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REU at the PRC

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2024 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program:

Undergraduate Research in Race, Ethnicity, and the Demography of the Criminal Justice System

Population Research Center and Department of Sociology, The University of Texas at Austin

The Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with the Department of Sociology and the Initiative for Law, Societies, and Justice, is pleased to announce the 2024 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, contingent on funding from the National Science Foundation. The REU program offers talented undergraduates the opportunity for classroom training and hands-on research experience during an 8-week session on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

What is the REU? The REU program hosts twelve very select undergraduates from around the United States for 8 weeks during the summer and introduces them to careers in social science through an intense program to conduct research that contributes to our scientific understanding of race and ethnicity and the demography of the criminal justice system with relevance for research, policy, and practice. The program features seminars on racial and ethnic differences in exposure to and impacts of criminal justice contact and educational, economic, health, political, and social inequalities of the U.S. population. In addition to the seminars, REU participants will be introduced research ethics and to different methods of inquiry on the causes and consequences of justice system involvement at the UT Population Research Center (PRC). The PRC is the foremost research institute for population studies in the Southwestern United States and home to a new university wide Initiative for Law, Societies, and Justice. Over the summer, REU students are expected to develop individual research projects mentored by faculty and/or in partnership with community organizations in policy and practice settings. Students will present findings from their mentored research projects at the conclusion of the summer program. They will also be invited to present their work at a professional conference in the fall following their REU summer.

REU summer program dates are June 4, 2024 through July 25, 2024. REU participants will be part of the UT Population Research Center, the Initiative for Law, Societies, and Justice, and the Sociology Department community, with a readymade set of faculty members and fellow students eager to introduce them to the collegiality of academic life.

REU participants will receive a $4,000 summer stipend for participation in the program, which should allow the selected students to fully concentrate on their REU experience over the 2-month program. The REU program will also pay for room and board, assuming the program is offered face-to-face. Participants who chose to present their paper at the spring 2024 conference will be provided an additional stipend and travel allowance.

Ideally, REU participants will live and dine together over the summer in a UT residence hall and may arrive as early as June 1. A mandatory orientation will be held on June 3. Participation in the REU program will allow students access to all UT sports and recreation facilities, shuttle bus and Austin Capital Metro transportation, and a wide range of entertainment events in the Austin community. Students are encouraged to make the most of their stay in Austin and use the extra time outside the program dates to enjoy the city and all it has to offer.

Who is eligible to be an REU student? This program is open to US citizens and permanent residents. Undergraduates who have completed requirements for sophomore or junior standing are eligible to apply, with the ideal time for REU being the summer between the junior and senior year. We would like to encourage applications from students who are currently enrolled in undergraduate programs in the social sciences and adjacent fields and from groups historically underrepresented in graduate education. We would like to encourage applications from undergraduates at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HIS) in Texas, and students who have been acutely impacted by the criminal justice system. A letter of reference from a nominating faculty member will also be given serious weight in our selection decisions.

How do interested students apply for the REU program? 


The application is online. It consists of 5 parts: personal statement, resume, transcript, online application, and faculty recommendation. Application can be found here.

Questions or comments may be directed to: justice@utexas.edu

This program is conditional on support from the National Science Foundation Grant No. SMA-2247488.

2022 Cohort

College of Liberal Arts

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Nia Thompson - Wake Forest University

Anne Flanagan - Univeristy of North Carolina

Jameelah El - Cornell University

Elizabeth Kuhlman - Rice Universtiy

ThuyMi Phung - Southwestern University

Priscille Osias - Brown University

Noor Amanullah - Rutgers University

Arianna Bollens - University of Southern California

2021 Cohort

College of Liberal Arts

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Lin Ang - University of Pennsylvania - "Interracial Relationships and Parent-Child Bonds"

Aryele Jackson - Western Washington University - "How School Discipline and Sense of Belonging Motivate Black Educational Attainment"

Margarita Obregon - University of Southern California - "Financial Transfers Between Parents and their Adult Children: A Focus on Immigrant Families in the United States"

Clarisse Manuel - The University of Texas at Austin - "Adolescent Sexual Attitudes and the Likelihood of Teen Pregnancy"

Isabel Levin - The University of Massachusetts - "Intergenerational Closure and Educational Attainment in Young Adulthood"

Erika Folgar - Vassar College - "The Association Between Adolescent Intimate Partner Violence and College Graduation"

Soren Starkey - Ohio University - "Power, Violence, and Identity: Effects of Abstinence Pledges on Romantic Relationships"

Olivia Howard - University of Michigan - "Inheriting Financial Exclusion: How Family Structure History Influences Banking in Early Adulthood"

2019 Cohort

College of Liberal Arts

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Hannah Bills - Southwestern University - "Dating Violence among U.S. High School Students: Differences across Sexual Identity and Sexual Behavior"

Sofia Depner - University of Arizona - "Immigration Policy and Education: Arizona Test Scores after SB 1070"

Benjamin Gonzalez - Trinity University - "Disparities in Context: Health Insurance Coverage in Texas Latinx Populations"

Jada Kissi - Cornell University - "Sexual empowerment and family planning use among Ghanaian Women"

Siriruay "Ploy" Methakitwarun - Northern Kentucky University - "Immigrant generations in home leaving: Do parents and peers matter"

Athena Owirodu -  The University of Texas at Austin - "Parental Health and its Impact on their Child’s College Trajectory"

Meena Pyatt -  The University of Texas at Austin - "Multiracial Identity and Adolescent Sexual Debut"

Zachary White - Southwestern University - "How Long is this Gonna Last?’ Using the National Couples Survey to Measure Confidence in a Relationship"

Notable mentions and awards

Siriruay "Ploy" Methakitwarun - recipient of the 2019 Southern Demographic Association best undergraduate student paper award

Athena Owirodu - selected as a recipient of the Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her paper, "Parental Health and its Impact on their Child’s College Trajectory"