About JEI

What is JEI?

The Journal of Emerging Investigators is an open-access journal that publishes original research in the biological and physical sciences that is written by middle and high school students.  JEI provides students, under the guidance of a teacher or advisor, the opportunity to submit and gain feedback on original research and to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Because grade-school students often lack access to formal research institutions, we expect that the work submitted by students may come from classroom-based projects, science fair projects, or other forms of mentor-supervised research.

JEI is a non-profit group run and operated by graduate students at Harvard University. JEI also provides the opportunity for graduate students to participate in the editorial, review, and publication process. Our hope is that JEI will serve as an exciting new forum to engage young students in a novel kind of science education that nurtures the development and achievements of young scientists throughout the country.

Who we are

The founders and editorial board of JEI are graduate students in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School. Since the founding, we have expanded to include graduate students from all scientific fields.

How JEI came to be

As graduate students and laboratory scientists, we rarely have time or energy to think outside the bench (and I mean our immediate bench, please don’t ask me what my friend across from me is working on). Thank goodness for our weekly student-led journal club where each week a graduate student presents a research article, which usually has nothing to do with the science that any of us are directly working on. It is during this hour of food and science that us graduate students get a glimpse into the world of “other” science. One week in late 2010 a student presented this paper: Blackawton Bees (Biology Letters, November 2010). Of course none of us work on bees, but we were particularly interested in this article because it was written by a class of third graders…yep, as in eight- to ten-year-old children. As you can imagine, that journal discussion had little to do about the science and much to do about what an interesting approach to science education this is. Third graders had thought of the questions, designed and carried out the experiments, and interpreted the results. How many other students had the same potential? Probably thousands. That got us thinking… how awesome would it be to promote this kind of research based science and wouldn’t it be great if students could publish their research in a peer-reviewed journal created for just that intent? And thus the idea for this journal was born.


Part of our job as scientists is to support and guide the next generation of scientists.  At JEI we are especially interested in guiding students in their research projects and teaching them how to communicate their projects to the public.  To that end, we are engaged in several ways in the greater Boston area to help middle and high school students.  In the past we have presented 2-hour science research and writing workshops to students at Lexington High School in Massachusetts.  JEI members have also been involved with an 8-week science research and writing class for students at Timilty Middle School in Boston, MA.  You’ll find us next giving workshops to the Boston-area Science Club for Girls.

We value the opportunity to share our expertise with students and teachers, so if you are in the Boston area and are interested in having us present a workshop please email us at questions@emerginginvestigators.org.


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Mission Statement

It is our goal to engage students in inquiry-based science with the intent to publish their high-quality work in a prestigious national journal.  We promote the opportunity for students to develop their own research and scientific questions, submit their work, and receive critical feedback from Harvard-trained scientists.  In summary, it is the intention of this publication to promote science education in its truest form: by developing questions and thinking about and testing hypotheses.