REU Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for REU?

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program lasts 10 weeks. It coincides with the Summer session, which begins the second Tuesday after graduation Sunday (i.e. nine days later), and includes 10 work weeks, completing on a Thursday. For 2014, the program will run from 6/23/14 to 8/28/14. The final presentation/poster session will be on 8/28/14.

Do I get paid as an REU participant? 

Yes. The stipend for 2014 is $7000.

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

All REU Interns are required to secure their own housing for the summer. As a program affiliate, 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 of the living requirement, you will need to acquire a campus-dining plan.

Please note that if you choose to arrange your own housing, you will also have to be prepared to pay associated expenses prior to receiving your REU stipend, since the stipend will come shortly after the start of REU.

To apply for 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 REU. You may find that many of the REU projects are aimed at sophomores or juniors who have taken more EE classes, but many are also accessible for first‐year students. We encourage you to apply.

I am a Coterm student. Can I still enroll in REU?

Yes, as a co‐term student you are eligible to apply for REU, if you have not received your bachelor’s degree as of the end of Spring quarter. If you are going to receive your BS degree at the end of Spring quarter, you will not be eligible for REU because you will no longer be of undergraduate student status.

I am not currently declared as an EE major. Can I still enroll in REU?

Yes, you can enroll and accept a position, but if you do, you must declare as an EE major during the Spring quarter prior to your REU participation. This may need to be completed early during Spring quarter, since the process may not be allowed in the latter part.

I have previously participated in REU. Can I apply again?

Yes, you can apply again, however, due to the popularity of REU, priority is given to first time participants.

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 topic from varied topics related to Electrical Engineering. Additionally, the most important activity is the poster session on the last day of the program. 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 great 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 REU 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 REU. 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 an 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?

The REU faculty submit projects for students to choose, students choose up to 8 of their favorite projects to apply for as REU candidates. 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. Unfortunately, after the students submit their application, they will not be allowed to change their project preferences.  Appointed students will receive offer letters with the next steps. 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 matching 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 matching 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/graduate mentors will be cc'd on the email.  Offer letters are typically sent by mid March, unless otherwise noted.

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 was not placed on a project.  Is there any way I can still be a part of REU?

Depending on whether there is funding left, the EE dept. will try to place students on projects who are still interested in participating. 

The project I listed as my first choice listed me as their first choice.  Why didn't I get placed on this project?

There are many factors to consider when students are placed on projects.  Please note that the dept. tries to accommodate both student and faculty/grad mentor preferences; however, there will be projects and/or students that will not receive their first preference.  In addition, the dept. tries to offer this wonderful research opportunity to as many students as possible.

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 REU 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 opportunuties 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 EE191, EE191W, or EE190, and receive course credit during Spring quarter, while you prepare for being involved for the summer with some preparatory project. Enrolling in EE191W after the REU summer session will satisfy the Writing in the Major (WIM)requirement. Many students also choose to continue their projects into the academic year.

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 http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/studentservicescenter.

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

Yes, but please note that:

  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 project duties;
  3. Students must spend a minimum of 8 weeks working in the faculty mentor’s research group with the project they have been assigned to;
  4. Students must meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the REU Program, which include being EE declared before the start of my participation in the program;
  5. Students are responsibly 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;
  6. 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.