Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Ross Michaels holding fibrous protein collagen.

What is REU?

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is a program dedicated to equipping undergraduate students with the appropriate funding and mentorship to pursue research of topics from various fields, mainly focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Each REU site receives funding from the National Science Foundation to support the research and the contributions of many undergraduate students allowing students to work in a group of ten or so undergraduates while conducting research at the host institution.

How Do I Apply?

Before you begin, you may want to check out UC Berkeley's REU guide that provides important tips for successful applications. The application procedure varies depending on the research and institution however, the basic procedure is equivalent.

  1. Search REU opportunities by reading through the topic abstract and find a project and institution that interests you.
  2. When deciding on an opportunity be sure to check the expiration date of the abstract to see that it is still available.
  3. Use the contact information that is given and request the appropriate application materials. This contact is often the professor or primary investigator conducting the research so be sure to contact them in a professional manner.
  4. Complete the application process described by the contact by making sure all required materials are submitted.

Why Should I Apply?

It is the opportunity for you, as an undergraduate student, to do substantial research and gain experience that will benefit you in industry or in the pursuit of a graduate degree. As a student participating in the REU program, you will be given the opportunity to work closely with faculty and other students who share your same interests to perhaps achieve something great. As a REU student participant, you will receive a stipend as a form of student aid (like a scholarship or fellowship) provided to support your education/training in a STEM field.