Research Experiences for Undergraduates
URAD Plug and Play, Engagement Module
REU opportunities usually come in two forms: REU Site applications, and REU Supplements. The essential element to any REU-related project is “high-quality mentoring.”
Faculty submit proposals to the National Science Foundation to create new research opportunities for undergraduate students. These proposals can be comprehensive (REU Sites) or limited (REU Supplements). Students receive mentoring, support and funding to participate on faculty research projects, or to conduct their own original individual or group-based projects.
REU Sites typically fund 8-10 students with a “significant fraction” from outside the host institution and at least half from institutions where STEM research opportunities are limited. Activities can take place during the academic year, the summer, or a combination. Typical funding rate: $80K-130K/year.
The bulk of the budget will be on 1) transportation (getting to campus), 2) lodging (staying on campus), 3) food, and 4) stipends. Another important consideration is providing social activities outside the “work” day. In loco parentis would cover BBQs/dinners, local night games (baseball, et al), weekend field trips, as well as offering participants “field guides” to ABQ nightlife.
NSF 22-601 https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2022/nsf22601/nsf22601.pdf; Deadline: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022
REU Supplements are not limited to REU sites. They typically fund 1 or 2 undergraduates as part of an NSF-funded project although centers or large projects can request support for more students provided that the request is commensurate with the scope & scale of the project. Many of the research programs throughout the NSF support REU activities that are requested either (1) as a component of a new (or renewal) research proposal or (2) as a post-award supplement to an existing grant or cooperative agreement. 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 unless such undergraduate participation was not foreseeable at the time of the original proposal. The NSF leaves room to propose additional REU Supplement support, but this path starts with a discussion with the Program Officer.
For guidance about preparing an REU Supplement request for an existing NSF award, contact the program officer assigned to the NSF award that would be supplemented. Do not contact the list of disciplinary REU program officers at https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_contacts.jsp about REU Supplements.
REU Resource Needs/Considerations
- Proposal Development*
- Transportation Information/Access (to campus and/or field trips)
- On-Campus Lodging
- Student Stipends
- Student Social Activities/Extracurricular Events
- Student and Mentor Professional Development*
- Access to UNM systems and resources (e.g. software, LoboCard, research facilities)*
- REU Student Recruitment*
- Project Evaluation
- Website Development
*Of concern for both REU Sites and REU Supplements
REU proposals also need to contain detailed examples of daily/weekly schedules & structures along with expected learning outcomes: After Week 1’s orientation, safety training and RCR education, participants will be trained to perform Test X on Instrument Y for the purpose of Z during Week 2. . . .
How can UNM faculty apply for and manage REUs?
REU and REU Supplemental applications can seem a bit daunting for individual faculty members, but the good news is that you do not need to go it alone. OVPR’s Faculty Research Development Office (FRDO) and the Academic Affairs Undergraduate Research, Arts & Design Network (URAD) can help you through both application and implementation. FRDO can help you conceptualize and complete your successful application. URAD can help you find UNM partners to provide logistical support for lodging, food, processing of stipends, social/extracurricular activities, access to UNM systems, and more.
In addition, URAD can help create semester-based REU Supplement cohorts of students. For instance, if your REU supplement proposal only funds one undergraduate researcher, but you still want them to be part of a research cohort where they can receive peer mentoring, training, networking and other support, then URAD can collaborate with other supplement faculty to create that student cohort.
If you are interested in applying for an REU or REU Supplements, please contact:
Hannah Torres, Ph.D., Director, Faculty Research Development Office, email@example.com
Tim Schroeder, Ed.D., Director, UNM Undergraduate Research, Arts & Design Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
REU Site Application and REU Supplement Application examples are available to UNM faculty upon request. To request applications, contact FRDO at email@example.com.