NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation.
The REU program features two mechanisms for support of student research: an REU site or an REU supplement. REU sites are based on independent proposals, submitted for an annual deadline date, to support approximately 8-10 students per year, typically for three years. REU supplements typically support 1-2 student(s) and can be included as a component of a new NSF proposal, or requested as an addition to an active NSF grant. Supplements may be requested at any time, but the CISE Directorate encourages submission in February or March.
Undergraduate student participants in either REU Sites or REU Supplements must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. Students participating in the REU program may receive a stipend to support their participation (for the summer, NSF recommends $500 per student per week; for the academic-year, stipends should be comparable on a pro rata basis). Because REU is a form of participant support, funds awarded for REU support cannot be reallocated for another use without prior approval from NSF. The stipend paid to REU student participants is not a salary or wage for work performed; it is a traineeship, a form of student aid (like a scholarship or fellowship) provided to support a student's education/training in a STEM field. In this case, the student's training consists of closely mentored independent research. To properly document this use of the funds, REU participants will receive payment through the bursar’s office, with a letter documenting their participation. (They may not be appointed as hourly employees as that would imply that they are earning wages for working.) Students participating during the summer must register with the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions; there is a $200 registration fee per student which may be charged to the grant if funds are available. Registration for summer REUs should be completed by April 30 to prevent a delay in issuing payment; please contact SRAC for the REU invitation letter template and summer session registration form.