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REU Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for REU?

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is 10 weeks long. Our Summer 2020 REU program will run from June 22 – August 28, 2020 (10 weeks; 40 hours per week).

All REU participants must be present during the entire 10 week duration. 

Do I get paid as an REU participant?

Yes. The stipend for 2020 is $7,500 per student.

Where will I live for the Summer? How does the housing payment work?

All REU participants are required to secure their own housing for the summer. As a Stanford student, you will have the option of enrolling in on-campus summer housing. You are welcome to organize your own housing while participating in the program; however, we strongly recommend that you enroll in the on-campus housing option. As part o the living requirement, you will need to acquire a campus-dining plan.

To apply for Stanford Summer housing, submit an application for Summer housing with the Housing Assignment Services Office. Please consult the housing office for more information regarding summer housing deadlines.

I am still a first-year student (Freshman standing). Am I eligible for REU?

Yes, as a first-year student you are absolutely eligible to apply for the REU Program. 

I am a Coterm student. Can I still apply to the REU Program?

Yes, as a co-term student you are eligible to apply to the REU Program, but only if you have not conferred your BS degree. For example, if you are going to receive your BS degree at the end of Spring Quarter, you will not be eligible to apply because you will no longer have undergraduate status during the Summer Quarter.

I am not currently declared as a BioE major. Can I still apply to the REU Program?

Yes, all Stanford undergraduates are elibile to apply.

I have previously participated in the REU Program. Can I reapply?

Yes, you can apply again. 

As an REU participant, are there extracurricular activities that I need to participate in during the program?

As an REU participant, you will attend seminars, featuring speakers who will discuss research from varied topics related to Bioengineering. Additionally, all REU students are required to participate in a final poster session. It is important to ensure that you are available for the entire REU Program, start to finish. The last poster session is well attended, and it is an excellent opportunity to show off your hard work while networking.

What is the typical workload as an REU participant and what is expected of me?

As an REU participant, you are committed to working a maximum of 40-hours per week for 10 weeks. Thus, you should not enroll in the REU Program if you plan on carrying a significant coursework load, or holding a second part-time job. However, you may enroll in up to 5 units of coursework while participating in the REU Program. Accepting an REU position implies that you agree to be available for the entire ten-week program. You should consult with your faculty advisor regarding your specific work schedule and work schedule flexibility.

I am waiting to hear from a job offer. Can I join REU later after hearing the results of this offer?

If you are offered an REU position, you may request a short extension to determine your acceptance status. Extensions will be granted to students who have legitimate concerns only, i.e. impending job offer. If you need an extension, please get approval from your mentor or advisor and contact the REU Coordinator with your final decision. Please note that the University has a deadline for when student names must be submitted for summer work, these deadlines cannot be extended. Once you accept an REU position, we expect you to fully participate in the program for the entire 10 weeks.

What is the process of applying for the REU Program? What is the selection process?

Faculty submit projects for Stanford undergraduates to apply to via the REU Program. Students may choose up to 5 of their favorite projects in ranked order. The faculty/mentors are notified of the students that chose their project, and students are encouraged to meet with faculty/mentors to discuss more about the specific project. Additionally, faculty will review the REU candidates and submit their project preferences. Students are matched with projects using a combination of both student and faculty preferences.   After the selection process has concluded, appointed students will receive offer letters via email. Students will have 1-2 weeks to decide whether to accept or decline REU assignments.

Can students change their project preferences?

No. Unfortunately, due to the complexity of the application process, students will not be able to change their project preferences. However, when they meet with faculty/graduate mentors, students are encouraged to let the faculty/grad mentors know that they are very interested in their project.

How many offer letters does each student receive?

After the application process has been finalized, students that have been matched to a project will receive ONE offer letter that states the project that they have been assigned to. They will have a short grace period to accept or decline the offer by responding/replying all to the offer email. The faculty/mentors will be cc'd on the email. Offer letters are typically sent out by end of February.

Will students that have not been matched to a project be notified?

Yes. All applicants will be contacted whether or not they receive an offer letter.

I am not a Stanford student; can I enroll in REU?

The REU Program is internally funded by Stanford, and is intended for Stanford undergraduate students only. Although our REU Program is for Stanford students only, this should not stop you from separately arranging a project for yourself, and working with a Professor in any way you would like, but it cannot be a part of the REU Program. It is recommended that you contact the Stanford Vice Provost Undergraduate Education Office for more information on research opportunities for students enrolled at other institutions. Other research opportunities for undergraduates from other schools can also be found at Stanford's Office of Science Outreach Website.

Are there opportunities to expand my involvement beyond REU?

Quite possibly, you should speak with your mentor/advisor. For instance, you could enroll in BIOE 191 with consent of the instructor, and receive course credit during other quarters. 

Is my REU stipend taxable?

Yes. It is taxable and you should report it in your tax filings. No deduction is taken on your stipend payment because it is not big enough to get taxed, but if you have other sources of income during the year, then you'll end up paying some income tax on it later. Since it is a stipend and not a salary, you will not pay social security tax on it. It is recommended that you contact the Student Services Center for more information.

As an REU participant, are there any restrictions during the summer?

1. Students must not register for more than 5 units of coursework during their program participation;

2. Students must not work more than 10 hours per week outside of their research duties;

3. Students must meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the REU Program, which includes presenting and participating in a final poster session;

4. Students are responsible to secure their own housing for the summer. If they do not choose to enroll in on-campus summer housing, they will need to make their own housing arrangements, which may require additional expenses prior to receiving their stipend;

5. Failure to complete the REU summer research commitment may result in the removal of the program and/or the stipend being reversed or partially reversed.