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NSF 22-048

Dear Colleague Letter: Human-Environment & Geographical Sciences (HEGS) Research Experience for Graduates (REG) and Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements

February 18, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

To advance the integration of research and education, the Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences (HEGS) program in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) invites researchers holding existing NSF awards from the HEGS program to request a Research Experience for Graduates (REG) or Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Supplement. The purpose of the REG and REU supplements is to provide promising students in HEGS-related fields with opportunities for independent research while also encouraging principal investigators (PIs) to mentor students in cooperative, collaborative activities. This supplemental funding will provide up to $6,000 per student to support the cost of a HEGS student's closely mentored but independent research experience. Note that the goals of the research project should be closely aligned with the overall objectives of the HEGS program.

This opportunity is not limited to students at the PI’s institution. Special consideration will be given to opportunities for students at institutions that lack doctoral programs in HEGS-related disciplines and at institutions that receive NSF funding relatively infrequently. Investigators are especially encouraged to support research and mentorship opportunities for students at Minority Serving Institutions.

Whether a REG or REU supplement request, the proposed research should be the student's own research project; supplements are not intended to support research or clerical assistance for the PI. Supplements are also not intended to support analytical and linguistic training, except in the context of a research project. REG supplements should not be submitted concurrently with other requests for doctoral dissertation research support. Students seeking support for doctoral dissertation research should apply for the HEGS Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (DDRI), information about which can be found at: Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences Program - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards (HEGS-DDRI).


Requests for REG and REU supplements to support student summer research projects are requested by March 23, annually, to allow adequate time for processing. Supplemental funding requests may also be accepted at other times of the year by contacting the appropriate NSF Program Officer in advance.


REG and REU supplemental funding requests may be submitted by the awardee organization on behalf of investigators with an existing NSF award. The Principal Investigator (PI) must currently be serving as PI or co-PI on an active NSF grant.


REG and REU supplemental support requests must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the guidance contained in Chapter VI.E.5. of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The request should articulate in 2-3 pages the form and nature of the student's research project, including research questions or hypotheses, discussion of theoretical background, research design and methods, and the data analysis plan; the student should prepare these pages. This information should be included in the Summary of Proposed Work section of the supplemental funding request.

Additionally, a faculty mentor (often this is the PI, but it may also be a colleague) must provide a 1-2-page endorsement of the student, identifying the grounds for the student's selection as well as plans for mentoring the student. The endorsement should be tailored specifically to the student. This information should be included in the Justification for Supplement section of the supplemental funding request. For a REG supplemental funding request, a 1-2-page biographical sketch for the graduate student researcher, in any format chosen by the student, should also be included in the Supplementary Documents section of the request.

The proposed budget may include a research stipend of up to $6,000 per REG or REU student. All student costs must be entered as Participant Support Costs (Line F) on the budget. Proposers considering requesting funds for more than one student should contact the NSF program officer to discuss. Normally, funds may be available for one student; rarely, for two

Students conducting research involving human subjects should either already have approval from their university to conduct their research or have an application pending to their university's Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the time of submitting the supplemental funding request.

Further details about NSF's REU program can be found at: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU).


Supplemental funding requests will be reviewed internally by NSF program staff using NSF merit review criteria. Special attention will be paid to the appropriateness and value of the educational experience for the student participants, particularly the independence and theoretical significance of the student's activities and the quality of the supervision. All supplements are subject to (a) the availability of funds, and (b) review of the quality of proposals.


There are no special reporting requirements for these supplements beyond the regular reporting requirements that apply to the parent award.


General inquiries should be made to the HEGS program: Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences Program (HEGS).


Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson
Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences