Wisconsin Science and Computing 

Emerging Research Stars (WISCERS)

A research-focused mentorship program for undergraduate students

About the WISCERS Program

WISCERS program is an undergraduate mentorship program started in 2021, focused on fostering research participation among undergraduate students at UW-Madison. This program exposes students to research areas in Computer Science, Statistics, and Data Science, facilitates peer mentorship from graduate students working in different areas, and matches students with faculty for summer research internships. Our broad goal is to encourage undergraduate students to apply for research-based graduate programs and specifically help support students from historically underrepresented groups in computing.  

This program was initiated based on and partially funded by an exploreCSR award from Google, in 2021-2023

CS Research Workshops

The program will feature a kick-off workshop that will include a research showcase by UW faculty and presentations on pursuing graduate studies.

Research Internships

The program will match students with faculty for summer internships, based on their expressed research interest(s).

Peer & Faculty Mentoring

Students will be paired with graduate student peer-mentors and faculty mentors with whom they will be expected to meet on a regular basis (weekly or biweekly).

Monthly Events

In collaboration with WACM and SACM, we will hold monthly events that will help students build a community.

Applications for Spring 2024 are now closed. 

Next cycle of applications will open end of November 2024. 


Program Leaders:

Assistant professor, CS department

Assistant professor, CS department


Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau

Professor and department chair

Department of Computer Sciences

Michael Swift

Professor and diversity committee chair Department of Computer Sciences

Partnering Student Groups:


A UW-Madison student chapter of ACM-W.


A UW-Madison student chapter of ACM.


This program is applicable to students who will be graduating in Spring 2024 (i.e., are currently juniors in 4-year programs or sophomores in 3-year programs). We may consider students at other seniority levels on an exceptional basis. This program is primarily intended to increase research participation among students from historically underrepresented groups in computing (in terms of, e.g., gender, race, socio-economic status, and disability status), and students from these groups will be given priority in the selection process.  

Our focus is on computer science and related areas, such as computer engineering, statistics, information science, and data science. We will consider students from all majors relevant to these areas. We will also consider students from other majors if they show promise and interest in computer science and any of these related areas.

No, this program is completely free. 

All of the program activities are planned for Spring 2024. There is a possibility of summer research internships, but this is subject to availability of funds.

We will make decisions and send notifications in early/mid January.

The proposed timeline for the 2023-2024 program is as follows

While we cannot guarantee admission to any graduate programs, we note that research experience and participation in programs such as this one are generally viewed favorably by graduate admissions committees.

All summer research internships positions are paid at the standard student hourly rate, and are subject to the availability of funding by individual faculty or from university/industry sponsors. Our goal is to provide research internship opportunities to all WISCERS fellows, but we cannot guarantee funding for each of the students. 

Graduate student and faculty mentors are participating in this program as volunteers. We intend to recruit these mentors from all areas listed in our program description and will make every effort to pair you with mentors from the research area in which you express interest. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to pair you with a specific mentor or a specific research area, as this depends on the availability of mentors.

To fully benefit from a program like this one, we expect you to participate in all of the associated activities. However, we understand that you may occasionally need to miss some of the activities due to other academic or personal commitments.

We plan to have a cohort of around 15-20 students. 

The program will have in-person events at UW-Madison. Thus we encourage applications from students from the Madison/Milwaukee areas but might be able to accommodate students from other parts of Wisconsin as well.

Have More Questions?

Contact wiscers@cs.wisc.edu for more information about the WISCERS program and the application process.