Sponsored Programs

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements

Website: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13542/nsf13542.htm

(Additional Supplements and Other Opportunities from NSF can be found here.)

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in the areas of science, engineering, and education. REU Supplements involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. High-quality mentoring is important in REU Supplements 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.

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. When possible, 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.

An REU Supplement typically provides for one or two undergraduate students to participate in research as part of a new or ongoing NSF-funded research project. However, centers or larges research efforts may request support for a number of students, commensurate with the size and nature of the project.

Award Information:

  • Approximately 1,600 new REU Supplement awards are anticipated in FY13
  • Undergraduate student participants in REU Supplements must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions
  • Undergraduate students from all class standings may participate. Specifically, an undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Students who are transferring from one university to another are enrolled and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate. High school graduates who have been accepted at an undergraduate institution but who have not yet started their undergraduate study are also eligible to participate.
  • REU Supplements may be carried out during the summer months, during the academic year, or both. The term of REU Supplements may not exceed that of the underlying research project.
  • Student stipends for summer projects are expected to be approximately $500 per student per week. Other student costs include housing, meals, travel, and laboratory use fees and usually vary depending on location. Total costs for a summer--including all direct costs and indirect costs--are generally expected not to exceed $1,200 per student per week. Amounts for academic-year projects should be comparable on a pro rata basis.
  • Recovery of indirect costs (F&A) is prohibited on Participant Support Costs in REU Supplemental funding requests. This limitation may entail mandatory committed cost sharing by the institution. In such cases, it constitutes an exception to NSF's cost sharing policy.

Application Instructions:

    • 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.
    • For a Proposer requesting an REU Supplement as part of a proposal for a new or renewal grant:
      • Log into FastLane, upon instruction from the program officer at NSF.
      • Enter the description of the REU activity, including (three page maximum):
        • The nature of each prospective student's involvement in the research project;
        • The experience of the PI in involving undergraduates in research;
        • The nature of the mentoring that the student(s) will receive; and
        • The process and criteria for selecting the student(s).
        • If a student has been pre-selected (as might be true in the case of a supplement for an ongoing award), then the grounds for selection and brief biographical sketch of the student should be included.
      • Include the budget for the REU activity in the yearly project budget.
      • Enter all student costs under Participant Support Costs (Line F on the FastLane budget form or Field E on the Grants.gov budget form). Indirect costs are not allowed on Participant Support Costs in REU Supplement budgets.
      • As part of the Budget Justification, provide a separate explanation of the REU Supplement request, with the proposed student costs itemized and justified and a total given for the items plus associated indirect costs.
      • Please note that the REU solicitation's longstanding "administrative allowance" of 25% of the participant support stipend amount in lieu of indirect costs has been discontinued. After the request for supplemental funding has been prepared by the Investigator, it should be released to the Sponsored Programs Divisions, which will submit the request to NSF.
    • For an Investigator requesting supplemental funding to an existing award
      • Log into FastLane upon instruction from the cognizant program officer
      • Choose "Award and Reporting Functions," and then "Supplemental Funding Request."
      • Choose the award to be supplemented.
      • In the form entitled, "Summary of a Proposed Work," state that this is a request for an REU Supplement.
      • In the form entitled, "Justification for Supplement" include the following information (three page maximum):
        • The nature of each prospective student's involvement in the research project;
        • The experience of the PI in involving undergraduates in research;
        • The nature of the mentoring that the student(s) will receive; and
        • The process and criteria for selecting the student(s).
        • If an REU student has been pre-selected, you may place a brief biographical sketch in Supplementary Documents.
      • Prepare a budget, including a justification of the funds requested for student support and their proposed use.
      • All student costs should be entered as Participant Support Costs (Line F) in the proposal budget. Indirect costs are not allowed on Participant Support Costs in REU Supplement budgets.
      • Please note that the REU solicitation's longstanding "administrative allowance" of 25% of the participant support stipend amount in lieu of indirect costs has been discontinued. After the request for supplemental funding has been prepared by the Investigator, it should be released to the Sponsored Programs Divisions, which will submit the request to NSF.

Common Mistakes in REU Supplement Requests

    • Student costs are not listed in Category F of the budget form in the FastLane application
    • Forms that do not adhere to NSF format.
    • Pagination is omitted in the "Justification for Supplement"
    • If there was a CO-PI on the main award, then the CO-PI also needs to sign off on the REU Supplement

Additional Information

For questions on REU Supplements, please contact your Sponsored Programs Contract Administrator or Scott Bates, the Associate Vice President for Research (scott.bates@usu.edu))

Information provided herein is for reference purposes and we strongly recommend that you access the REU program solicitation at the NSF website for the latest updates to the REU program and the requirements for REU Supplements: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13542/nsf13542.htm