PRIMO is a 10-week summer residential community of Harvard College undergraduates participating in research affiliated with HBS faculty. The Program seeks to create a community of scholars who are inspired by and are committed to pursuing excellence in management and business research.

Summer 2019 will be the ninth year for this research experience program, which has been designed to stimulate community and creativity among a small group of motivated undergraduates. PRIMO will run from June 10 - August 16, 2019, and offers fellows Harvard campus housing, a partial board plan, modest research support, and coverage of summer savings obligations for financial aid recipients. 

Program eligibility

PRIMO is open to continuing students (rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors) who are in good standing at Harvard College. Students must commit to the full ten weeks of the program.

Program dates are not flexible. PRIMO Fellows are expected to fully participate and contribute to the community of scholars in evening enrichment activities not associated with individual research projects throughout the full 10 weeks of the Program. While many activities are voluntary, other PRIMO activities, especially those associated with Harvard faculty, are mandatory for all Fellows. Individuals taking summer school courses, preparing to take summer graduate school admissions tests (such as the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT), or engaging in full-time public service projects are not eligible to participate in PRIMO. 

A successful application will demonstrate the following:

  • A strong dedication to developing or furthering academic interest and excellence in business research;
  • The ability and desire to participate successfully and enthusiastically in a diverse residential community of scholars;
  • An academic record demonstrating success in coursework that develops theoretical knowledge and/or practical application of academic principles in research;
  • A commitment to participate and contribute for the full ten weeks of the Program. Individuals taking summer school courses, preparing for summer graduate school entrance exam, or engaging in full-time public service projects are not eligible to participate in PRIMO.
Evaluation of the applicant will be based on how well and how effectively the components of the application define and address these qualities and requirements, as well as general fit with the program and overall quality of the applicant pool.

How to Apply

Applications will be submitted through Harvard's CARAT system. For detailed instructions, please see this page.

Research Projects

HBS faculty conduct research on a wide variety of topics including accounting, finance, marketing, technology and operations management, strategy, organizational behavior, general management, business-government relations, and entrepreneurship. 

Faculty members develop research projects for undergraduates and mentor them throughout the process. Projects may come from individuals or small groups of faculty in a research lab setting, and doctoral students may also be involved as junior mentors and research colleagues. PRIMO fellows will have access to the research resources of HBS. More details of the PRIMO research areas is available here

Students will be asked to indicate three research areas of interest in their application. Top applicants will interview with Program Director. The first round of interviews will be an opportunity for applicants to learn more about specific projects that will be available in the summer. Finalists will meet with faculty to interview and discuss further project details.

Residential life

PRIMO fellows will live together in a Harvard College House for the duration of the Program. The House Masters will be hosts for PRIMO, along with other College-affiliated summer research programs administered by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The URAF staff will be available to assist with limited residential needs of PRIMO participants.


Essential dining services will be available to PRIMO Fellows. Weekday evening meal service will be available in a dining hall along with the other College-affiliated research programs administered by URAF, sometimes in conjunction with evening activities. Midday and weekend meal service will not be available; however, a modest weekday stipend will be available to purchase food in the HBS dining hall in the Spangler Center.

Special Campus-wide Events and Evening Programs

Seminars for PRIMO fellows will include a number of topics specifically designed to augment and enrich their knowledge about research and careers in academia and in business. Topics such as business research resources, software programs, research ethics, poster presentations, and postgraduate career opportunities will be offered throughout the Program. 

In addition, fellows will have the opportunity to practice speaking about their research, in both small and large groups throughout the summer. 

Special evening programming sponsored by URAF featuring prominent researchers and scientists in the Harvard community and the Boston area will be open to all Harvard undergraduates.

Recreational and Social Programs

PRIMO Fellows are eligible to register for free use of Harvard athletic facilities, including the Malkin Athletic Center, Hemenway Gymnasium, and Blodgett Pool.

A calendar of activities will include a range of opportunities to socialize and take advantage of Boston's cultural and recreational summer offerings, including a variety of excursions and Fellow-initiated community events sponsored by URAF for the College-affiliated research programs.