Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements

MIT Guidance Regarding REU Supplements

NSF REU Supplements

Investigators with an active research award may request supplemental funding to involve an undergraduate in an existing project under the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.  Because this program is funded as “Participant Support Costs”, it is often recommended by NSF program managers as a cost effective way to support students.  However, not all student support is eligible for funding under this program.

  • The REU student supported must be a US Citizen, national, or Permanent Resident.
  • The student must be an undergraduate
  • The student cannot also be an MIT employee

If the project is not eligible for funding under the REU program, it may still be possible to get supplemental funds for student support, but the support would be provided as pay for work rather than a stipend, and bear appropriate indirect costs.  Full Instructions specific to REU site and supplement proposals can be found in the REU solicitation NSF 13-542

How to Apply for an REU supplement to an existing award

  • First, contact the NSF Program officer for the award, and confirm that they will support the request if submitted.  It is not advisable to submit any supplemental funding request to the NSF without prior discussion.
  • In Fastlane, prepare a Supplemental Funding request (this function is located under “Award & Reporting Functions”), which will include the following documents to upload:
    • “Summary of Proposed Work”: this document should include just the statement that “This is a request for an REU Supplement”
    • “Justification for Supplement”: up to 3 pages, including the following information:
      1. the nature of each prospective student's involvement in the research project;
      2. the experience of the PI (or other prospective research mentors) in involving undergraduates in research, including any previous REU Supplement support and the outcomes from that support;
      3. the nature of the mentoring that the student(s) will receive; and
      4. the process and criteria for selecting the student(s).
      5. Optional. If the student has been pre-selected then the grounds for selection and a brief biographical sketch of the student should be included.
        • the biographical sketch may be attached as an “Other Supplementary Document”, and does not count towards the 3 page limit.
    • Budgets should be entered under “Participant Support costs” (section F of the budget), and no overhead can be applied.
    • Summer stipends are typically $500 per week, academic year stipends should be comparable on a pro-rated basis for the time commitment anticipated.
    • Additional costs (such as housing, travel, lab fees, etc.) may also be included if needed, also under “participant support”. 
    • Include a budget justification with a detailed breakdown of all costs requested.