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FAQ for Students


What is GEMS?

GEMS is an acronymn for Groups Exploring the Mathematical Sciences. The GEMS project provides graduate students in the mathematical sciences with the opportunity to become involved in researchearly in their graduate career. A GEMS Team consists of at least three members, a faculty mentor,an early-career graduate student, and an undergraduate researcher. The faculty mentor will supervisethe team during the summer months. The participating graduate student will conduct research in themathematical sciences and help to supervise the participation of the undergraduate researcher.  

Who is eligible to apply?

Any graduate student in the Department of Mathematical Sciences who has completed only one year ofstudy at UD is eligible to apply. That is, you are eligible to apply during your first academic year at UDonly. Your GEMS project must take place during your first full summer as a graduate student at UD.

What if I already have a Masters degree when I arrive at UD?

No problem. You are still eligible.

What if I am a Master's student rather than a Ph.D. student?

You are still eligible and encouraged to apply. However, preference will be given to students seeking a Ph.D.

What if I arrive in January?

If you start off-cycle, i.e., arrive in January rather than September, you are still eligible to apply.

How do I get involved?

The first step is to peruse the faculty projects described on this site. Once you have found a project that you are interested in pursuing, you should go speak with the relevant faculty member directly. Ifthe faculty member is willing to lead the GEMS project and take you on as the graduate student memberfor the project, you will then complete the application materials in conjunction with your faculty supervisor.Please note that all application materials are your responsibility, but must be completed and approved inconjunction with your proposed GEMS faculty supervisor.

How do I apply?

After you have spoken with a faculty member who is willing to lead a GEMS project and who has agreedto sponsor you as the graduate student member of that GEMS team, you should review the applicationmaterials accessible from the link above. Then, in consultation with your faculty supervisor, you shouldprepare an application. Note that a completed application requires the signature of your faculty supervisor,the name of the participating undergraduate student, and a description of your role in mentoring the undergraduate student. Please note that all materials, especially the research plan and mentoring plan, shouldbe written by you, the graduate student. This is your proposal and you should approach this as an exercisein proposal writing. Your faculty supervisor may provide editorial support, but the application is yours!

When are applications due?

hardcopy of all application materials must be submmitted to the Graduate Director by March 2, 2009.

What criteria will be used to judge applications?

All application materials will be considered in judging GEMS applications. However, your research and mentoring plans will be examined most closely. You should be sure to prepare these documents carefullyand to have your proposed faculty supervisor read and edit them prior to submission.

When will GEMS awards be announced?

Awards will be announced in mid-March, 2012.

What is my commitment?

The GEMS project requires a 10 week commitment. You will be expected to work full time during the ten week period beginning on June 4, 2012 and ending on August 10, 2012. You may not teach nor take classes while participating in a GEMS project. There will be weekly lunchtime meetings of all GEMS teams. Attendance is mandatory. In addition, you will expected to give an informal talk during one lunch meeting and a formal presentation on your research at our annual summer student symposium. The symposium is tentatively scheduled for August 10, 2012.

Does my GEMS project have to become my thesis project?

No! Participation in a GEMS project gives you an opportunity to explore research in the mathematicalsciences without a long-term commitment. Your GEMS project need not become your thesis project norare you obligated to work further with your GEMS faculty leader.

What will my summer be like if I participate in GEMS?

Your summer will begin on June 4, 2012 with a kick-off organizational meeting. Then, your daily schedulewill be set in consultation with your faculty team leader. Each week, all GEMS participants will come togetherfor an informal brown-bag lunch. During these lunches you will get the chance to see what each team isworking on and hence be exposed to a broad cross-section of department research. You will have the chance to speak at one of these brown-bags and present your research. At the end of the summer you willgive a more formal talk in our annual summer student symposium. It won't be all work though, there will beat least one group outing during the summer and you are welcome to play on our department softball teamas we take on the Physics Department!

What are the benefits of participating?

Participation in GEMS allows you to experience mathematical research early in your career. In addition,over the course of the summer you will be exposed to the range of projects being carried out by facultyin the department. This broad exposure will help you as you decide on a thesis project.

What is the stipend?

The stipend for your ten week commitment is $6000. In addition, your faculty supervisor will be providedwith a $500 supply and travel budget. Faculty members are encouraged to use these funds to supportgraduate student travel related to GEMS research.

What if I'm not selected as a GEMS Fellow?

All graduate students in their first year of study in the Department of Mathematical Sciences are eligiblefor Unidel support in their first summer. This provides a stipend of $3000 and requires a six-week commitment.Further details about this program are available from the Graduate Director.

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FAQ for Students
  • Department of Mathematical Sciences
  • University of Delaware
  • 501 Ewing Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2653