Is an official transcript necessary to apply, or can I send an unofficial one?

An unofficial transcript is fine.

How do you assign students to research topics? Can I choose?

In your application, you will specify the topic that you would most like to work on, as well as one other topic that would be acceptable to you. Note that in order for your application to be considered, you must specify one topic in addition to your first choice. If you are offered a position in the program, your offer will be in one of the following forms:

  • An offer to work on your preferred topic.
  • An offer to work on your secondary choice.
  • An offer to work on your secondary choice, with the possibility of being assigned to your first choice at a later date (prior to the start of the program).
  • A general acceptance to the program, with your research topic to be determined at a later date. (In this case, you will be assigned to either your first choice or your secondary choice at some point prior to the start of the program.)

Will you email my letter writers asking for letters of recommendation?

We will not email them to request a recommendation.  In particular, inform your letter writers to send their recommendations to [email protected] by the application deadline. Please note that letters of recommendation must be sent from a verifiable, work e-mail address—for example, one ending in .edu. Letter writers need to read the additional instructions.

When will I be notified if I have been accepted to the program?

We will begin reviewing applications shortly after the due date. We will make our first offers around early to mid March.

This REU participates in the Mathematical Sciences REU Common Reply Date agreement. Any student who receives an offer from an REU that participates in the Common Reply Date agreement, including this REU, is not required to accept or decline to the offer until March 8 (or later). The goal of the Common Reply Date agreement is to help students make informed decisions, particularly when faced with the potential of receiving offers from multiple REUs.

What should I do if I've applied to several different REUs, and I have received offers from other REUs, but not from GVSU?

If you have received an offer from another REU and would like to know your status in our selection process, please feel free to send an email to [email protected].

Can I participate in your REU if I obtain my own funding or pay my own way?

The GVSU REU program is for REU supported participants only. We regret that we cannot accept other participants in the program.

I'm graduating in May. Can I still participate?

Students who have received their bachelor's degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible to participate.

Is it difficult to get to Grand Valley from where I live?

Grand Valley is near a major airport (the Grand Rapids airport). Interstate 96 connects Grand Rapids with Detroit, while Interstate 196/94 connects the area with Chicago. Past participants have driven or flown here with little trouble. Participants will be reimbursed up to $300 for travel to GVSU.

Can I use my REU project as a starting point for a senior project back at my home institution?

Yes. Several participants have done this in the past.

How much work is involved in the program?

You can expect to work 40-60 hours a week on your research project. This includes directed readings, problem solving, meeting with your faculty mentor, preparing weekly written reports, and preparing talks.

How much will I get paid?

Funding from the National Security Agency and GVSU allows us to provide a generous compensation package for our undergraduate participants. In addition to housing on GVSU's campus (in air-conditioned apartments) and a $800 food allowance ($100 per week), participants receive a $5,400 stipend for the 8-week program. Additionally there is funding for travel to GVSU, and your trip to the SUMMR Conference and MathFest (2 conferences) will be covered.

Is "Group Fun" paid for by the REU program?

No, money for social activities comes from your own pocket. However, group fun activities are voluntary. 

Do I have to go to MathFest? Will my travel expenses for MathFest be paid by the REU?

Although MathFest is optional, we strongly encourage all participants to attend. In past years, the vast majority of students and faculty in the program have made the trip. If you choose to attend MathFest, your registration, lodging, and transportation costs will be covered by the REU. The only expenses you will need to cover out-of-pocket are for food and incidentals.

Is the stipend taxable?

Although participants will not get a 1099 form from GVSU, the stipend is considered income. Students might find the IRS's "Tax Information for Students" Website (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/students) to be particularly helpful. That is all the tax advice we can give.

Page last modified January 31, 2022