SSP Online FAQ

On January 24, 2021 the SSP Board of Trustees unanimously voted to hold SSP’21 entirely online. As our planning develops we will post updates here and by email to admitted students. The specific start and end dates are below, and admitted students will be provided with more detail before they commit to attend.

Astrophysics programs online – Sunday, June 20 – Saturday, July 24
Biochemistry programs online – Thursday, June 17 – Wednesday, July 21

We will announce daily schedules after all 180 participants are admitted in mid-April. SSP requires a full-time commitment.

  • Plan to engage with the program every day for the duration.
  • Every weekday M-F expect about 8 hours of required, synchronous zoom meetings, in two scheduled blocks of 3-5 hours each.
  • On Saturdays there will be a single block of several hours for non-academic activities.
  • Outside of those scheduled time blocks, you will need to find another few hours daily to watch recorded lectures.
  • During all of those hours, you will need access to a computer with webcam in a quiet room where you can concentrate with few distractions.
  • Sundays are unscheduled. You may have assigned reading or problem sets to work on, and optional social activities available.
  • When scheduling we will consider your time zone and preferences. Some required activities will happen early or late, especially outside of the Western Hemisphere.
  • SSP is intense, challenging, and immersive. We will expect you to work very hard and learn very fast. Do not commit to take a course, work on another project, etc.
  • SSP is collaborative. You will work with others online most days, at both scheduled and unscheduled times.
  • It’s not healthy or productive for anyone to sit in front of a screen all waking hours. Take breaks and get some exercise too.

Yes. Many scientists spend their entire careers analyzing data collected by others.

After admission you will complete a survey on what technology you have access to. If you qualify for financial aid, we will discuss your technology needs and how to meet them.

Absolutely. Participants in 2020 were pleasantly surprised at how well they got to know their faculty and each other. You’ll have many small-group interactions.

Absolutely, a mix of required and optional, planned and spontaneous, some organized by faculty and others by you and your peers.

You may join them physically, as long as the travel does not preclude your full participation in SSP, including all required synchronous online time blocks. There is no vacation from SSP during SSP. It is time-consuming, intensive, and hard-but-rewarding.