National Science Foundation: Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-wide program that supports active participation in science, engineering, and education research by undergraduate students. REU proposals are welcome in any of the research areas supported by NSF, including the priority areas and cross-cutting areas that NSF has identified for its programs.
The REU program seeks to expand student participation in all kinds of research-both disciplinary and interdisciplinary-encompassing efforts by individual investigators, groups, centers, national facilities, and others. It draws on the integration of research and education to attract a diverse pool of talented students into careers in science and engineering, including teaching and education research related to science and engineering, and to help ensure that these students receive the best education possible.
The program features two mechanisms for support of student research:
- REU Sites are based on independent proposals to initiate and conduct projects that engage a number of students in research. REU Sites may be based in a single discipline or academic department or may offer interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme. Proposals with an international dimension are welcome.
- REU Supplements may be included as a component of proposals for new or renewal NSF grants or cooperative agreements or may be requested for ongoing NSF-funded research projects.
The following optional special opportunities are included:
- Partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD) to expand undergraduate research opportunities in DoD-relevant research areas through the REU Sites program.
- Partnership with the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Program. The goal of this program is to introduce more undergraduate students to renewable energy research and the many opportunities in science and engineering related to geothermal energy. GTP is interested in proposals aimed at a range of geothermal technologies, including geothermal heat pumps, binary cycle electricity generation systems, direct use, conventional hydrothermal, and Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).
- International projects: Appropriate REU Site and REU Supplement proposals can be considered for co-funding by NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE). International projects typically involve partnering a U.S. REU project with one or more international collaborators in a specific institution or organization. Successful international REU projects include (1) true intellectual collaboration with a foreign partner and (2) benefits that are realized from the expertise, specialized skills, facilities, phenomena, or other resources that the foreign collaborator or research environment provides.
- Research Experiences for Teachers. Research experiences for K-12 teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and the coordination of these experiences with REU projects are encouraged.
Amount: A total of $68,400,000 is available to make 1,750 to 1,800 awards. Three years is the typical duration for REU Site awards in most NSF directorates; however, a duration of up to five years may be allowed in some cases. The typical REU Site hosts 8-10 students per year. The typical funding amount is $70,000-$120,000 per year, although NSF does not dictate a firm upper (or lower) limit for the amount, which depends on the number of students hosted and the number of weeks.
Eligibility: Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs); nonprofit, non-academic organizations; for-profit organizations; and state and local governments.
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