Research Experiences for Undergraduates | STAT-DATASCI

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) projects in the Department of Statistics are designed to involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs. During the REU at Rice University, STAT-DATASCI program, participants will work closely with faculty members, graduate students, and/or undergraduate mentors on current research projects, make short progress presentations to their peers during program meetings, make a formal presentation of their research experience at the end of the program, and submit a written, final report describing the results of their research. Throughout the program, students also participate in professional development events and social events. Our goal is that the students participating in the REU program will make significant contributions to ongoing faculty research and, more importantly, gain an appreciation for and an interest in graduate school and a future research career in data science or statistics.

Our faculty have projects in a variety of key research areas. Learn more about our Research Focus Areas.


Program Details

REU opportunities at Rice STAT-DATASCI are available in seven general areas, most of which also include application domains: 

  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
  • Dependent Data (time series, spatial modeling, space-time)
  • Multivariate analysis, machine learning, graphical models
  • Nonparametrics
  • Applied Probability and Stochastics Processes
  • Data Science and Applications (Astronomy/planetary science, Biomedicine/Genetics, environment, social sciences, finance, statistical engineering, neuroscience)

These REU projects will provide hands-on learning experiences, expose undergraduate students to research techniques and integrate them into the research community at Rice. As part of the REU program, students will:

  • Work under mentor guidance for 40 hours/week for 10 weeks
  • Be required to prepare a research plan, progress reports, and a final presentation describing the results of their research program
  • Participate in professional development workshops and social activities

The start date is May 22, 2023, and the end date is July 28, 2023.


To participate in the program, students should:

  • have an interest in and a desire to participate in ongoing research in at least one of the above research areas
  • have completed at least their first year of college by the time the REU starts
  • have at least one course in statistics, a background in differential and integral calculus
  • ideally, have a background in computer programming (e.g., experience with R, Python, or MatLab)
  • plan to graduate no earlier than December 2023
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • be prepared to participate in person fully for the complete duration of the program period

Rice is committed to recruiting, supporting, and engaging a diverse group of undergraduate students from across the nation. Thus, we are looking for students at all levels, including first-year students majoring in STEM, and prior research experience is not required. Additionally, students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM, as well as students with diverse experiences and/or backgrounds, are strongly encouraged to apply to the REU program.

How to Apply

The application to the REU program requires:

  1. A resume (2-page max)
  2. An (unofficial) transcript
  3. Confirmed interests in up to 3 out of the 7 research areas.
  4. One letter of recommendation. This should be a letter from someone who knows you and the way you work. For example, a supervisor from a job you have had where you gained relevant experience, a teacher from a class where you had an engaging learning experience or had to overcome challenges, a professor with whom you have gained some laboratory or research experience.
  5. A personal statement describing the applicant’s research interests and technical skills (1,000 words max).
  6. A culture of inclusion statement describing how you believe your experiences and/or perspectives would contribute to advancing a culture of diversity and inclusion at Rice Statistics (250 words max). 
  7. Application Deadline: Applications may be submitted until March 1, 2023. There is a priority deadline of Feb. 15, 2023.

For further information, please contact the Director of the STAT REU Program, Dr. Elizabeth McGuffey.


Each participant will receive a $6,000 stipend for the 10-week internship and on-campus housing accommodations. Participants are also eligible for reimbursement up to $1,000 towards moving/travel to/from Houston. On-campus housing will be provided and paid for by the STAT-DATASCI program. Off-campus housing is at the expense of the participant. STAT-DATASCI students also have no-cost access to the Rice gym.