The National Science Foundation has awarded an REU Site grant to iSchool professors Jeff Stanton and Jeff Hemsley. This grant provides 12 undergraduate students from various academic backgrounds with the opportunity to do research on SU’s campus next summer. The experience will be repeated for new groups of 12 in summers of 2024 and 2025. 

These students will have access to mentorship and training in social science research methods. This research opportunity focuses on providing  social science students with opportunities to become familiar and skilled in the utilization of human language technologies.

This research program will not only benefit the students who will get the chance to come to SU and learn, but will also bring positives for the iSchool and Syracuse University as a whole. Professor Stanton explained that some possible benefits include, “greater exposure of the iSchool, potential future iSchool graduate students, and an increase to our reputation as a research university”.

The focus of this REU is in text analysis and text processing, which is an existing strength of the iSchool and its faculty. Many professors already have published articles and taught courses in this area. 

This is not the first grant awarded to the iSchool by NSF; in fact, it is one of many, as the programs at NSF are aligned with the research work of many iSchool faculty members. 

Typical research grants provide funding for one specific research project to be done, however, this REU Site focuses on educational activities. The iSchool not only facilitates strong research but also provides education and hands-on experience to those interested in doing research. 

“It’s intentional on the part of NSF that they want our university to attract people from other universities so they can get an experience working with faculty outside of their own home institutions,” Professor Stanton shared. 

This educational program will take place starting Summer 2023 and continue through to Summer 2025. The program welcomes Sophomores and Juniors from other universities, colleges and community colleges. For students from community colleges, the iSchool is especially interested in those transferring into a 4-year program. Students must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals to be eligible. The program provides a stipend of $6000 for the 10-week experience as well as room and board for the duration of each student’s time on campus.

There are many iSchool professors and faculty who are involved in this grant and are eager to welcome new students to campus. Among those in support is iSchool Professor and Associate Dean of Research, Carsten Oesterlund. Oesterlund shared that this program, “will give many undergraduate students at SU and beyond the opportunity to get involved in some of the many exciting research projects that we have at the iSchool. The students will not only get a chance to try out and learn about research but also connect with and spend the summer with like-minded colleagues.”

Additional iSchool faculty who will be spearheading this program include Senior Associate Dean Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Interim Dean David Seaman, Professor Kelvin King, Professor Jasmina Tacheva, Professor Lu Xiao, Professor Kevin Crowston, Professor Bei Yu, Professor Josh Introne, and Professor EunJeong Cheon. 

The application process for this grant will feature two parts including an interest form to gather contact information  and an invitation to share more information and prior research experience. Interested students can learn more or apply today.