Apply now to join SSI faculty research projects

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The Spatial Sciences Institute is now accepting applications for undergraduate student researchers to work with USC Spatial Sciences Institute faculty on their research projects for the 2021-2022 academic year.

We invite USC undergraduate students to apply now to work directly with Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI or USC Spatial) faculty on their research projects in AY '21-'22.

The ideal applicants have excellent academic records, show interest in participating in cutting-edge spatial science research projects, and are eager to take advantage of the opportunity to work with renowned SSI faculty.  Please read the project descriptions, the application requirements and the application process in this memo.

Applications from all majors, minors, and academic programs are encouraged. Students of all class standing (including incoming freshmen or transfer students) are welcome to apply. We give priority to Spatial Science Institute students. These are GIS and Sustainability Science, Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence, and Spatial Studies minors, and GeoDesign, Global Geodesign, and Human Security and Geospatial Intelligence majors.

Applicants must be enrolled as full-time USC students in good standing during the research semesters.


The projects generally are structured for an average of 5 – 10 hours/week. Accepted students will work out their specific work schedules for the semester with the supervising faculty or staff member. Faculty expect students to honor the weekly time commitment for the duration of the research semester(s).

USC Spatial student researchers are expected to submit their research work for presentation. Venues for presentations include the SSI’s Los Angeles Geospatial Summit on February 25, 2022 at the USC Hotel; the USC SCymposium held in April on the USC campus; and the Map Gallery of Esri User Conference held in July in San Diego.

We also support students in submitting their work to appropriate student research competitions. These competitions include the 2022 USC Esri Innovation Program Student of the Year Competition and the United State Geospatial Intelligence Foundation 2022 GEOINT Symposium.

Past student researchers have presented their results at international conferences. These conferences include the American Association of Geographers annual meeting, the GIS-Pro Conference of URISA, and the AMC SIGSPATIAL conference.

Student researchers also have co-authored published research.

The application process

To apply please provide:

    • A resume (please include your name, contact information, major/minor, year in school, software and programming language competencies, and relevant course projects/skills);
    • A current STARS report (not required for a new incoming student); and
    • A statement of interest indicating the project(s) for which you are applying. You may apply for more than one project; please indicate the priority of your preferences. If selected, you will be selected for one project only.

Please email your complete application materials to Susan Kamei, Spatial Sciences Institute Managing Director, at, by 5:00 p.m., Friday, July 16, 2021. Please note this deadline will be strictly observed.

Students selected by the faculty will be notified by the end of July so the research teams can be organized by the start of the Fall 2020 semester.


Please email Susan Kamei or Ken Watson, Spatial Sciences Institute Academic Programs Director.

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