Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites and Supplements
Program Solicitation NSF 19-582
Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):
August 28, 2019
Fourth Wednesday in August, Annually Thereafter
Synopsis of Program:
The 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. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. This solicitation features two mechanisms for support of student research: (1) 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. (2) 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.
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 do not apply to NSF to participate in REU activities. Students apply directly to REU Sites or to NSF-funded investigators who receive REU Supplements. To identify appropriate REU Sites, students should consult the directory of active REU Sites on the Web at https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm.
REU Sites are based on independent proposals, submitted for an annual deadline date, to initiate and conduct projects that engage a number of undergraduate students in research. Proposals for the establishment of an REU Site may be submitted to any of NSF's directorates. The Office of International Science and Engineering will consider co-funding relevant REU Sites that are primarily managed by other NSF units. Proposers are encouraged to communicate with the NSF REU point of contact in their disciplinary area; see https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_contacts.jsp.
REU Sites must have a well-defined common focus that enables a cohort experience for students. 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. (Although interdisciplinary or multi-department proposals must be submitted to a single NSF disciplinary unit, these proposals are often reviewed by two or more NSF units, at the discretion of the NSF program officer who manages the proposal.) A proposal should reflect the unique combination of the proposing organization's interests and capabilities and those of any partnering organizations. Cooperative arrangements among organizations and research settings may be considered so that a project can increase the quality or availability of undergraduate research experiences. To extend research opportunities to a larger number of undergraduates, proposers are welcome to incorporate approaches that make use of cyberinfrastructure or other advanced technologies that facilitate research, learning, and collaboration over distances ("virtual projects").
REU Sites are an important means for extending high-quality research environments and mentoring to diverse groups of students. In addition to increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in research, the program aims to involve students in research who might not otherwise have the opportunity, particularly those from academic institutions where research programs in STEM are limited. Thus, a significant fraction of the student participants at an REU Site must come from outside the host institution or organization, and at least half of the student participants must be recruited from academic institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited (including two-year colleges).
High-quality mentoring for the student participants is very important in REU Sites. Investigators are strongly encouraged to provide appropriate training for research mentors. They should also encourage continued interaction of mentors with students during the academic year, to the extent practicable, to help connect students' research experiences to their overall course of study and to help the students achieve success in courses of study leading to a baccalaureate degree in a STEM field.
Although proposals for the renewal of successful REU Sites are welcome, investigators are reminded that such proposals will be reviewed through the normal merit review process and there is no guarantee that a renewal grant will be awarded.
An REU Supplement typically provides support for one or two undergraduate students to participate in research as part of a new or ongoing NSF-funded research project. However, centers or large research efforts may request support for a number of students commensurate with the size and nature of the project. REU Supplements are supported by the various research programs throughout the Foundation, including programs such as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).
High-quality mentoring is important in REU Supplements, just as it is in REU Sites, and investigators should give serious attention not only to developing students' research skills but also to involving them in the culture of research in the discipline and connecting their research experience with their overall course of study.
Investigators are reminded that support for undergraduate students involved in carrying out research under NSF awards should be included as part of the research proposal itself instead of as a post-award supplement to the research proposal, unless such undergraduate participation was not foreseeable at the time of the original proposal.
A request for an REU Supplement may be submitted in either of two ways: (1) Proposers may include an REU Supplement activity as a component of a new (or renewal) research proposal to NSF. For guidance, contact the program officer who manages the research program to which the proposal would be submitted. (2) Investigators holding an existing NSF research award may submit a post-award request for supplemental funding. For guidance, contact the cognizant program officer for the NSF grant or cooperative agreement that would be supplemented.