application in order to be considered for a spot, regardless of past association with Junction or MIT.

There are three parts to the application:

Additionally, you may find the following helpful:

Part A: The Really Easy Stuff

This is where you tell us your basic biographical and contact information. In addition, we ask for your current grade level and academic experience in order to get a sense of your preparedness for Junction. Some Junction classes do assume knowledge of topics usually taught in high school; additionally, succeeding at the program requires social maturity, thoughtfulness, and study skills. However, we will not automatically disqualify you based on your academic background.

We do not ask for your high school transcript, test scores, or teacher recommendations.

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Part B: Independent Study or Project Proposal

Junction has been redesigned to give students a chance to work on individual projects with a mentor knowledgable in their field. For this reason, you should only submit a proposal for a project which you feel strongly enough that you would not mind working on them all summer. You may submit at most one project.

Our carefully selected, diverse crew of Mentors will read student proposals and choose seven students they will take on to work with throughout the summer at Junction. In order to ensure your proposal is read by a mentor in the correct field, please be sure to check the applicable categories in the application.

For your independent study and/or project proposal, you will be asked the following questions:

  • Project name. (Your name does not have to be super-fancy or perfect. Just come up with a short phrase that describes the idea of what you intend to work on.)
  • Field(s) of study or investigation (Is it math or science-related? Engineering? Sociology? Some cross-discipline hybrid that you’ve just recently come up with on your own?)
  • Describe in a few sentences what you want to do in your independent study or project. (What exactly are you doing? What do you want accomplished by the end of Junction? 3-5 sentences is probably good.)
  • How did you become interested in this topic? (Where did this idea come from? What are your motivations for proposing this topic? We’re looking for less than 250 words that explain why you want to spend your summer break on this project.)
  • What steps might you take to help you reach your goal? (Just give us a general outline of what you think might be involved in your proposal. <250 words)
  • What past experience do you have in this subject area? (Having little to no experience in the subject is fine -- we just want to get a sense of where you are so we can both decide how feasible this project is and know how much guidance we should be giving you. <250 words)
  • What do you seek in a mentor? (What kind of guidance do you think you should receive from a mentor? Will you need help finding references? Someone to bounce ideas off of? Again, don’t worry about needing too much help with your proposal. <250 words)
  • What are some challenges that may arise in the process of this independent study/project? How might you mitigate these challenges? (Are there any specific references that might be hard to find? Any steps in particular that might be difficult? How would you get around these problems? <250 words)

If you’re still really stuck, we’ve compiled a list of sample proposals here. You should also feel free to look at our list of Tips for Writing Proposals, written by the mentors themselves to help you along with your proposal(s).

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Part C: Final Logistics

  • What other plans, if any, do you have this summer?

  • If you have anything else you want to add, you can tell us in this section, though we aren't looking for anything in particular.

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Tips for Writing Proposals

Along with all the general tips found above, here are some tips for writing a good proposal:

  • Have a clear goal in mind. Even if you don't know exactly what you will be doing, you should still be able to give us a general image of what you envision for your proposal.

  • Be specific. We don't expect you to have everything already planned out, but you should try to go into as much detail about your proposal as you can.

  • Be concise. You only have 250 words to play with in each box -- how can you maximize your use of that space? Get rid of unnecessary words and clauses. Get straight to the point. Your ideas should be strong enough that you don't need flowery prose to make them seem more impressive.

In case you are still stuck, several sample proposals can be found here. Note that your proposal does not have to look like any of the samples however -- they are merely there to help you get unstuck.

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See Also

Last modified on April 04, 2018 at 08:32 p.m.