Frequently Asked Questions


All Applicants

Accepted Participants

Q: I am not a US citizen but would like to apply to the REU program. Am I still eligible?

A:  Unfortunately, under NSF guidelines you must be a US citizen to participate.

Q: The program details say REU applicants should be juniors, but I am a freshman or sophomore.  Should I still apply?

A:  The REU program is targeted for students in the summer between their junior and senior year, although exceptions can be made in the case of other students who are well prepared by their coursework and/or other experience. All students must be in good standing with all the courses they were registered for during the Spring before the REU summer program begins (no incompletes that are not easily explainable/understandable/aceptable, etc.).

Q: Should I still apply if I am a senior?

A:  We ideally seek students at this stage so that the experience can inform their decisions about Graduate school. You are welcome to apply but your status as a senior will be considered.

Q: I participated in the REU program last year, does this exclude me from participating again this year?

A:  You can still participate in the REU program even if you have previously participated.

Q: What types of research projects are available through the program?

A:  You can find our more by going to the linked websites of the faculty listed and explore their research projects. We align applicants by their interest area with appropriate participating faculty, who have slots available in their research groups. There is some flexibility in terms of what you wind up working on. The more explicit you can make your interests in your application, the better the alignment we can make.

Q: Is there any flexibility in the program start and end dates?

A:  The program is 10 weeks long, and there are a number of seminars and other activities in the first 2.5 weeks that you would miss. These are an essential part of the program. Based on this, the review committee will likely not rank your application as high as an otherwise equivalent applicant.

Q: Is the program physically located in Austin, and if so, is public transportation readily available?

A:  Students are housed on the UT campus so you would not need to commute although public transportation is readily available from the UT campus.

Q: What are the work hours for this research project? Is there a certain work schedule I should expect?

A:  You can expect to have to put in approximately 40 hours per week. Although this can take the form of a 9 am – 5 pm, Mon-Fri schedule, those participating in more field intensive research can expect to have a varying schedule over the 10 week period.

Q: Should I send you an e-mail attachment with an unofficial web transcript I am able to access or should I send an official transcript which I can send through the mail?

A:  Either an unofficial or official transcript is fine.

Q: When will I be notified about whether or not I’m accepted into the program?

A:  Notification will be sent out in early March.

Q: When should I arrive in Austin?

A:  You should plan on arriving in Austin no later than the the day before the orientation session, to be announced.


Q: Will my travel expenses be covered?

A:  We will cover your reasonable round-trip airfare.  To ensure that you are fully reimbursed, please make sure that your airfare is not excessive due unnecessary additional costs.  If  you have any questions about your airfare, please contact our office.

Q: When and how should I book my flight?

A:  You can book your flight anytime, but you must arrive by the day before orientation, to be announced. You will be reimbursed up to $250 on presentation of your boarding pass and itemized receipt; and up to $250 on return with same procedures followed.

Q: Do I need to arrange transportation from the airport to the university?

A:  Depending on when your flight arrives, we will try to have someone from UT meet you and other REU students.

Q: Where will I be housed for the summer?

A:  The living situation will be in a dorm room on campus. The dorm is convenient to the academic buildings on campus.

Q: Will I have my own room or will I share a room?

A:  You will have a private room with a community bath in a UT Dorm.

Q: What type of clothes/items should I bring?

A:  You’ll received a detailed list in advance of your arrival, but mostly, you’ll need clothing for warm weather, a swimsuit for the Port Aransas trip, and some clothes that you don’t mind getting roughly used crawling through a cave (old jeans are good for this).

Q: How can I find out when the seminars and field trips will be held? Will there be a schedule of events posted online?

A:  A schedule will be posted as soon as it becomes available.  Please note that a final schedule of seminars and trips is usually not available until mid-May.

Q: When will I receive my research/food stipends?

A:  You will receive a portion of the salary and your food allowance soon after arrival provided you have filled out the necessary forms that the program coordinator will send you.

Q: Should I continue with my research after the summer program is completed?

A:  While we design research projects that can be completed during the summer, all research leads to larger questions, and it’s strongly encouraged that REU students continue their research beyond the scope of the summer.