REU Site: Using the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics to Study Crime
What is it? This summer program is designed for undergraduate students who want “hands-on” research experience and for those who are interested in pursuing post-graduate degrees in fields such as Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Public Policy, and Sociology. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation via the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program (Award # 1261322) Who are we? The setting for this REU site is the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in Birmingham, Alabama. Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, UAB is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center. UAB is classified as an institution of “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation and is ranked among the top 15 percent of U.S. colleges and universities by The Princeton Review. UAB is home to over 18,000 students at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels as of fall, 2013. REU students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty from UAB’s Department of Justice Sciences and Department of Computer and Information Sciences. The REU faculty members are nationally recognized for their expertise in working with large data sets, data mining and manipulation, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and DNA analysis. Who are we looking for? We are targeting undergraduate students from four-year colleges and universities who will have approximately 60 hours of credits by the start of the program each summer. A total of 12 students will be selected each summer. We are looking for highly motivated and promising students who want hands-on research experience in three exciting and emerging fields: Criminal Justice, Digital Forensics, and Forensic Science. Students who complete an undergraduate degree before June, 2014 will not be eligible for the upcoming REU summer program. Additionally, per NSF guidelines, only undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens, U.S. Nationals, or permanent residents of the United States will be eligible for the program. Students from underrepresented groups and from teaching-intensive universities are strongly encouraged to apply. What will you do? If selected for the program, you will:
- Conduct research in: 1) Criminal Justice, 2) Forensic Science, or 3) Digital Forensics.
- Work with faculty mentors in your research track for 35-40 hours per week to complete one or more projects during the summer experience. In some cases you will work directly with a local criminal justice agency as part of your project.
- Attend Friday luncheons that include special presentations from local criminal justice professionals and time to interact with other REU students and faculty. You will make a presentation of your research experience during the final Friday luncheon.
- Receive free lodging, food (up to $25 per day), and travel (up to $250) to UAB.
- Receive a stipend of $475 per week.
- Receive tours of several major criminal justice agencies in Alabama.
- Receive access to UAB libraries, labs, dining facilities, and the Campus Recreation Center.
- Receive tours of Birmingham and attend several special events in the area.
The program dates for 2015 are June 3 – July 24, 2015.
All program selections have been made for summer, 2015. Thanks to all students that applied.
This National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is supported via award #1004953 (2010-2013) and award #1261322 (2013-2016). Please contact Dr. Kerley at email@example.com with questions.
Program Faculty Criminal Justice
Photos of Previous Cohorts
BREAKING NEWS: Research findings from previous REU projects in the criminal justice track are featured in Dr. Kerley’s new book, “Religious Faith in Correctional Contexts” (First Forum Press/Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2014)
List of Publications and Conference Presentations 2013. Sarah Turner, Heith Copes, Kent R. Kerley, and Gary Warner. “Understanding Online\Work-at-home Scams through an Analysis of Electronic Mail and Websites.” Pp. 81-108 in CrimeOn-line: Causes, Correlates, and Context 2nd ed., edited by T. J. Holt. Raleigh, NC: Carolina Academic Press. 2013. Leban, Lindsay, Jessica Deitzer, Heith Copes, and Kent R. Kerley. Paper presentation. “ ‘t’s Not Who I Am’: Exploring the Identities, Boundaries,and Accounts of Women Methamphetamine Users.” Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA 2013. Taylor, Leah, Christine Agnone, Heith Copes, and Kent R. Kerley. “Of Race and Meth: Exploring Differences between African American and White Women Methamphetamine Users.” Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. 2012. Levin Rachel, Jonathan Richardson, Gary Warner, and Kent R. Kerley. “Explaining Cybercrime through the Lens of Differential Association Theory: Hadidi44-2.php PayPal Case Study.” eCrime Members Meeting and Research Summit, Puerto Rico. 2012. Levin, Rachel, Jonathan Richardson, Gary Warner, and Kent R. Kerley. “Explaining Cybercrime through the Lens of Differential Association Theory: Hadidi44-2.php PayPal Case Study.” IEEE Xplore Oct:1-7. DOI: 10.1109/eCrime.2012.6489518 2012. Kerley, Kent R., Lauren Eason, and Leah Taylor. Workshop entitled “ Value, Impact, and Best Practices: Maximizing REU SBE Potential.” Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Council on Undergraduate Research. Washington, DC. 2012. Deitzer, Jessica, Lindsay Leban, Kent R. Kerley, and Heith Copes. Paper presentation. “Understanding the Identities, Boundaries, and Accounts of Women Methamphetamine Users.” Southern Criminal Justice Association Annual Meeting, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2012. Agnone, Christine, Leah Taylor, Heith Copes, and Kent R. Kerley. Paper presentation. “Examining Differences Between African American and White Women Methamphetamine Users.” Southern Criminal Justice Association Annual Meeting, Atlantic Beach, FL. 2012. Dunn, Mercedez, Kuniko Madden, Maddy Semon, Candi Witzigreuter, Kent R. Kerley, and Heith Copes. Paper presentation. “Redemption Narratives of Drug-addicted Women in a Faith-based Transitional Center.” Southern Sociological Society Annual Mtg., New Orleans, LA. 2011. Dunn, Mercedez, Kuniko Madden, Maddy Semon, Candi Witzigreuter, Kent R. Kerley, and Heith Copes. Paper presentation. “Exploring Recovery Narratives of Drug-addicted Women in a Faith-based Transitional Center.” Southern Criminal Justice Association Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN. 2011. Eason, Lauren, Alana J. Linn, Minh H. Nguyen, Ariana Mishay Stone, Kent R. Kerley, and Heith Copes. Paper presentation. “All Things are Become New: Narrative Construction among Women in a Faith-Based Transitional Center.” Southern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, FL. 2011. Kerley, Kent R., Heith Copes, Alana J. Linn, Lauren Eason, Minh H. Nguyen, and Ariana Mishay Stone. “ Understanding Personal Change in a Women’s Faith-Based Transitional Center.” Religions 2:184-197. 2010. Eason, Lauren, Alana J. Linn, Minh H. Nguyen, Ariana Mishay Stone, Kent R. Kerley, and Heith Copes. Paper presentation. “‘Giving it to God’: Understanding Personal Change in a Faith-Based Transitional Center.” Mid-South Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Baton Rouge, LA.
Media Coverage of the UAB Crime REU Program:
- Alabama13.com, July 14, 2010
- Students learn the science of crime-solving in summer research program
- UAB News Archive July 2010
- Students Learn the Science of Crime-Solving in UAB Summer Research Program
- UAB News July 12, 2010 – Vimeo Video
- Students help uncover legal highs
- UAB Reporter, August 08, 2011
- Hands-on research gives students in UAB Crime REU program opportunities
- UAB News, July 20, 2011 – YouTube Video
- Students Learn the Science of Crime-Solving in UAB Summer Research Program
- UAB News, July 21, 2011
- UAB students work to identify the next new ‘legal high’
- UAB BlazerCast, July 20, 2011 Vimeo Video
- Students Learn the Science of Crime-Solving in UAB Summer Research Program Students Learn the Science of Crime-Solving in UAB Su
- MyFoxAL.com, July 22, 2011
- UAB students uncover online drug substitutes
- WIAT42, July 2011
- Fox19 Cincinnati, July 2011
- NKU Student Researcher Finds Dangerous Drugs Easy Buy Online
- NSF CS Bits and Bytes, May 21, 2012. Volume 1, Issue 12
- Fighting Cyber Crime
- Forensic Science Magazine, October 26, 2012.
- UAB Students Find Traces of Meth on Currency
- ABC3340.com, June 27, 2012
- What’s up with that? avoiding online scams
- UAB News, October 25, 2012
- UAB students find traces of meth on currency in Birmingham
- AL.com, October 25, 2012
- Meth found on dollar bills in Birmingham area