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NSF 18-015

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

October 11, 2017

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]. 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 supplement must be after the conclusion of all existing REU supplements on the corresponding active CISE award. Priority will be given to requests submitted before March 30, 2018; 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 reports for a project receiving REU supplements should provide a brief description of activities, impacts and outcomes (including the number of support-months for each student) associated with the REU supplemental support.

REU stipend support helps retain talented students, while providing meaningful research experiences and encouraging research-based careers. 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 recent 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 REU supplements that specifically afford US veterans an opportunity to engage in meaningful research experiences.

For single investigator projects, CISE REU supplemental funding requests should typically be for no more than two students for one year. 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. Requests for larger numbers of students should be accompanied by detailed justifications.

CISE usually provides up to $8,000 per student per year through the REU supplemental support mechanism (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, student placements, etc. 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.

Investigators 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, REU supplemental proposals should include:

  • 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;
  • The relationship of the REU supplemental proposal to the original award;
  • Information about how students, including from underrepresented groups, will be recruited; and
  • A statement acknowledging that all students to be funded will be US citizens or permanent residents of the US.

Since supplemental funds requests are handled by the cognizant program officer overseeing the active award requesting the supplement, grantees should contact the cognizant program officers of their awards if they have questions or need additional information.


James Kurose
Assistant Director
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)