Research for Undergraduates in Math and Science (RUMS)

Things to know:

Applications are open for 2023!


RUMS Application Coversheet

RUMS Application Process 2023

RUMS CV Template

RUMS Sample CV

What to Submit:

  1. Application Form, Complete the application form.
  2. Curriculum Vitae, This is a research version of your resume.  See example and template on website.
  3. Personal Statement, Write a one-page statement that provides a portrait of who you are as a student. Describe your research interests and goals. Be very specific about your career objectives and how participation in the RUMS program will help you achieve those objectives. Tell us what motivates you to conduct research. Let us know why you feel you are particularly qualified for this program. Provide details of any experiences that you feel are relevant to your application.
  4. Letters from Two References

Please request that reference letters from an instructor who can best evaluate you and from a former employer or other person who can provide a character reference. Please ask these people to submit the letter directly to with your name in the subject line. If your references need more time, you must submit everything else by the deadline, and send an email to Dr. Gaff ( to notify us of the situation.

When to Submit:

The application deadline is March 15, 2023.

Entry in to the RUMS program is a competitive process. Selected students will be interviewed, and final RUMS participants will be notified by March 30.

Where to Submit:

All application materials (application form, CV, personal statement) should be submitted electronically to

For more information about the application process, please contact: Dr. Holly Gaff ( or Dr. David Gauthier (

What is RUMS?

RUMS is a two year, intensive research apprenticeship for undergraduates in science and math.

What do RUMS students do?

RUMS students learn technical skills in lab and field research. They also present their research at scientific conferences, and annually during the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students write a proposal for a final research project that they will complete at the end of the second year.

RUMS timeline

Spring 1: Students begin their first semester learning basic lab skills and exploring research options.

Summer 1: Students carry out research tasks in the lab or the field where they typically work in teams with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students.

Fall 1- Spring 2: Students work closely with faculty members to complete project milestones. They may take special courses to complement their research projects. Most students begin presenting research at conferences during fall of the first year.

Summer 2: Students focus on their own research. They will report the results of their work and a final paper at the end of the second year.

RUMS students presented research at the 2018 Annual Meeting, Virginia Branch, American Society for Microbiology in Radford, VA. 

Three RUMS students attended the 2018 Annual Meeting of Virginia ASM.
From left: Anna Phan, Rebecca Ferrara, and Zach Bement.
Student presents a poster at Virginia ASM, November 2018.
Rebecca Ferrara, a senior at ODU, presented her poster “Molecular Strain Typing for the Tick-borne Pathogen Rickettsia parkeri