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Student participant in NSF REU in Astrophysics at WVU visiting Greenbank Observatory.

What is an REU?

Hosted by the National Science Foundation, an REU is a Research Experience for Undergraduates. An REU Site usually occurs in summer and consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where they work closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location. NSF hosts many of these sites across the country.

Why participate in an REU?

Institutions often host REUs as a way to recruit the best and brightest undergraduate students to their graduate programs. Participating in an REU is a great way to check out a potential graduate school, work with a potential graduate mentor, network with researchers in your field, and explore new places in the US and internationally. It is also an intensive research experience that prepares you for the next step in your life after your undergraduate degree. 

Who can apply?

NSF supports REUs in a wide variety of disciplines in science, technology, engineering, math, social sciences and behavioral sciences. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions and are typically rising sophomores through rising seniors during the program.

How do I find an REU that's right for me?

NSF REU hosts a search engine where you can search by discipline and/or by state: Search for an REU Site. You will quickly notice that each site is unique and there are many to choose from. If more than one suits your interests, consider applying to more than one.

How do I apply?

Applications are hosted by each program individually. Applications open in late fall or the beginning of the year (December-February) and typically ask for transcripts, a resume detailing coursework and any research experiences, one or more short essays detailing your interest in the field of research and at least one letter of recommendation. Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site at the Search for an REU Site.

What REU Sites are at WVU?

WVU currently hosts three REU sites, some of which are open to WVU students.

Interested in submitting a proposal for an REU Site at WVU?

The Office of Undergraduate Research supports faculty applications for NSF REU sites by providing activities (professional development workshops, social events for summer researchers), contacts for planning (housing, meals, recreation, IDs), and letters of commitment. Check out our Summer Program Support for PIs hosting summer programs or contact UgR for more information: