CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Draper announced its next class of Draper Scholars for the academic year beginning this fall. The group of nearly 40 new master’s and Ph.D. degree candidates will join the program from partner universities that include Brown, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Purdue, Tufts and the University of Colorado Boulder. Students will work at Draper’s Cambridge campus, conducting research and contributing to customer programs in national security, space systems, biotechnology and strategic systems.
Since 1973, the Draper Scholars Program has provided students with the opportunity to engage and work with long-standing professionals while conducting graduate-level research. The Scholars Program is intended to be a collaborative joint research program, pairing each Scholar with a member of the company’s technical staff and a university faculty advisor while they conduct research in technical fields of mutual interest.
This year, Draper Scholars are studying a wide range of topics under various departments, ranging from synthetic biology to radio frequency electronics to user experience and performance. Previous scholars researched and presented on topics such as astronaut health, human organ systems, spacecraft navigation and the long-term impact of COVID-19.
Brenan McCarragher, the head of the Draper Scholars Program, said that “Draper has an education mission as part of its charter, so university engagement is a critical element of the company’s identity.” When asked why the program was so important to Draper’s vision for the future, he responded, “through the Draper Scholars program, we are building a pipeline for the nation of students who are excited for the future of national security and space systems and will eventually be integrated into the nation’s workforce.”
Draper’s 10-year goal is to have 250 active scholars in the program in any given year and bring in 70 to 80 new scholars each year, which would more than double the current number. “We’re looking for institutions who value the future of defense and space,” McCarragher said. “The program will grow as we make efforts to partner with more universities, and also as we create new partnerships in the government and with contracting agencies who want to grow the technical workforce.”