TRIPODS Institute for Theoretical Foundations of Data Science

TRIPODS Research Experiences for Undergraduates 2020

The TRIPODS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at UMass Amherst offers qualifying undergraduates an eight-week paid opportunity for conducting research in Data Science. Student participants will work full-time (from 9am to 5pm) with a faculty mentor either in a small research group or individually. Students will describe their findings in a written final report.

Timing: Generally, the REU program runs for 8 weeks during June and July. Occasionally, some students can make small adjustments to this schedule in consultation with the faculty mentor and REU Coordinator.

Funding: Participants will receive a stipend of $4000, and there will be up to $2000 for housing and living expenses.

Eligibility: Students must be US citizens or permanent residents to receive funding and must have a graduation date after the Summer of 2020. The ideal time for students to engage in an REU is during the summer between junior and senior years, though students earlier in their careers may apply as well.

Application Process: There are four parts for the application, listed below. You may either submit by e-mail to or place the completed application (including all supporting documents indicated below) in Matthew Dobson's mailbox on the 16th floor of LGRT by March 23rd, 2020. Letters of recommendation are due at the same time.

  1. REU-application form (download, print, and complete paper copy)
  2. A copy (unofficial is ok) of your most current Undergraduate Transcript. (Please include the most recent transcripts from all institutions you have attended.)
  3. Up to two letters of recommendation from instructors of related courses or supervisors of previous research projects. Letters from upper division courses are strongly preferred. Please ask the instructor(s) to email the letter to Professor Dobson ( or place it in his mailbox on the 16th floor of LGRT by March 23, 2020.
  4. A brief essay (less than one page) describing your interest in the REU program. It should address what you hope to get out of it, how it relates to your future goals, how your past experiences have prepared you for it: in short, make a pitch as to why you are a good fit for the program. If you have in mind who to work with or what area of research to focus on, please include those.