Catalyst is a  blended-learning program at Brown University that prepares incoming first-years for the rigors of a science concentration at Brown. Funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and run by the New Scientist Program at Brown University, Catalyst embraces the belief that through collaboration with peers, continual engagement with problem solving, and the support of an entire community, students can thrive in the sciences.

Catalyst is divided into two sections: a one-week residential program and an online lead-in to the program.The online lead-in begins August 1, 2013. Students engage in approximately 12 hours of coursework over a two and a half week period. The coursework is designed to engage students in collaborative study and introduce the concepts and foundational material for the academic portion of the program. Students will be expected to follow a common schedule dedicating about 1 hour per weekday on the course.

The residential portion of Catalyst begins August 18, 2013. The focus shifts to intense collaborative problem solving over a one week period. Students are also introduced to a variety of professors, administrators and labs, to gain a sense of what options they can pursue while at Brown and who will be there to support them in their academic and personal journeys.

All costs associated with Catalyst, except travel to Brown, are covered by HHMI. Students must participate in either TWTP or Excellence at Brown following Catalyst both of which end at the beginning of first-year orientation. Consequently, students should consider moving in to Catalyst as an early move-in to Brown.