Brandeis Posse Scholars

About the Science Posse

Irv Epstein works in a lab

Professor Irv Epstein

In 2006, Irv Epstein, the Henry F. Fischbach Professor of Chemistry, won a highly competitive, million-dollar grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to establish a program at Brandeis specifically designed to attract and retain talented, underrepresented students in college-level science.

The program aimed to combine the academic strengths of Brandeis, a leading private research university, with those of the Posse Foundation and its remarkable record of identifying and training students of all backgrounds for success. Students receive a four-year, full-tuition leadership scholarship, and attend pre-collegiate training prior to beginning their college career. 

Epstein decided to adapt the Posse model specifically for New York City high-school students with an aptitude for science. The first Science Posse of 10 students arrived on campus in fall 2008. Each Brandeis Science Posse Scholar is interested in majoring in a science and enrolls in introductory science and math courses in the first year of study.

In addition to Brandeis Science Posse, Brandeis is one of 33 institutions of higher education that received the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Award in 2018. The $1 million award is to encourage colleges and universities to become institutions with a significantly greater capacity for inclusion of all students, especially those from non-traditional backgrounds. 

“For breakthroughs to occur, someone has to look at the petri dish a little differently.”

Irv Epstein