What we do


REFS can help in multiple different ways. Below, we’ve listed some of the ways we have helped people in the past, but if we haven’t listed what you’re looking for, please feel free to reach out with any questions you have.

We can help directly:
The Aero/Astro dREFS are graduate students like you. If you’re struggling with an advisor, trying to balance classes and research, or just want to talk through your current thoughts, we are hear to listen. You can reach out to all dREFS or to any of the individuals listed on the “Who we are” page.

Referral to other resources:
Just like people reaching out to REFS for help with a problem, sometimes REFS rely on other, more specialized resources at MIT that can help us out. Below, we’ve listed some of the resources available to graduate students; a more exhaustive list can be found at resources.mit.edu. If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry, you can always just come to us and we’ll discuss what other resources you might want to consider.

The Ombuds Office

The MIT Ombuds are professional conflict management practitioners. They are neutral, confidential, and informal. You can learn more about individual ombuds here.

Office of Graduate Education

The OGE focuses on helping students, especially with problems and conflicts that have to do with their studies. They also provide a list of Common Values that provide guideines on expected student-advisor relationships.

Violence Prevention and Response

Violence Prevention and Response (VPR) is MIT’s primary on-campus resource for preventing and responding to interpersonal violence including sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment

Mental Health and Counseling

Mental Health and Counseling meets with about 20% of the student body each year to help them identify, understand, and solve problems in formats from informal chats to group therapy sessions.

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