Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Look no further for answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us for further assistance.

How is the program funded?

Major funding is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Supplemental funds come from individual participating departments (Chemistry, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Public Health, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Pharmacy).

How many students participate?

The NSF grant covers 10 undergraduate students. Two additional students may be supported by The University of Iowa ICRU Program.

Do I have to be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States?

Yes. To be eligible for NSF funding, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (hold a green card). Similar restrictions apply to departmental funds.

Will my application be considered if all materials are not sent by the deadline?

Yes, but applications that arrive on time receive first priority. Don't worry if your letters of recommendation or transcripts arrive a few days late. This happens fairly often and you will not be penalized.

When will I be notified if I have been selected as a participant?

We anticipate starting to admit students late February, but the process of filling all of our openings can extend into April. Why does it take so long? We like to give students time to consider our offer before making a commitment to join us. A few inevitably turn us down, at which point we make further offers. As a result, most of our slots are filled by mid March, but it is common for us to still have an opening or two in April. Once all of our available positions have been filled, we will notify the applicants that were not selected.

What are my chances of getting selected?

We typically have over 100 applicants each year. Being selected for the REU is based on many criteria, such as your commitment to a career in science, how well your interests match those of our faculty, and whether this would be an opportunity you could not get at your home institution.

Do you accept undergraduates from large universities?

Yes. Students from both large and small universities participate.

Do I have to participate in the full 9-week duration of the program?


Where will I be living?

We will arrange for you to stay in Petersen Hall on the University of Iowa's campus. Housing expenses are covered for REU participants. Rooms are double-occupancy with shared bathrooms. Your roommate will likely be another participant in the program. Each room has wireless internet, and heat and air conditioning controlled by a thermostat. 

Can I take classes while I am participating in the NSF-REU at The University of Iowa?

No. The program is a full-time commitment. The only exception is that you have the option of earning two semester hours of academic credit from The University of Iowa for your research experience. We will pay your tuition if you choose this option. These credits are usually transferrable, so check with your home institution about whether they will count toward your degree.

I am a student at The University of Iowa. Am I eligible to apply for this REU?

Yes, provided you meet the other selection criteria. 

I am interested in graduate school at The University of Iowa, but I did not get into the REU. Can I still get into your graduate program?

Absolutely yes! Please apply to our graduate program (more information on graduate education at The University of Iowa can be found HERE). The criteria for selecting graduate students are different than for selecting REU participants. One of the biggest differences is that when you apply for admission to a graduate program, having attended a large, research-oriented university can be beneficial to your application.

How much is the stipend?

In addition to having your housing provided, you will receive a $4500 stipend over the course of the program.

What about travel expenses to Iowa City?

Upon request we can cover up to $500 for travel and parking expenses.