STEM figure showing icons representing science, technology, engineering and math

Summer Research Institute

The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (SKERI) will soon be seeking applications for its inaugural Summer Research Institute. This program is designed to provide training for blind and visually impaired students and recent graduates interested in learning skills that will prepare them to participate in research careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) within industry, government, non-profit organizations or academia. 

In today’s research climate, individuals are expected to have many skills at their fingertips. Often researchers are required to build software and hardware environments to run studies, to gather and analyze data and to prepare reports and papers for academic journals. For blind and visually impaired (BVI) individuals making their way through undergraduate and graduate degrees there may not be time or resources to support them in finding accessible tools or methods to acquire the variety of skills they need. 

Acknowledging this, the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute has obtained support from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDDLR) through a Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center grant, to pilot and run a series of summer research institutes that aim to bridge this gap. 

There is a rapidly growing world-wide community of BVI people taking on leadership roles as researchers in industry, government, academia and the non-profit sector.  The Summer Research Institute will draw on this community to build a faculty team that can respond to the needs identified through this application process, in order to deliver training through a program that is born-accessible.

In August 2023, SKERI will run a limited pilot SRI program, which will focus on data literacy and non-visual data visualization. This pilot will consist of a series of three online webinars over three weeks, with a target of approximately 10 BVI students. Soon we will seek applications for this program from anyone in the BVI community 18 years or older who is interested in acquiring skills to further a career in STEM.



Project Members

James Coughlan Sile O'Modhrain