Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of academic background is required for the REU program?
- The REU program is open to any undergraduates from any institution. Applicants must be enrolled in a bachelor degree program at the time of the REU. The NEPARS REU program has a primary focus on participation of rising sophomores and rising juniors that have just completed their first and second year, respectively, at two-year or four-year colleges and universities across the U.S. offering degrees in STEM fields. The planned REU won't exclude applications from rising seniors; however, the goal of our REU is to provide a first-time foundational research opportunity for a diverse group of undergraduates.
I am graduating in May. Can I still participate?
- Students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible.
I am a first-year student. Am I eligible for the REU?
- Yes, as a first-year student you are absolutely eligible to apply for the REU. We encourage you to apply.
I am not a US citizen or permanent resident. Can I still apply?
- Our funding for the program is provided by the United States Federal Government (specifically the National Science Foundation), which has the restriction that participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
Application Submission Process
Who is eligible to apply to the REU program?
- Undergraduate students (First-year, Sophomore, and Junior) working toward a degree in meteorology, atmospheric science, geoscience, environmental science, geography, computer science, mathematics, physics or other related degree program are encouraged to apply. We have had prior participants that have completed only a couple introductory courses in atmospheric or related sciences.
What other skills would be useful for my application?
- Prior research experience is not required. Having worked with meteorological and geoscience data, conducted statistical analyses, and a familiarity with GIS or computer coding would be beneficial, but is not necessary. Applicants should have excellent oral and written communication skills and be willing to work both within a group setting and independently.
What is the selection process?
- The program directors, with input from the faculty mentors, review the applications and select students based on their academic record, statements of interests and academic goals, and recommendations. Consideration is also given to the diversity of the cohort because it is believed that students from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, home institutions, and undergraduate majors will create the best learning environment. Consideration is also given to balancing undergraduate studies with working at a full-time or part-time job.
How are students matched with faculty mentors and research projects?
- After the students are selected, the program directors and research mentors consider student interests and academic background to match students with research projects. Students are informed of their research project and their REU research mentor will provide additional information about the project before arrival for the summer REU.
- As part of this process, students will be matched with a research mentor either at Hobart & William Smith Colleges or Plymouth State University. This will determine the research location for each student during the summer - Geneva, NY (Hobart & William Smith Colleges) or Plymouth, NH (Plymouth State University).
What is the deadline for applications?
- Applications received prior to 5:00 PM EST on Monday, February 15, 2021 will be considered.
When will I be notified if I have been accepted to the program?
- All applicants will be notified of decisions by March 15, 2021.
Is an official transcript necessary to apply, or can I send an unofficial one?
- An unofficial transcript for each undergraduate institution attended should be submitted with the online application submission.
- The NEPARS REU intends to offer an in-person research experience for the 2021 summer program. We continue to monitor the developing situation surrounding COVID-19 both locally and nationally. If circumstances warrant, the 2021 NEPARS REU program may be provided in a remote or hybrid format.
Do I get paid?
- Yes. The stipend for 2021 is $600 per week for the 9-week REU summer program. REU student internship positions and operation of the REU site are contingent on availability of funding from the National Science Foundation.
How many students will participate in the REU?
- Each year of a cohort of 12 undergraduate students will be offered summer research internships with the NEPARS REU to work with 6 faculty mentors from Hobart & William Smith Colleges (HWS) and Plymouth State University (PSU). Six students and three mentors will work at each research location.
Is my REU stipend taxable?
- Yes. It is taxable and you should report it in your tax filings.
What is the workload as a REU participant and what is expected of me?
- Hours are up to your mentor, but generally you should plan on putting in at least an eight-hour day on Monday - Friday. This includes research experimental design, data acquisition with state-of-the-art instruments, analyses of data sets, numerical modeling, writing of research reports, and presenting findings at research symposia. In the past, students typically arrive between 8-9 a.m., take a 30-minute lunch break, and finish between 4-5 p.m. each weekday. A few weekend activities are scheduled during the summer, but generally evenings and weekends are non-work time periods.
What is the time commitment of the REU?
- The 2021 REU summer program begins on Monday, June 7, 2021 and ends on Friday, August 6, 2021. Students should plan to arrive in Geneva, NY or Plymouth, NH on Saturday, June 5, 2021.
What will be the summer schedule?
- The REU will feature three full-group gatherings during the summer REU program when groups from each research location (HWS and PSU) coming together to share information about research being conducted, participate in educational workshops, and join in group-building activities. The first gather is at HWS early in the summer (1st or 2nd week), a second gathering at PSU during the middle of the summer program, and a third gathering near the end of the summer program at SUNY Albany. During the two multi-week periods between gatherings, the primary focus will be on conducting research using mentor-led student pairings with local activities and training directed toward enhancing leadership and research skills.
Is participation in the full REU required?
- Yes. In rare cases, an exception may be made by the program director if a student has a prior professional obligation, but students are expected to participate in the full 9-week REU program.
Can I use my REU research as a starting point for a senior project or other independent study credit at my home institution?
- Absolutely. We strongly encourage (but do not require) that you continue your REU research in some form at your home institution and continue to collaborate with your REU research mentor. This increases the chance of presenting and publishing your REU research, which is a significant accomplishment that can help you to gain employment or admission to graduate school.
How do I contact the REU program for further information?
- The director of the REU program is Dr. Neil Laird (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the co-director is Dr. Jason Cordeira (email@example.com). You should email either of them with additional questions.