Participate in our Research

Thank you for your interest in our research group. To make our recruiting policies more available and transparent, Professor Bates has documented them here.

Prospective Graduate Students

PhD Applicants

Professor Bates likes to manage a very small group of PhD students (no more than 4-6 at a time) to ensure that he has ample availability to guide their professional development. As a result, there are many years in which Professor Bates isn’t even reviewing applications because there is no open space in the lab. If you are interested in joining our group, a good first step would be to email Professor Bates to see if he is planning on taking on any new students. Beyond this, Professor Bates does not meet or correspond with prospective students until after the application deadline. If it seems like you might be a good fit for the group, he will reach out to set up a time to speak after reviewing your application.

Masters Applicants

While we have consistently had 1-2 MS or MSCS students in our research group, Professor Bates has stopped explicitly recruiting masters students to join the lab. This allows him to prioritize supporting PhD students that will be with the group longer-term. If you are accepted to UIUC as a Master student and are interested in collaborating with Professor Bates, please enroll in one of his 500-level courses as soon as you can. If your term project in the course goes well there may be an opportunity to turn it into a thesis project.

Illinois CS Graduate Students

If you are currently a graduate student at UIUC in CS or a related field, there are a variety of ways to collaborate with our group. One of the easiest is to sign up for Professor Bates’ 500-level courses, which will always include a term project requirement that is well-suited for testing out a new research idea. You can also strike up a conversation with one of our lab members in the hallways of Siebel. If you have an ongoing project that you think would benefit from Professor Bates’ participation, please email him.

If you are already at Illinois but are looking for a research advisor or funded assistantship, please see the “Prospective Graduate Students” section.

Illinois Undergraduate Students

If you are currently an undergraduate student at UIUC in CS or a related field, the quickest way to participate in our research group is through Promoting Undergraduate Research in Engineering (PURE). PURE pairs younger undergraduate students with graduate student research mentors. Our PhD students have periodically taken on PURE mentors in the past. For more experienced undergraduate students, first complete CS 461 / ECE 422 (Systems and Network Security), then ask for a course override to participate in one of Professor Bates’ 500-level classses. Outside of override requests, you may not receive a reply to email inquiries about research participation.

Summer Internships, High School Research, other External Student Inquiries

Professor Bates does not offer these kinds of programs as they draw important resources (time, money) away from his current advisees and, more broadly, his work with Illinois students. Please do not expect a reply to email inquiries.