(National) Increasing Statistical Preparation in Research Education for Underrepresented Undergraduates (INSPIRE U2)

(National) Increasing Statistical Preparation in Research Education for Underrepresented Undergraduates (INSPIRE U2) [article image]

When: Sun, Mar 15 2020 12:00am - Fri, Jul 31 2020 12:00am 

Where: Spelman College

Modern Statistical Summer Research Opportunity for Women from Underrepresented Groups

Statistical analysis plays a significant role across the sciences and is arguably the most salient point of intersection among diverse disciplines; scientists constantly communicate information on varied topics through the common language of statistics. Application of statistical knowledge is broad, the field is advancing, and there is increased demand for rigor. It is important that underrepresented students, who may be initially less likely to pursue degrees in quantitative fields, not get left behind in the pursuit of advanced training in statistics. The aim of this project is to address this critical need by providing 24 underrepresented female students with statistical training in an exemplary summer program.

Specifically, approximately 8 rising female sophomore students from underrepresented groups will be invited to Spelman College for an 8-week summer program. During the summer program, INSPIRE U2 participants will be exposed to statistical programs and analytical techniques, including modern techniques not commonly included in the undergraduate curriculum, such as moderated mediation. During the summer program, students will be trained on how to ask and answer these types of questions. It is expected that this initiative will:

  1. Increase student interest in advanced degree programs
  2. Provide support and mentorship to students
  3. Serve as a pipeline for entry into advanced degree programs. Each student will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, and in doing so, students will develop the skills, confidence, and inspiration to pursue advanced statistics opportunities within the sciences.

Key innovations include:

  1. The merging of two evidence-based training approaches
  2. Training in the flexible application of knowledge
  3. Analysis of data in real world contexts
  4. Intensive one-on-one mentoring and support

Increasing Statistical Preparation in Research Education for Underrepresented Undergraduates
(INSPIRE U2) provides a learning pathway that will set underrepresented female students on a track towards advanced degrees and careers in statistical fields.


Structure of the Program

  • Spend two months at Spelman College (June 8 – July 31, 2020)
  • Participate in the program for 40 hours per week
  • Complete a Statistics Bootcamp in the first 4 weeks of the program
  • Train under research mentors in various disciplines
  • Engage in research with an on-campus mentor
  • Work on an independent research project using freely available Big Data sets
  • Learn statistics that are most appropriate to your research question, which could include advanced topics
  • Present your research at the end of the summer program and at a professional conference
  • Meet weekly with peer and faculty mentors
  • Attend panel discussions and professional development activities
  • Field trips

Students will receive a stipend, and the program covers costs for room and board, and provides support for travel to Atlanta and travel costs for conference attendance.

How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, students must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • be a female undergraduate from an underrepresented group (Underrepresented groups are African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders)
  • be enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree
  • be a current freshman or sophomore.
  • have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (Fall 2019).
  • be a US Citizen or permanent resident.

Additional Requirements

  • Open to all disciplines.
  • Students should plan to be available for the entirety of the summer program.
  • Students will be required to contact their peer and faculty mentors prior to the summer program to begin discussions about project ideas (more details will be provided to accepted participants).

To Apply

  • Click HERE for application.
  • Be ready to upload a cover letter, a copy of your transcript(s), a resume, and the email address of two faculty members at your university who are willing to write you  letters of recommendation.
  • Update: Faculty should upload their letter of recommendationHERE.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until March 15, 2020.

Although we would be happy to answer questions regarding our summer program, please see answers to frequently asked questions before contacting us.

Direct all questions to ablanks1@spelman.edu.

Link: INSPIRE U2_Summer 2020 Application