2024 LEAP Summer REU Program


LEAP’s 2024 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program offers summer undergraduate research experiences (SUREs) on synergistic innovations in data science and climate science. This 10-week Program is in partnership with the NSF Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) program at UCAR.

The REU Program hosts undergraduate researchers and offers a wide array of enrichment learning and networking opportunities. LEAP is committed to building a diverse research community at the intersection of climate science, data science, and climate and social justice. We care about the future of our planet and want to apply our research to help make informed decisions when it comes to the communities most affected by climate change.

All students will be supported by a team of researchers and graduate student mentors. We want our students to succeed and learn what it takes to make a larger impact on the world via STEM research. Upon completion of the Program, students may have the opportunity to continue their research or present their findings at academic conferences.

Interested applicants must review all the details on this page
to complete the application (see more application details below).

2024 Important Dates

  • March 1: Virtual info session (View Here)
  • March 10: APPLICATION deadline
  • March 31: Application decision notification
  • May 26: Move in to campus housing
  • May 28 – August 2: On-campus Research Experience
  • August 3: Move out of campus housing


I have no programming or coding experience. Can I still apply?
YES! All admitted students will receive guidance regarding how to best prepare for the research experience through self-guided learning materials.

  • Keep in mind: the REU experience begins with the Momentum Bootcamp, which will equip students with the skills necessary to complete the research experience.
  • To get the most out of the REU Program, you should have some prior experience with or knowledge of coding, but all eligible students are encouraged to apply, regardless of coding and/or programming background.
  • And please note: this is a learning experience and you are not expected to produce a research paper or “solve” a problem. Research takes time, and this is only one part of the journey!
  • The students who will benefit most from the REU Program are interested in learning about how data science skills can be applied toward climate science research. 

Are there resources that may help me evaluate my experience and understanding of some basic concepts before I apply?
YES! In addition to undergraduate coursework and the Momentum Bootcamp, you may also take advantage of supplemental resources to gain or hone your skills and prepare for the REU Program, such as: 


Who can apply to the 2024 REU Program?
We invite applications from students who will be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior in Fall 2024 at a college/university in the United States. (We are only able to offer admission to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.) We invite students from groups underrepresented in the STEM discipline in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, family history of post-baccalaureate opportunity, gender identity and gender expression, disability, or military service to apply. Former LEAP REU participants are also welcome to apply.

What are the application requirements?

  • Résumé/CV
  • Academic transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • Statement of interest (500 words about your research goals this summer and your future plans)
  • Letter of recommendation from an academic professor with whom you have studied at your home institution
  • Please be sure to read each project description carefully before submitting the application.

How do I apply? And what are the deadlines?

  • The APPLICATION is available online.
  • Applications are due by Sunday, March 10, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
  • Letters of recommendation should be submitted via email to leap@columbia.edu by Sunday, March 10, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (EDT).
  • We anticipate notifying applicants with a decision at the end of March 2024.


The 2-week Momentum Bootcamp (May 28 – June 7) will be led by: 

  • Juan Nathaniel (PhD student, Dept. of Earth + Environmental Engineering, Columbia University; Gentine Lab, Columbia Engineering)
  • Candace Agonafir (Postdoc, Depts. of Data Science + Civil Engineering, Columbia University)

The 8-week Research Experience (June 10 – August 2) will be led by the following Project Leads/Mentors:


Click the image below to learn more about the Summer 2024 REU Research Projects and Project Mentors.


Where will the 2024 REU Program be located? 
The 2024 REU Program — including enrichment and social activities — will be held at Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus and Manhattanville Campus. LEAP’s office is located in the Columbia Innovation Hub (2276 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10027). 

Are there activities, workshops, and other events planned for the summer?
YES! LEAP will support summer researchers in their professional development goals. The 2024 REU Program will include various workshops on graduate school planning and professional development, research seminars, social events, and more. LEAP will also provide additional learning and enrichment opportunities throughout the summer.

I have another summer commitment (e.g., research position or employment); can I still participate in LEAP’s 2024 REU Program?
The 2024 REU Program is a full-time commitment that requires students to participate in research, seminars, and workshops. We strongly recommend that participants plan to keep other weekly commitments to a minimum (less than 15 hours per week).


How much is the stipend?
The 2024 REU Rrogram offers a competitive stipend of $700 per week for the duration of the program.

Is my 2024 REU stipend taxable?
1099 forms will be issued to students. Please visit the 1099 tax withholding page for more information. You should save documentation of the direct deposit of your stipend. 

Will travel funds be provided?
A travel stipend will be available for eligible students.

Will housing be provided? Are housing costs covered?
Students who require summer housing will be housed on Columbia University’s Morningside Heights campus for the duration of the program. This will allow students to take advantage of Columbia’s resources, facilities, and social events throughout the summer.

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