Email Print Share
NSF 23-069

Dear Colleague Letter: Human-Environment and Geographical Sciences (HEGS) Research Experience for Graduates (REG) and Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements to support students from Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges

March 13, 2023

Dear Colleague:

To advance educational opportunities for students at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and community colleges, 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 these supplements is to provide students with opportunities to gain meaningful research experience as collaborators on funded projects. This supplemental funding will provide up to $7,000 per student to support the costs of the students' involvement in the research activities.

Any current HEGS awardee is eligible to apply, but the students whose work will be supported by the supplemental funding should be students at a Minority Serving Institution or community college.

For both REG and REU supplemental funding requests, the proposed activities must allow the students to engage meaningfully with the intellectual scope of the research while acquiring skills and experience that enhance their career possibilities. Proposed activities may include data collection and analysis, including involvement in fieldwork and laboratory research.


Requests for REG and REU supplemental funding to support students from Minority Serving Institutions or community colleges are requested to be submitted by COB submitter's local time on April 14, 2023, to allow adequate time for processing. In 2024 and subsequent years, supplemental funding requests for students at MSIs and community colleges should be submitted by the second Tuesday in February each year. This timeline assumes that the funded activities are more likely to occur in the summer. Supplemental funding requests may also be accepted at other times of the year with the prior approval of a HEGS program officer.

Supplemental funding requests to support students who are not from MSIs or community colleges may also be submitted to the HEGS program as encouraged in the prior NSF 22-048, Dear Colleague Letter: Human-Environment & Geographical Sciences (HEGS) Research Experience for Graduates (REG) and Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements. Note that supplemental funding requests submitted in response to NSF 22-048 are requested by March 23 each year, but also may be accepted at other times with the prior approval of a HEGS program officer in advance.


REG and REU supplemental funding requests must be submitted by the Authorized Organization Representative at the awardee organization on behalf of the investigators. The Principal Investigator (PI) must currently be serving as PI or co-PI on an active HEGS award.

For information about which institutions qualify as Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), consult the U.S. Department of Education's list of MSIs. In principle, the student may be enrolled at any MSI or community college.


REG and REU supplemental funding 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 supplemental funding request must include a summary of up to 2-pages, written by the faculty mentor (often this is the PI, but it may also be a colleague), that describes the student's anticipated involvement in the project. This document also should provide details regarding the plan for the student's activities, including an anticipated timeline. The document should also address the anticipated benefits for the student and how the student will be mentored to ensure meaningful engagement with the research and development of research-related skills. This document must be uploaded to the Summary of Proposed Work section of the supplemental funding request.

Additionally, the student must include a document of up to one-page that describes their interest in participating in the research and how this experience aligns with their aspirations for future educational and career-related opportunities. This document should be uploaded into the justification of the need for the supplemental funds section of the supplemental funding request in

For a REG supplemental funding request, a biographical sketch of up to two pages for the graduate student researcher, in any format chosen by the student, must also be included in the Supplementary Document section of the request.

The proposed budget may include research funding of up to $7,000 per REG or REU student. All costs must be entered as participant support costs (line F) on the itemized budget. A thorough description of the anticipated expenses must be included in the budget justification. Proposers may contact HEGS program officers for guidance on budgetary matters.

Proposers who are considering funding requests for more than one student must contact a HEGS program officer prior to submission. Normally, funds may be available for one student; rarely, for two students; but exceptions will be considered.

If the student will be conducting research that is not already covered by an approval from the awardee's Institutional Review Board (IRB), note that the faculty mentor should have an IRB application pending at the time of submitting the supplemental funding request.

For further details about NSF's REU program, consult the REU program web page.


Supplemental funding requests will be reviewed internally by NSF program staff using the standard NSF merit review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Special attention will be paid to the appropriateness and value of the educational experience for the student participants, including the mentorship plan. All supplements are subject to (a) the availability of funds and (b) the quality of the proposals submitted.


General inquiries should be made to the HEGS program by sending an email to include "MSI student supplemental funding request" in the subject line.


Sylvia Butterfield
Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences