CS Student Ambassador/Research Scholars (CS STARS)

What is CS Student Ambassador/Research Scholars (CS STARS)?

Program Dates: Academic year 2021-22

Illinois CS Student Ambassador/Research Scholars (CS STARS)  is designed for University of Illinois undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research in a chosen area of interest while also serving as departmental leaders to recruit women to the CS majors and empower women CS undergraduates. The program will take place during the academic year. CS STARS,  will receive a stipend and will have commitment of about 10 hours per week. They will conduct research with and be mentored by a CS faculty member  (6-7 hours a week) and will also engage in recruiting, mentoring, and cohort building activities (3-4 hours a week). Using application materials, the CS STARS team will match participants to Illinois CS faculty members who would be a good fit for supporting each participant’s research and personal goals. During the summer, CS STARS may have additional opportunities to conduct research full time in the CS Summer REU program and to serve as mentors during the Illinois CS Kickstart program to welcome incoming students.

Apply Now!

Illinois CS STARS will :

  • Participate in research and develop an ongoing engagement with faculty and their research group 
  • Participate in a one-credit course for CS STARS focused on research, leadership, and mentorship skills on Wednesdays at 5:00 pm during the fall and spring semesters
  • Serve as ambassadors to recruit women who are interested in the CS majors
  • Facilitate activities and maintain departmental connections among undergraduate women in computing

Program Dates/Location

CS STARS will run each academic year beginning with the 2021-22 year. Program activities will take place on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

Undergraduate Research Appointments

CS STARS will be appointed to undergraduate hourly positions with a rate determined by experience according to departmental guidelines. The CS STARS Course will be included as part of each participant's 10-hour appointment.

Application Information


  • Application will launch on July 16. 
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Priority deadline: August 8.
  • Decisions will be announced by August 20. 

Application Materials

The CS STARS application is designed to give a holistic view of each applicant's personal, academic, leadership, and research history/interests. The following materials provide this information:

  • 300-500 word Personal Statement: a 300-500 word statement of interest describing your interest in CS STARS and why your background and experiences would benefit you in this role.
  • 300-500 word Research Statement: describes any prior research experiences you may have had (not required) and what research topics you would like to pursue while in CS STARS. 
  • 100-200 word Leadership and Mentorship Statement:  describes any leadership or mentorship experience you have and how you facilitated a welcoming and inclusive environment as part of your work in this role. 
  • 150 word Bio: describes your academic and research background. Bios will provide a broader view of each applicant's background, as well as be posted on the CS STARS website if accepted to the program. 
  • Name and Email Address for One Reference: Applicants will need to upload this into their application. Reference letters will be requested on behalf of the applicant through our application portal. Applicants do NOT need to upload their letters or have references email a letter to the program.
  • GPA: University of Illinois Students should provide their current UIUC GPA. Incoming students should provide the High School GPA. Other application materials (application statements, CV) will provide the necessary context for your GPA. 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Faculty/Research Areas: To explore faculty/research projects with whom you would like to engage, please visit our Illinois CS Research page to learn more about potential faculty mentors/projects.

Click Here to Apply!

CS Program Team

Nancy Amato
Nancy Amato
Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering
Head of Department of Computer Science

Jancie Harris
Jancie Harris
Broadening Participation in Computing Coordinator