Research Experiences for Undergraduates

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, 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 poster presentation of their research experience at the end of the program, and submit a written, final report describing the results of their research. 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.


COVID-19 Update

At this time, we aim to offer in-person REU experiences during Summer 2022, but it is possible that remote projects may be defined. In the coming months, this plan may evolve as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to conditions/restrictions that impact each institution and travel guidelines. If you wish to participate in a remote project, please indicate so in the Personal Statement of your application.

Program Details

REU opportunities at Rice STAT-DATASCI are available in seven general areas: 

  • 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 with their mentors for 40 hours/week for 10 weeks
  • Be required to prepare a research plan, progress reports, and a final poster presentation describing the results of their research program

The expected start date is June 1, 2022, and the end date is Aug 5, 2022.


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 by the time the REU starts, in any undergraduate curriculum of engineering, physical or mathematical sciences
  • ideally, have at least one course in statistics, a background in differential and integral calculus, a background in computer programming
  • plan to graduate no earlier than December 2021
  • be 18 years of age or older

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: To receive full consideration, apply by April 1, 2022.

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


Each participant will receive a $6,000 stipend for the 10-week internship ($600/week). Participants are also eligible for reimbursement up to $1,000 towards moving/travel to/from Houston (if conditions permit).