IMSI Summer Internship Program

The IMSI Summer Internship Program is hosted by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and began in the summer of 2021. It builds on the prior success of the NSF funded PI4 Summer Internship Program, launched in 2014. Internship hosts will primarily be companies and scientific labs in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and the surrounding region. Internship hosts for the IMSI and PI4 programs in previous years have included AbbVie Innovation Center, Ameren Innovation Center, Bud Analytics Lab, Wolfram Research, Personify, Caterpillar Data Innovation Lab, and the Urbana-Champaign Public Health District, among others. Scientific internship hosts have included the University of Illinois departments of Entomology, Speech and Hearing Science, Industrial Engineering, Plant Biology, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and more. There are a number of descriptions of past internships available.

Summer 2024 application and deadline: Applications closed November 27, 2023.

Structure of the program: The program begins with a two week skills workshop on computation and data science using Python and R. Prior coding experience is not required. Students will then be placed in internships for eight weeks during the summer.

Program Dates: The boot camp will be May 24, May 28—31, and June 37, while the internship will be eight weeks in the date range of June 10 to August 16 (actual dates to be arranged between intern and host).

Eligibility: This program is open to Ph.D. students in mathematics or statistics programs in the United States. Women and students from historically underrepresented US minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Participants must be eligible to work in the United States. The program is open to both US and international students based in the US. International students will be responsible for arranging work authorization (e.g. CPT) before starting the program.

Financial support: Costs incurred in traveling to Urbana-Champaign (if required for program participation) can be reimbursed (subject to NSF guidelines). In addition, interns receive a stipend from IMSI along with salary from the host company. Participants accepted into the program will be provided with more information about the rules for reimbursement and the amount of stipend support.

Summer sublets close to campus are readily available and affordable in Urbana-Champaign. The city bus system is excellent, and one can live here and get to stores and to work without owning a car.

Questions? A number of frequently asked questions are answered below. For those which are not, please email .

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

I am a first-year math/statistics Ph.D. student. Can I still apply for the internship program?

Although you are eligible for the program as a first-year Ph.D. student, your application will likely be more competitive next year or the following year once you have established a graduate record demonstrating your capabilities. We fully intend to offer this program on an annual basis.

I am interested in the data science industry, but I am pursuing a degree that is not math or statistics. Can I still apply for this program?

Unfortunately, our program is restricted to students currently in mathematics or statistics Ph.D. programs.

I am no longer available for the internship this summer. Can you copy my application for next summer?

No, please apply directly through the IMSI internship website:

I am currently completing a master’s degree. Can I apply to this program?

Unfortunately, our program is only open to students currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in mathematics or statistics.

Can I withdraw my application after I am accepted into the program?

If you have any circumstance that prevents you from participating in the program, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing .

How long after I apply will I hear back from the recruiting team?

The IMSI leadership team will start contacting references in December and making decisions in January. Applicants will know by the end of January if they have been accepted into the internship program.

What is the recruitment and interview process for applicants?

Once accepted to the IMSI internship program, we will ask you to provide your resume/CV for us to share with our list of potential academic and company hosts. The hosts will evaluate the resumes/CVs and offer interviews to the interns they are interested in. After the interview, if selected, you will receive an offer to participate in the internship with the host. Again, we provide resume/CV reviews for interns who request them.

Can I share a CV instead of a resume on my application?

Yes, you can share either a CV or a resume.

Can the internship be done remotely?

A remote option for the internship needs to be discussed with the potential host. It will be up to the host to allow you to do the internship remotely.

How likely is it that I will be placed for an internship?

We have been able to match everyone who has been accepted into the program. In addition, we have a comprehensive contact list of internship hosts and offer resume/CV feedback to facilitate your chances of receiving an offer.

I am an international student. Am I still eligible to participate in the internship?

If accepted, international students must obtain work authorization (CPT) approval through their home university’s International Students office. However, international students have been able to participate in the bootcamp and internships in the past without any problems.

Can I check the status of my application?

Unfortunately, once you apply, there is no way to check the status of your application. However, once your application has been reviewed, you may be contacted by the IMSI internship leadership team.

Are interns required to participate full-time? Are there part-time opportunities?

The IMSI summer internship program is a full-time program and does not accept part-time interns. Therefore, participants should expect to participate full-time in their internship. Stipend payments are contingent upon interns attending the program in full for the duration of the program term. Any potential scheduling conflicts must be brought to the attention of the IMIS internship leadership team and be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What does an intern’s schedule look like?

Interns will participate in a two-week bootcamp before starting their internship. After, internships will last approximately eight weeks. Interns will fully engage in their company’s or academic host’s day-to-day work. While their tasks vary given the unique needs of the host, responsibilities can range from conducting research, analyzing data, attending meetings, and applying the skills learned at the bootcamp. In addition, once a week, interns will meet with the IMSI internship leadership team to discuss their progress, ask questions or share concerns, and learn about what the other interns are working on.

Can applicants reapply for a future program session if they are not accepted?

Yes, applicants are allowed to reapply for subsequent sessions.