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Who We Are

By performing multidisciplinary, hands-on scientific research, 6–10 undergraduate and high school students each year develop their critical thinking, logical reasoning, scientific writing and presentation skills. Supervised by Williams College Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) Lab and RFK Science Research Institute staff, students prepare teeth and other fossils from archaeological, paleontological, and other geological sites for ESR dating. Except for operations directly involving radiation, all students perform all aspects of research from selecting and preparing fossil samples for dating, to running the ESR spectrometer and calculating ages. Mentored by experienced scientists, students prepare detailed reports to publish in scientific journals and to present their findings at professional conferences, science fairs, and science classes in their home schools.

Hermain Khan & Maysun Hasan with Barb Tewksbury at the AGI award presentation (ISEF 2005)
Kalyani Gopalkrishna prepares a tooth sample for irradiation (2016)
Riyadh Ally and Jenna Petrik mix soil components in preparation for their experiment (2015)
RFK members visit the White House

Mission Statement

The scholastically distinguished RFK Science Research Institute (RFKSRI) provides graduate-level research

opportunities for high school and undergraduate students, especially those from underserved groups, like women and all minority groups, from NYC and surrounding counties.


At RFKSRI, research is designed to ignite and deepen students’ passion and appreciation for geology, archaeo logy, paleoanthropology, geochemistry, and other sciences. For over 20 years, RFKSRI has turned fledgling scientists into seasoned researchers capable of conducting high-level independent research in any industry or academia setting.


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