Summer Program for Undergraduates in Data Science (SPUDS)


Summer Program for Undergraduates in Data Science (SPUDS) logo

Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 11:59pm

The Summer Program for Undergraduates in Data Science (SPUDS) is a ten-week summer program, co-sponsored by Harvard College and the Harvard Data Science Initiative (HDSI), that aims to provide a formative and substantive data science research experience and to promote community, creativity, and scholarship amongst Harvard College students. SPUDS will support Fellows with interests in computer science, mathematics, and statistics, including those who are interested in data science applications across the arts, humanities, sciences and more. We also encourage SPUDS projects that focus on or emphasize ethical practices in data science research.

To participate in SPUDS, prospective fellows should seek a research collaboration with a Harvard faculty host, and apply to SPUDS directly through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. It is not necessary to have secured a research position by the SPUDS application deadline. Fellows will work with Harvard-affiliated researchers and live in one of the Harvard College houses with other fellows in the Summer Undergraduate Research Village. As part of SPUDS, fellows will participate in rich evening programming, including both social and academic activities, and become members of a vibrant intellectual and social summer community.

SPUDS will run from Monday, June 5, 2023 through Thursday, August 10, 2023. Participants must commit to the full ten weeks of the program.

Download URAF Applications


What does SPUDS stand for?
SPUDS stands for Summer Program for Undergraduates in Data Science.

Is the program limited to applicants concentrating in computer science, mathematics, or statistics?
No, applicants may concentrate in any academic discipline. In fact, SPUDS encourages interdisciplinary research and welcomes projects that engage the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, and more.

Are there limitations to the kind of research I can do and still be eligible for SPUDS?
Since SPUDS encourages interdisciplinary work and research across academic fields, proposed projects do not need to be located within a specific academic discipline. Projects may be grounded in computer science, mathematics, and statistics—but applications for these fields stretch far beyond these fields!

Where can do I do research and participate in SPUDS?
SPUDS Fellows must work with a Harvard-affiliated faculty member on their project. Faculty hosts can be appointed in the Faculty of Arts and Science, Harvard’s other graduate and professional schools, Harvard’s affiliated hospitals and research institute, or elsewhere. For questions about eligibility, please reach out to URAF at

Do I need to have my project and faculty member confirmed when I apply for SPUDS?
You may apply to SPUDS without having solidified your research project and faculty host for the summer. If you are in this situation, please respond to the first essay prompt by describing your research interest in data science, what you hope to learn, and how you expect this summer research experience to contribute to your academic goals.

I want to work on a project for only part of the summer. Can I start my project later in the summer or leave early?
No. Since SPUDS Fellows are committed to being active members of the SPUDS and larger Research Village community, every SPUDS Fellows is required to participate in the full ten weeks of the program.

SPUDS is a Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village Program (HSURV). HSURV programs provide a research experience with Harvard-affiliated faculty mentors, along with a stipend and on-campus housing and a partial meal plan for 10 weeks over the summer. Browse other programs in the Research Village: