Research Experience for Undergrads

The Swarmathon Research Exchange for Undergraduates (REU) program will match students from Swarmathon teams with faculty mentors from other Swarmathon teams for an 8 week summer research project.

Faculty mentors propose a Swarmathon related research project. Students indicate what kind of projects they are interested in and what kind of skills they have to contribute.  Students will be paid a $4800 stipend. Faculty will receive a $500 stipend for serving as a mentor.

We are excited to announce that the Swarmathon REU will be administered through the Distributed REU (DREU) program:

http://cra.org/cra-w/distributed-research-experiences-for-undergraduates-dreu/

This allows us to use the application process that DREU has developed over many years to successfully match faculty mentors and students from underrepresented groups. It also provides access to the broader DREU program for both faculty and students. Swarmathon students and mentors will have the option to apply to the broader DREU program if they are not selected for the Swarmathon. This is an excellent opportunity for all to expand their research horizons!

Specific instructions for the student application

  1. Under “Participation in Other Programs that Coordinate with DREU”
    1. Indicate that you are a participant in the Swarmathon by selecting either the second dropdown menu item: “I am in this program and wish to be considered for the coordinated DREU program” if you ONLY want to be considered for a Swarmathon REU.
    2. Or, if you would like to also be considered for an REU on a research project that is not part of the Swarmathon, highlight the third dropdown menu item “I am in this program and wish to be considered for the coordinated DREU program, and also the normal DREU program”. This choice will have no impact on your application to the Swarmathon REU program.
  2. In your research statement, follow the DREU guidelines, and additionally include the following:
    1. A description of how your contributions to your Swarmathon team
    2. Specific interests related to the Swarmathon that you would like research during your REU
  3. The application asks for the name and address of 2 faculty to recommend you. One of your recommendation letters must come from your Swarmathon team mentor, so please list your mentor and his/her contact information. Mentors please note that you may only nominate one team member for the Swarmathon REU, (ie the Swarmathon REU can only consider 1 student per team because we only have 8 slots available). However, mentors may write letters for multiple students to participate in the broader DREU program.

 

Specific instructions for the mentor application

  1. Under “Participation in Other Programs that Coordinate with DREU”
    1. Indicate that you are a participant in the Swarmathon by selecting either the second dropdown menu item: “I am in this program and wish to be considered for the coordinated DREU program” if you ONLY want to be considered for a Swarmathon REU.
    2. Or, if you would like to also be considered for an REU on a research project that is not part of the Swarmathon, highlight the third dropdown menu item “I am in this program and wish to be considered for the coordinated DREU program, and also the normal DREU program”. This choice will have no impact on your application to the Swarmathon REU program.
  2. In your proposed research project, follow the DREU guidelines, and additionally describe how your proposed research project relates to the Swarmathon.

 

Please note these deadlines and differences between the Swarmathon REU and the DREU application

  1. Funding will be $600/week for 8 weeks for a total student stipend of $4800. (This is less than the $700/week and 10 week duration of the regular DREU program so that we can accommodate an additional student with the funds we have available.)
  2. Deadlines: applications will open in February 2017. The deadline for completing student and mentor applications for the DREU will be February 15, 2017. The deadline for completing student and mentor applications for the Swamathon REU will be March 1, 2017.
  3. Recommendation letters from faculty mentors for their student will be requested by email and due in March 13, 2017.
  4. Swarmathon REU faculty and students will be chosen March 31, 2017.

 

Other items to note:

  • Please read the DREU web page and all application instructions carefully.
  • Students must go to another college or university for their REU. The REU will not fund students to do research at their home university.
  • Students from community colleges, 4 year colleges and Universities are all eligible to apply. We recommend that students are in at least their 2nd year of their CS major so first year students should wait to apply next year.
  • Faculty mentors should have an active research program and in particular they should have graduate or undergraduate students actively involved in summer research so that the REU student can be part of a research community.
  • Students will be responsible for funding their own housing. Funds for housing have been added to the student stipend, so there will be no additional funds for housing. Mentors should be willing to help students find housing (i.e., mentors should point students toward on campus housing, online resources or other advice for housing. We strongly recommend that faculty mentors assign a student to help the REU student find housing.
  • A student may apply for the REU whether or not their school’s mentor intends to host an REU.
  • Faculty may apply to host an REU whether or not a student from their team applies for an REU at another school.
  • Faculty may nominate up to 2 students for the Swarmathon REU. We will request the letter from you for your students via email.
  • Travel stipend: up to $500 of travel expenses to the REU site at the beginning of the summer and back to your school at the end of your summer will be reimbursed by the Swarmathon REU program. If travel costs in excess of $500, the student will be responsible for that cost out of their $4800 student stipend.
  • For more information, attend the NASA Opportunities webinar and visit the REU virtual expo booth at the end of that webinar to ask questions. The webinar is scheduled for February 13, 2017.

Mentors will also be responsible for:

  • Meeting regularly with their student.
  • Ensuring that they are part of a community of other students.
  • Ensuring that they meet all deadlines of the program (students submit progress reports, create a website, poster and final report describing their REU project).
  • Submitting progress and final reports about the student’s project and participation.