Applications will be open from January 2 – February 1, 2019.


There is no single skill-set required, but a student must have substantial background in at least one and preferably two of the following areas:

  1. Mathematics, especially discrete math or geometry
  2. Social science research, such as demography, political science, law, racial polarization
  3. Geography, with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) skills
  4. Computer science, including algorithm design and analysis
  5. Programming, especially in python; Software development, including web or app development
  6. Statistical analysis of datasets; Network science
  7. MCMC or other probabilistic sampling methods


Applications are accepted at

The main content of your application is the cover letter– please use it to describe your background as it is relevant to the list of skills and goals for this program.  If you are a graduate student, please address your mentoring skills.  You will also be asked for a short CV.

Please request two letters of recommendation.  Your recommenders will be able to upload them directly to MathJobs once you set up your account.  Note:  when students begin the application process, there will be an option to send a prompt to your recommenders.  Be sure to begin early so that they are notified with as much lead time as possible.

Tufts students:  consider applying for this through the Tisch Summer Fellows program, which will also provide a framework for an additional four weeks of work on the project, making ten weeks in all.

MIT students:  consider applying for UROP Direct Funding to participate in VRDI.

Coders: we’re applying to be a host organization at Google’s Summer of Code.  You can mention in your cover letter if you think you’d be a good fit for this program.

Are you in between college and grad school?  You are definitely still eligible.  We expect grad students to play a bit more of a mentor role, so in your cover letter, please say a word about how you see your mentoring skills.