Undergraduate Research

The advantages of participating in research as an undergraduate are numerous and there are many different ways you can participate. You can work with faculty on already established projects or create your own. Research allows you to delve more deeply into a specific area of interest, and you can receive hands on experience to determine if you would like to pursue advanced study in a certain subject area.

Research experience is also highly valuable for students who are interested in attending a graduate or professional school and allows you to obtain more meaningful letters of recommendation from faculty. Research also allows you to develop tools of inquiry and other skills that will help you in whatever you choose to accomplish post-graduation.

Research in the Department of Statistics

Faculty Research Interests

The faculty in the Department of Statistics have diverse research interests. They range from methodological research and applications of statistics in the biological sciences, neuroimaging, and public health to applications in econometrics, physics, astronomy, and more!  It is very important to be proactive and discuss your interest in research with our faculty.  They regularly need enthusiastic undergraduates to help them with their projects. You can view their research topics on the faculty webpage.  Click their website links for a list of their published works and for more information about their projects.

Research Training Group

The Research Training Group is a program funded by the National Science Foundation that works to train and prepare undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers at UC Davis to conduct research in the mathematical sciences, in particular in areas of Statistics involving objects, geometry and shape. You can find out more about this program on their website

Statistics Seminar Series

Every week the Department of Statistics holds open to the public seminars on a special topic related to statistics.  We invite faculty and researchers from various universities and departments to discuss their research interests.  Attending these seminars is a great way to learn more about the broad range of research topics related to statistics, as well as network with faculty. View upcoming and past seminar information on the Seminar Series webpage.

Online Databases and Journals

The Department of Statistics Faculty have put together a list of helpful resources for research in Statistics.  View the list of online Databases and Journals here.  There are also numerous sites where you can download free datasets.  Data.gov is one of many.  

Units for Research

You can receive upper division units for participating in research.  You can receive units for STA 199, 198, and more.  The number of units you receive varies based on the project and your time commitment.  To receive units you and the faculty with whom you are working must complete a Variable Unit Course Contract and submit it the Undergraduate Program Coordinator.

Undergraduate Research Center

The Undergraduate Research Center (URC) is a great place to start if you are considering participating in research as an undergraduate. They provide resources for not only finding research opportunities, but developing skills that are vital for being a successful researcher. See below for more information about them, but be sure to also explore their website. You can also subscribe to their listserv.


Throughout the quarter the URC holds various workshops to help you find opportunities, get your work published, get funding for your work, and much more!  They also have several opportunities throughout the year where you can present your work.  You can view upcoming events and workshops on their events page.

Sponsored Research Programs at UC Davis

There are numerous sponsored research programs offered to undergraduate students at UC Davis. Most of these programs provide a combination of academic enrichment, advising, and the opportunity to conduct research under the supervision of faculty mentors. Each of the programs defines its own eligibility criteria, often dependent upon the program's funding source.  You can find out more about these programs here