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The William Lee Science Impact Program (Lee SIP) is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program designed to expand and broaden participation in undergraduate research. The program provides students the opportunity to work on fun, novel, and interesting scientific questions by matching them with faculty members with similar research interests.
Lee SIP Scholars are mentored directly by research faculty, work within a research team, and participate in professional development workshops—activities that will prepare them for a wide range of science-based careers. Participants will gain experience using principles of the scientific method to develop research proposals, evaluating scientific data, formulating conclusions, and effectively communicating scientific findings to experts and general audiences. The goal of the program is to create opportunities for all undergraduate students to engage directly in the cutting-edge research occurring on campus, including those from traditionally underrepresented groups in science disciplines, such as first-generation college students.
The Lee Science Impact Program offers highly competitive fellowships to selected applicants. Fellows receive a stipend of $400/week (full time), $200 for research supplies, and on-campus housing.
Applicants for the Lee Science Impact Program who qualify will also be considered for the Dr. Tracie Moniece Gibson Scholar designation.
- A UMass undergraduate student with a primary major in a department in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS)
- Enrolled at UMASS during the academic year prior to submission of application
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
- No previous research experience necessary
- All welcome to apply, especially rising juniors and students from traditionally underrepresented groups in science disciplines
Note: Graduating seniors and alumni are not eligible for funding from this program.
Components of the Program
1. Ten-week Research Experience (Summer 2021 dates: May 31, 2021-August 6, 2021)
Lee SIP scholars will apply the knowledge and skills learned in their foundational courses working in a faculty member’s research laboratory. They will participate in ground-breaking research projects designed to investigate pertinent questions in their respective fields. Participants will engage in research full-time (approximately 40 hours per week during the summer) for the period of the fellowship.
2. Professional Development Workshops
Lee SIP Scholars will participate in weekly workshops that will help them develop the proficiencies needed to be successful scientists. They will gain skills to effectively communicate science through critical evaluation of papers from the primary literature, writing abstracts, and presentation of research experimental design and results.
3. UMass Undergraduate Research Symposium
All Lee SIP Scholars will participate in a summer or spring Research Symposium at UMass. Scholars will also be strongly encouraged to become active members of the science community by staying involved in research and presenting novel findings at regional and national science conferences.
4. Academic Year Research Experience
All Lee SIP Scholars are expected to continue to work in their faculty research mentor’s lab for a minimum of two additional semesters.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When is the deadline to apply?
The priority deadline for applications is February 14, 2021. Letters of Recommendation are due February 21, 2021. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2021 and letters of recommendation until March 7, 2021. Applications will not be considered complete until the letter of recommendation is submitted.
The program details say "preference given to rising juniors," but I am a freshman or sophomore. Should I still apply?
The Lee SIP Program targets students in the summer between their sophomore and junior years, although exceptions can be made if a student exhibits superb coursework preparation and other experience.
Should I apply if I am a senior?
The goal of the program is to provide students with a meaningful undergraduate research experiences so that the experience can inform decisions about pursuing science careers. Seniors graduating the spring prior or fall after the summer experience are ineligible to apply.
When will I hear if I've been accepted?
Faculty will review the Lee SIP applications. Notifications about acceptance will be sent out in early April.
I have previously been a Lee SIP Scholar. Can I apply again?
Yes. However, since the program is intended to provide experiences to as many UMass undergraduate students as possible, priority is given to first-time applicants.
Where will I be housed?
Students will be housed on campus in North Apartments* along with participants in other REU programs. These are four-person, two-bedroom, fully furnished apartments with a full kitchen with appliances. * Subject to change.
Is there flexibility to the start and end dates listed?
This program is ten weeks long and includes a number of supportive programing in addition to the research component. Because each component of the program is essential to its overall objectives, successful applicants are expected to participate fully in each component.
What will my work hours be?
You are expected to work approximately 40 hours per week. This may vary depending on the individual research project. Many projects will have a 9-5, Monday to Fri schedule, but those who participate in intensive field studies or time-sensitive experiments can expect to have a varying schedule over the ten-week period.
Should I continue my research project after the ten-week period has ended?
One program objective is for students to become fully engaged with their research experiences. Therefore, each Lee SIP scholar is expected to continue their research beyond the summer and into the next academic year.
How are recommendation letters submitted?
Recommenders will directly submit letters into the system.
The application must be completed online. Students are responsible for completing and uploading a completed application and an unofficial transcript. Applicants must also provide the email address of a UMass faculty member or staff advisor who will provide a letter of support separately. After the letter of support has been uploaded, the applicant will be notified by email.
Applications are open.
Applications due February 28, 2021 (priority given to applications received by February 14, 2021).
Letter of recommendation due March 7, 2021.
Elizabeth Connor, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Development
Phone: (413) 545-4855