Setting Up Your Website

Setting Up Your Lab Space

REU Site Renewal and Solicitation

NSF Annual Report

Using the CISE REU Evaluation Toolkit


Setting Up Your Website:

  • Your REU website will serve as a tool for recruiting prospective students and opening up an application for them to use.
  • The website should be straightforward, and the application section should be clear and easy to find, otherwise, it might deter students from applying.
  • Applications should be made available around October, this grants students enough time to consider their options, ask and clarify any questions, and gather the necessary materials (letters of recommendations, build a cover letter or essay, etc.).
  • The website also allows building a foundation that highlights the research that is done at your REU. This can be done through short project descriptions, photos, videos, and any other helpful promotional material that will encourage students to apply to the program.
  • Similarly, pictures and other forms of shared materials about your program, allow for building internal community and showcasing the positive aspects of your REU site.
    • The website can then be used as a portal for all the stakeholders to visit and experience the following (but not limited to):
      • Keep an updated agenda of the program
      • Post pictures of projects and extracurriculars
      • Keep students’ blogs
      • Share class and project materials
      • For inspiration, use existing websites in the active REU NSF listing



Setting Up Your Lab Space:

  • Before the students’ arrive at your REU site, the necessary hardware, software, and space should be arranged and prepared accordingly to accommodate the students and projects’ needs. Make sure:
    • Lab space(s) or designated areas accommodate necessary project tools and/or hardware
    • Laptops, desktops, and other equipment are up and running
    • Any software has been installed and tested beforehand



REU Site Renewal and Solicitation:

  • Program Solicitation (as per NSF guidelines ):
    • The REU Program Solicitation, which can be found under “PROGRAM GUIDELINES” on the  REU Program Overview page, provides instructions on how to apply for an REU Site or an REU Supplement.
    • Proposals for REU Sites must be submitted by the annual deadline, which is advertised in the solicitation. Each disciplinary unit has a point-of-contact for questions about REU Site proposals, which can be found on the Web page  REU Site Contacts .
    • Although proposals for the renewal of successful REU Sites are welcome, investigators are reminded that such proposals will be reviewed through the normal merit review process and there is no guarantee that a renewal grant will be awarded.


  • REU Supplement and Renewal (as per NSF guidelines ):
    • A request for an REU Supplement may be submitted in either of two ways:
      • Proposers may include an REU Supplement activity as a component of a new (or renewal) research proposal to NSF. For guidance, contact the program officer who manages the research program to which the proposal would be submitted.
      • Investigators holding an existing NSF research award may submit a post-award request for supplemental funding. For guidance, contact the cognizant program officer for the NSF grant or cooperative agreement that would be supplemented.
    • A request for an REU Supplement as part of a proposal for a new or renewal grant or cooperative agreement should be embedded in the proposal as follows:
      • Enter the description of the REU activity (namely, the information described above in the fourth paragraph under the subheading “REQUEST FOR REU SUPPLEMENT”) in the section for Supplementary Documentation.
      • Limit this description to three pages.
      • Include the budget for the REU activity in the yearly project budget.
      • Enter all student costs under Participant Support Costs (Line F on the FastLane budget form and Field E on the budget form). (Indirect costs [F&A] are not allowed on Participant Support Costs in REU Site or REU Supplement budgets.)
      • As part of the Budget Justification, provide a separate explanation of the REU Supplement request, with the proposed student costs itemized and justified and a total given for the items plus associated indirect costs. If the intent is to engage students as technicians, then an REU Supplement is not the appropriate support mechanism; instead, support should be entered on the Undergraduate Students line of the proposal budget.


NSF Annual Report:

  • As per NSF: Principal Investigator submits an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. Within 90 days after the expiration of a grant, the PI is also required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the general public. Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure the availability of required data. REU Site awardees are expected to establish a Website for the recruitment of students and dissemination of information about the REU Site and to maintain the Website for the duration of the award. PIs are required to furnish the URL for the Website to the cognizant NSF program officer no later than 90 days after receiving notification of the award. Read More .
  • TIP: Start the annual report for a given summer before that summer is over, and add the Participants to the report. That will trigger your students and mentors to receive an email from NSF requesting their demographics, and while they’re thinking about the REU site that summer, they’re more likely to reply.



Using the CISE REU Evaluation Toolkit:

  • Overview:
    • This Toolkit was designed to assist CISE REU Site Principal Investigators in fulfilling reporting and research goals, and was funded by the NSF. The Toolkit contents have emerged from a collective effort of the CISE REU PI community as a means of facilitating NSF reporting and proposals, as well as strengthening research about REU site outcomes. Toolkit content is intended to provide guidelines and a resource for support; it is not intended to provide strict rules of reporting and evaluation. The Toolkit is modified and updated on an ongoing basis as new materials become available and new topics become of interest to the CISE REU PI community.
    • CISE REU Evaluation Toolkit Presentation [PDF]
    • Main Website

  • Who is supposed to use the Common Application?
    • The Common Application is a collaboration of the CISE REU community, as a means of collecting descriptive information about the national pool of CISE REU applicants. The application is a standardized set of questions used across sites, and are tailored for each site. All PIs are invited and encouraged to use the Common Application as the primary means of collecting applicant pools, which can be customized for each site’s needs. Use of the Common Application is not required by the NSF.


  • What is the benefit of using the Common Application?
    • Benefits to PIs:
      • An easy to use online application form that populates a live spreadsheet of only your site’s applicants
      • User-friendly for applicants
      • User-friendly for PIs and site staff
      • Saves you the time of having to create and design an application
      • Customizable to include any additional unique items for your site application
      • Read More


  • What is the Shared Applicant Pool and how does it work?
    • It’s a folder of student applications across CISE REU Sites who were not selected at the site of the student’s original application. Sites who receive a low number of applicants may wish to consult the Shared Applicant Pool to consider these candidates and extend offers. Site PIs were asked if they wanted to participate in applicant sharing, and for those who indicated they did wish to participate, an item was included in the Common Application that provided individual applicants the option to participate in the shared pool for additional consideration. Applicants who elected to participate are included in a Dropbox folder, shared with all Site PIs. However, applicants are included in the Shared Applicant Pool folder ONLY AFTER the Site PI confirms that the applicant was not selected for their site.
    • Read More


  • Who is supposed to use the a la carte Survey?
    • The A la carte Survey has been a collaborative effort of the CISE REU community to review the common measures of student outcomes being implemented across CISE REU sites. The Assessment Work Group began discussions of the A la carte Survey as a means of selecting common student outcomes indicators, along with survey questions to measure the indicators, from a palette of indicators found to be useful by prior REU Site evaluators. The A la carte Survey is fitted specifically to CISE REU Site evaluation. All PIs are invited and encouraged to use the components from the A la carte Survey at their discretion as a way to strengthen the student outcomes research in the CISE REU community. Use of the A la carte Survey components is not required by the NSF.


  • What is the benefit of using the a la carte Survey?
    • A ready-made set of survey items by outcomes indicators designed to fit CISE REU
    • Choice in which sets of items to use, based upon which outcomes indicators align with your site goals
    • Read More