Research experience for master's students

12-week paid summer research experience in 2018


Carl C. Haynes participated in the REMS program in 2015 when he was a master's student at Syracuse University. He is currently a doctoral student at UMSI.

About the fellowships

Are you interested in applying to a doctoral program or would you like to find out more about what PhD programs entail? Interested in a research career investigating such topics as the impact of libraries and archives, instructional technology, user experience, privacy and security, and health informatics? 

The University of Michigan School of Information is hosting a 12-week intensive summer Research Experience for Master’s Students (REMS) from other iSchool master’s programs, schools of library and information science, or related programs, May 29–August 17, 2018.

Come develop your research skills with world-renowned faculty and in leading institutions on the U-M campus. The students selected for 2018 will engage in a variety of research projects and receive close mentorship as they investigate key issues in information science with UMSI faculty or practitioners. The REMS program supplements the experience in the research project with a broad range of educational and social activities that create a community of scholars among participating students. Students completing the program will be eligible to apply for funding to attend a conference to present their research project.

2018 Research Projects

This student will work with a research team at Bentley Historical Library and UMSI professor Patricia Garcia on a project focused on increasing the use of the Library’s archival collections by students and to assist faculty in designing great learning experiences for students using the collections.
The main goals of this project are to 1) design and implement focus groups with people with vision impairments to understand perceived challenges of autonomous vehicles use and brainstorm design solutions to these problems, and 2) design voice-based prototypes to key challenges. This student will work with UMSI Presidential Post-Doc Robin Brewer.
This student will work with UMSI professor Casey Pierce and Robin Brewer. The aims of this project are to use Health and Retirement Study data to understand 1) older adults’ technology access, use, and skills, particularly for low resource seniors; 2) perceptions and likelihood to use telehealth through traditional means, such as tablets and mobile applications. The Health and Retirement Study is the largest and longest-running longitudinal survey of older adults. Designed by researchers at University of Michigan, it provides access to more than 25 years of data across 20,000 older adults on a range of topic areas including health, disability, and technology use.
Under the mentorship of UMSI professor Tawanna Dillahunt, this project aims to understand the requirements for and to begin building next-generation tools and applications that address the distinct needs of job seekers who live in low-socioeconomic regions, have limited education, or have low income. Specifically, the student will conduct a literature review of interventions and techniques used to increase and support self-efficacy and job search attitudes in the job-search process. Students will then lead an evaluation and analysis of one or more employment tools to analyze whether these tools lead to an increase in self-efficacy and job-search attitudes and why.
Our goal is to provide a user-friendly, large-scale, next-generation data resource for social, behavioral, and economic science researchers conducting data-intensive research using data from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. As part of this effort, we need to understand how social media researchers manage their data. Some questions include what tools do they use to collect data? How do they keep track of multiple collections? What efforts do they undertake to clean or share the data? What transformations do the data undergo between collection and analysis? These questions will be explored under the mentorship of UMSI professor Libby Hemphill.
Anti-social, destructive behaviors online (e.g., online harassment, cyberbullying, hostility, trolling) are increasingly problematic. This project focuses on a particular type of destructive content - hostile comments - because they feature prominently in problems such as harassment, incivility, and cyberbullying. The project aims to predict whether particular comments lead to escalations of hostility and to evaluate automated approaches for preventing escalations or triggering de-escalations. This student will work with Libby Hemphill and UMSI professor David Jurgens.
This student will work with UMSI professor Michael Nebeling in the Information Interaction Lab where they are investigating how multiple different types of devices can be combined and used in interesting ways to provide new interaction possibilities and enable tasks that are difficult to do using any of the devices alone. The project will focus on translating traditional methods and principles from user study design and usability testing to AR/VR usability. Depending on their interests, a student could help with the development of new tools to support such studies, the design and evaluation of new kinds of AR/VR interfaces with a particular focus on usability testing, or both.
Under the mentorship of Casey Pierce, this study proposes a mixed method study including survey, observations and in-depth interviews in collaboration with the Chelsea Senior Center (Chelsea, MI). This aims of this project are focused on the following: (1) understand how healthcare technology such as telemedicine can support or hinder nurses’ clinical work in primary care; (2) derive policy recommendations and technology guidelines that inform how to best implement telemedicine programs; (3) understand how an increased focus on technology skills may influence entry into the nursing profession (e.g., training, education requirements) as well as nurses’ experiences once they are employed in the profession (e.g., burnout); (4) understand whether telemedicine may influence the value and demand of nurses as the technology has the potential for expanding their clinical role.
This student will work on a project supervised by UMSI professor Lionel Robert, seeking to promote trust in autonomous vehicles by exploring the role of explanations on driver expectations of their autonomous vehicle. We plan to conduct a user study in a controlled experimental environment. This will include examining the content, timing and delivery of explanations.
Under the guidance of UMSI professor Florian Schaub, this student will conduct research studies to understand individuals’ decisions and behavior with respect to privacy and security. We will further design and build usable privacy and security mechanisms that help individuals make better privacy and security decisions without getting in the way of their primary activities.
Data curation is fundamental to a wide range of scientific disciplines and activities. However, domain researchers often lack the formal training needed to deploy more complex curatorial approaches. Tools are needed to support data curation by (domain) expert users who are inexpert in complex data work. But before we can build tools, we need to better understand the specific types of information interactions we need them to support. This can be done through interviews with domain users, content analysis of their data, and user studies aimed at understanding how they work with the tools they currently have at their disposal. Completing this work with the mentorship of UMSI professor Andrea Thomer will lay a foundation for the construction of better data curation tools and strategies.
This project focuses on answering the questions: “How do residents of low-income communities acquire, share, and use health information? What do they see as community assets and barriers to their ability to do so?” and “What community organizations play a role in health information production, acquisition, and sharing and use in low-income communities?” A goal of the project will be to contribute to theoretical insights regarding the community health information infrastructures that impede, or enable, access to health information. These theoretical contributions will provide a basis for the future design of information technologies and services to better support people with chronic diseases in low-income communities. This project is under the guidance of UMSI professor Tiffany Veinot.
This student will work with the research team of UMSI professor and senior associate dean for academic affairs Elizabeth Yakel on a project aiming to enhance knowledge of data curation and reuse as well as highlight similarities and differences between disciplines. The findings will also contribute to our knowledge of cyberinfrastructure in by informing the design of tools and services to better support research and data curation practices.

Eligibility and requirements

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Currently enrolled master's student or 2018 master's graduate in an iSchool, School of Library and Information Science, or related program.
  • Able to participate full-time in research activities in Ann Arbor, Michigan: May 29–August 17, 2018 (Read more about life in Ann Arbor.)
  • Students who will be enrolling in a doctoral program in Fall 2018 are not eligible.

Top priority will be given to applicants from underrepresented populations in graduate programs and/or from schools with limited research opportunities. 

Participant benefits

REMS 3d lab tour

2015 REMS students enjoy a tour of the U-M 3D lab.

  • Participation in an original research project with leading U-M faculty, libraries and archives on campus
  • Develop research skills through one-on-one mentoring and instruction on research
  • In-depth orientation on research in the information sciences and the responsible conduct in research and scholarship and weekly educational seminars
  • Potential for funding to attend a conference to present findings
  • $10,000 stipend

Current UMSI MSI students: Note that REMS qualifies for UMSI Internship Program credit.


Application deadline: February 14, 2018

The application requires:

  • An interest statement which includes information about prior research experience and career goals (2-4 pages, double-spaced).
  • A personal statement that conveys how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue this program (1-2 pages, double-spaced).
  • A list of your top four research projects in ranked order.
  • A curriculum vitae or resume. 
  • A copy of your undergraduate college/university transcript (unofficial acceptable) and master’s program transcript (unofficial acceptable).
  • One faculty letter of recommendation. These should be from faculty members who can evaluate your ability, and should be submitted directly by the faculty member.

Send your application materials to Please have your letter of recommendation writer email this address directly as well.

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This project is funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services RE-01-15-0086-15.