Department awarded grant to support undergraduate research initiatives

Photo of Maria Tackett

For the third consecutive year, the Department of Statistical Science has been awarded a grant from the Trinity Research Enhancement Fund, a program from the Office of Academic Affairs to support undergraduate research and senior thesis projects. This year’s award of $13,300 will be used to support ongoing events and initiatives that aim to promote a sustainable culture of undergraduate research in the department. 

 A large portion of the grant will support the second iteration of the Introduction to Undergraduate Research in Statistics workshop. This workshop is designed for students early in the statistics curriculum who have not previously participated in independent research or campus programs such as Data+, Bass Connections, and Code+. During the two-week program, students work in teams to conduct data-driven research mentored by Statistical Science Ph.D. students and faculty members. Students also participate in a variety of activities to develop research skills, including a guest speaker series where faculty share their research experiences and current projects. A team from the 2021 workshop won first place in the intermediate category of the Spring 2021 Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition, a national competition sponsored by the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE). The next workshop will be in May 2023.

Funding from the grant will also be used to support various undergraduate research activities during the 2022 - 2023 academic year. These activities include an undergraduate research seminar and reception and workshops facilitated by Duke Libraries and the Center for Data and Visualization Sciences on topics such as literature reviews and reproducibility. Funding will also be used to support the development of thesis templates and resources and the department’s Undergraduate Conference Fund, a program established in Fall 2020 to provide financial support for undergraduate majors presenting their research at external conferences.

More information about the department’s undergraduate research initiatives may be found at