Dear Colleague Letter: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplemental Funding

Monday, October 22, 2018

NSF DCL 19-014

October 18, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The NSF Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) invites grantees with active CISE awards to submit requests for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplemental funding, following the guidelines in the NSF REU program solicitation [see Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU): Sites and Supplements; NSF 13-542]. To be eligible for this opportunity, a student must be a US citizen or permanent resident of the US. The duration for new requests is typically one year. The proposed start date for a supplemental funding request must be after the conclusion of all existing REU supplements on the corresponding active CISE award. Priority will be given to supplemental funding requests submitted before March 30, 2019; the potential for funding requests after this date will be limited. If requests for REU supplemental support exceed funds available in CISE, requests will be considered in the order received. REU supplemental funds can be used at any time during the year.

Annual and final project reports for an award that receives an REU supplement should provide brief descriptions of activities, impacts, and outcomes (including the number of support-months for each student) associated with the REU supplemental support.

REU stipend support helps encourage talented students to pursue research-based careers, while providing meaningful research experiences. The participation of students from groups underrepresented in computing - underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities - is strongly encouraged. To this end, principal investigators (PIs) submitting REU supplemental funding requests are directed to the CISE Dear Colleague Letter encouraging meaningful actions in support of broadening participation in computing [see Pursuing Meaningful Actions in Support of Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC); NSF 17-110]. In addition, CISE encourages submission of REU supplemental funding requests that specifically afford US veterans an opportunity to engage in meaningful research experiences.

Nature of support

For single-investigator projects, CISE REU supplemental funding requests should be for no more than two students for one year. Support for additional students can be requested as part of these supplemental funding requests if these students are from underrepresented groups, and the selected students are identified in the supplemental funding request. Research teams funded through multi-investigator projects may request support for a larger number of students, commensurate with the size and nature of their projects, with proportional additional support for students from underrepresented groups. Requests for larger numbers of students should be accompanied by detailed justifications.

CISE provides up to $8,000 per student per year through an REU supplement (this amount usually covers the student's stipend, but a small portion of the funds can be used for other related purposes, e.g., student travel to a conference). As described in the REU program solicitation (NSF 13-542), indirect costs (F&A) are not allowed on participant support costs in REU Site or Supplement budgets.

CISE REU supplemental funding requests must describe results of any previous such support, such as students supported, papers published, and student placements. Other factors influencing supplemental funding decisions include the number of REU requests received by CISE programs, and in the case of multiple submissions by a single PI, the ability to provide adequate mentoring.

How to apply

PIs are encouraged to refer to the REU program solicitation (NSF 13-542) for detailed information concerning submission requirements. As described above and in that solicitation, each REU supplemental funding request should include the following information in the "Summary of Proposed Work" section, except as noted below:

  • A description of the research to be performed by the student, and how the student will benefit from the overall REU experience;
  • The PI's prior experience, if any, supervising REU students, including papers published and student placements, along with the status of prior REU supplements received on the corresponding award;
  • A description of the mentoring that the student will receive as part of the REU experience;
  • The relationship of the REU supplemental funding request to the original award;
  • Information about how students, including from underrepresented groups, will be recruited;
  • A statement acknowledging that all students to be funded will be US citizens or permanent residents; and
  • Specifics about the REU request - duration, stipend rates, period of REU experience, and travel justification (if any) (include in the "Justification for Supplement" section).

Since a supplemental funding request is handled by the cognizant NSF program officer that oversees the active award for which the request is submitted, grantees should contact the cognizant NSF program officers of their awards if they have questions or need additional information.

Sincerely,

Jim Kurose
Assistant Director
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)
National Science Foundation