Blog & Events

Research Experiences for Undergraduates - REUs

The following are responses from current GLUE students regarding REU's (Research Experiences for Undergraduates):

To be honest, before I was in this program, I did not know REU's existed. So, I learned everything new about them! Before this, I thought the only opportunity to do undergraduate research was to work in a professor's lab during the semester. Now, I know that I can do research in practically any field and go all over the country to do it. I learned that there are hundreds of REU's that I can apply for and that I can even get paid. This entire project was very eye opening for me. Previously, I thought that my only option to get experience was to get an internship in the professional world. Now, I can see that there is a whole world of research opportunities that I can discover! - 2nd year Civil Engineering Student 

First of all, I didn't even know that Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU's) existed! The salary also greatly exceeded my expectations - equivalent, in most cases, to an internship in industry. I was surprised by the large number available - so many different and interesting topics. The dates are also very accommodating. Some REU's take place during the first half of the summer, while others take place during the second half. The application varies from position to position, but they all have the same basic requirements - application form, a few letters of recommendation and an official transcript. The benefits seem to greatly outweigh the costs of applying. At the end of most of the programs, they require you to write a research paper or create a poster to detail the work you have been conducting. A last perk - students are reimbursed for travel to and from the program location. - 2nd year Chemical Engineering Student

I learned that research internships are awesome and I am very interested in the possibility of doing one! They sound a lot more fun than internships because you get to be involved in hands on, measureable projects. I am definitely going to apply for an REU! The hard part will just be figuring out which ones! I love that you get money and they are all across the US from California (oh heck yes!) to New York (um, yes please!). I think these will be a great way to see what I like about engineering and what I don't want to pursue! - 2nd year Civil Engineering Student

I learned so much when we talked about the REU opportunities. It is such an interesting program and seems like a doable activity for all of us. There are literally hundreds of REU's across the country, all of which are looking for possible recruits for graduate school. And, because they are funded by the NSF (National Science Foundation), most have very nice benefits like stipends, housing or food plans. For these REU's, most do not have a very strict application process. They mostly just have to have a personal statement, essay, transcript, resume and sometimes letters of recommendation. Also, these programs give students a chance to nationally 'study abroad' while getting paid! There are all sorts of subjects that can be chosen from, which is very cool because then you can apply for exactly what you want to do. Also, you would be able to work with experienced grad students and professors and also your fellow undergraduates and REU participants. The REU program seems like a great way for students to gain experience. - 2nd year Mechanical Engineering Student

The main thing I learned after listening to all of the presentations was the number of opportunities. There are hundreds of programs that are seeking a dozen or so people to participate in their program. I never knew that it would be as easy as submitting an application to do research and be paid for the entire summer. I thought you basically had to know somebody that could pull a few strings for you to become a paid researcher. Another thing I learned was the diversity of research available. Nearly anything you could have an interest in was created to be a program. I learned that most of the research funding for REU's are provided by NSF (National Science Foundation) and not the school itself. Most of the REU's are ten week programs centered in the middle of the summer. REU's seem to be a great way of experiencing a new city, getting valuable experience, earning money and meeting new people. - 2nd year Civil Engineering Student

I learned that there are research internships all over the country, at nearly all of the major universities. If there was one particular place that I wanted to visit, I could go do an REU there. I love that there is a stipend for doing an REU because most research opportunities here are volunteer based. They also provide housing and a meal plan so that you don't have to spend your stipend on those things. REU's are like an internship with a company but it is research at a university. You have a 40 hour work week like a regular job. Often, you have to do a research paper or presentation at the end of the summer, but you also get a mentor to help you with those things. The requirements for applying for an REU are usually a transcript, resume, and some recommendation letters. They also have a GPA requirement but if varies from program to program. - 2nd year Biomedical Engineering Student