REUs vary according to the research and the site structure, but a sample timeline of running an REU site is below. We have highlighted some important aspects that can affect the success of an REU site, followed by a quick yearly to-do sample list.


A detailed sample yearly to-do list:

Printer Friendly Calendar List  [PDF]   |      Word Template Calendar List  [Docx]



  • Set up your website with program dates and application procedure
  • Advertise your site: recruitment visits and talks, emails, flyers, etc.
  • Start working on project topics and mentors
  • Register and submit information for PI meeting


  • Revise applications received
  • Finalize projects and select mentors
  • Talk to mentors about the program: dates, expectations, etc.
  • Talk to program evaluator and set up data collection for evaluation
  • Make travel arrangements for PI meeting


  • Close application and organize application information
  • Send letters of acceptance/rejection
  • Finalize student lineup (obtain proof of citizenship or perm residency)
  • Start planning site activities (speakers, visits, trips, workshops, fun, etc.)
  • Coordinate activities with other REU programs on campus (welcome ceremony)
  • Finalize evaluation instruments (surveys, questionnaires, etc.)
  • Attend PI meeting


  • Email students with general information (airport pickup, dress code,
    payment schedule, dorm information, first day of work date, etc.)
  • Make travel arrangements including pickup of students
  • Make housing and meal arrangements
  • Process student IDs
  • Set up payment procedure and schedule
  • Finalize site program


  • Set up labs (computers, access, any other hardware/software, etc.)
  • Set up email accounts
  • Pick up students from airport and take them to the dorms
  • Take students to buy stuff for the dorms (grocery, etc.)
  • Tour of campus
  • Meet their mentors
  • Get first stipend
  • Welcome ceremony and Intro session about the program (activities, program, expectations, etc.)
  • ** List of example activities: **
    • Talk about graduate school and how to find funding for it
    • GRE workshop
    • How to prepare a good fellowship application
    • Visits to sites/places of interest and fun and group building activities
    • Technical talks from invited faculty
    • How to write a good research paper
    • How to do and present a good poster


  • Research starts
  • Weekly surveys for program evaluation and weekly meeting with students
  • Second stipend
  • Mid-program presentations
  • Submission of draft of research paper or poster


  • Weekly surveys for program evaluation
  • Have weekly meetings with students
  • Third stipend
  • Rent car to take students to airport
  • End of program presentations
  • Submission of poster
  • Submission of research paper
  • Poster competition and closing ceremony
  • Dorms checkout
  • Students return to their homes


  • Send post-program survey for program evaluation
  • Collect information for renewal (statistics, publications, etc.)
  • Prepare material for NSF annual report
  • Work on research papers


  • Send all program evaluation material to program evaluator
  • Obtain evaluator annual report
  • Finalize research papers and submit for publication
  • Solicit faculty interest for upcoming summer


  • Prepare and submit NSF annual report
  • Open applications for upcoming summer program


  • Start working on website for next year


  • Determine dates for next year
  • Start advertisement process