Feeling stressed? We are here to help.

REFS (Resources for Easing Friction and Stress) programs are for peer support within the Institute. REFS students are trained by Conflict Management@MIT to provide low barrier, confidential services to their peers in the form of support, coaching, listening, de-escalation, and informal mentoring and mediation. REFS share information about additional resources on campus and can make informed referrals. There are student REFS programs institute-wide (iREFS) or in departments (dREFS) as well as a staff initiative in MIT medical (medREFS).

REFS program

REFS support their peers. They are trained in conflict management and coaching, and serve their peers throughout the ups and downs of the MIT experience. You can be a REFS, or seek one out for coaching or a listening ear. There are REFS who serve primarily the students in their department, as well as REFS who serve anyone across the Institute, regardless of affiliation.

Institute REFS

Institute-wide REFS (iREFS) are available to any student on campus. Whether you are feeling stressed about a course or have an issue with a labmate or advisor, you can reach out to Institute REFS for coaching, advice, or just to be a good listener.

Departmental REFS

Departmental REFS (dREFS) are an excellent resource for issues and concerns specific to your department or your field of study. dREFS are found in 9 departments at MIT, with new dREFS starting every year.

MIT medical REFS

For staff members in MIT Medical, you have peers to support you as well. Trained in mediation, these staff members can assist you with everyday issues to larger concerns, and are a private resource to you.


For more information on the REFS program, please contact Conflict Management @ MIT.

  (617) 253-3276

Join iREFS!

The next iREFS training will take place in August 2016.

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