Post-Baccalaureate Program

Offered in partnership with the Harvard Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB), the Kempner’s post-bacc program prepares recent college graduates for PhD programs in intelligence research.

Preparing the Next Generation of Intelligence Researchers

The Kempner post-baccalaureate program is a two-year, non-degree-granting training program for recent college graduates seeking additional preparation for applying to PhD programs in intelligence research, including such fields as computer science, machine learning, neurobiology, and cognitive science.

Alongside academic coursework and professional development opportunities, post-baccalaureate students pursue extensive mentored research related to the study of or applications of machine learning, including but not limited to applications in neuroscience and cognitive science.

The program is run in partnership with EIDB’s Harvard’s Research Scholar Initiative. We enthusiastically welcome applications from members of groups underrepresented in STEM.

The Kempner Post-Bacc program offers unparalleled access to world-class mentorship, resources, and research opportunities within both the Kempner Institute and Harvard University at large.

—Ella Batty, Co-Director, Kempner Post-Baccalaureate Program

About the Post-Bacc Program

  • Full funding, which includes a living stipend, tuition, and health insurance
  • Full-time mentored research experience with a Kempner Institute-affiliated faculty member
  • Weekly academic and professional development sessions
  • 1-2 undergraduate/graduate courses per year
  • Funding to attend one domestic conference each academic year
  • Graduate application preparation coaching
  • Access to the Kempner Institute facilities, including shared working and collaboration space, educational activities, and events
  • Access to Harvard University resources, including faculty, libraries, software, and tutoring

Applicants must:

  • Have a desire to apply to PhD programs related to the study of intelligence
  • Demonstrate research interests in the study or applications of machine learning
  • Have relevant coursework or experience, including with either coding or mathematical topics, such as linear algebra and statistics
  • Have completed a bachelor’s degree by the start of the program (July), but no more than three years prior to application
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident

The application cycle for the 2024-2025 academic year is now closed. Next year’s application deadline will be in winter for a program start date in July 2025.


This program is co-directed by Ella Batty, Kempner Assistant Director for Educational Programs and George Alvarez, Fred Kavli Professor of Neuroscience.

Please email the co-directors at with any questions. We’d be happy to give you more information and chat about the program.