Preparing Students for Graduate School

Communicating Research Results


Papers and Posters

REU Program Dissemination Venues


Preparing Students for Graduate School:

  • Additional to, or as part of the on-going training for the program, consider introducing a GRE preparation programs and workshops that focus on preparing the students to apply or look for potential graduate school and programs.
  • Explain and help out on any grad school application process and fellowships that might interest any student during or after the program.
PRO TIP:  It’s important you let them know how you can help! This can mean helping them find a graduate program, potential advisers that align with their interest, fellowships, or even writing a letter of recommendation when needed.



Communicating Research Results:

  • Build capacity throughout the REU program to show how they can communicate their research progress and results to others through different mediums (i.e., presentations, abstract, report). Give explicit instructions, maybe provide a workshop and templates on how to communicate their research results and incremental progress. Similarly, mentor how to write a research-based paper.
  • Research posters can include sections such as, but not limited to, introduction, results, methods, conclusion, acknowledgments, and references.
PRO TIP:  Have them write a daily blog post or a weekly conclusion of their research progress. This can be used to share with mentors, weekly group meetings, or presentations to know how their program experience and research are going.




  • Help students practice and understand what makes a good presentation. Provide venues for the students to build, practice, and get feedback from others. This can also be used as an opportunity to set expectations around presentations and their program research wrap-up.
  • The 3-minute thesis (3MT) is a great example and resource to have the students understand how to explain their research in 3 minutes or less (or as an elevator pitch).
  • Build in time for practice, get non-mentors involved, and set up a time and place for the students to practice giving their presentation to various people in order to get feedback.
  • It is also possible to join homegrown regional events, which allow REU students to present their research to other REU students.
    • However, don’t organize this type of event the first time running an REU site! This will require some careful planning and guidance from more experience REU PIs.



Research Papers and Posters:

PRO TIP:  All gathered materials used in presentations and projects can be used as positive examples of your REU for the NSF highlights. The NSF highlights basically showcase REU projects you are most proud of along with their impact, outcome, accomplishments, pictures, videos, etc.



REU Program Dissemination Venues: