REU 2009 Workshop presentation.p

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REU 2009 Workshop presentation.p Powered By Docstoc
					Research Experiences
 for Undergraduates
     May 25, 2009
             Lucy Deckard
   Office of Proposal Development
                  OPD Web
   Go to
   Click on May 25, 2009 Seminar for:
    • Electronic copy of this presentation
    • Supporting materials
    • Links to other resources

                         Texas A&M University        2
                    Office of Proposal Development
             Seminar Outline
   Overview of NSF REU Sites and Supplements
   Writing your REU proposal
   Support available through Office of Assoc. Dean
    for Undergraduate Research (Bob Webb)
   Case history: the Chemistry REU (Holly Gaede)
   Comments and Q&A with REU PIs
    • James Batteas (Chemistry)
    • Wayne Hung (Eng Tech & Ind. Dist.)

                         Texas A&M University        3
                    Office of Proposal Development
       REU Sites: Basic Facts
• Proposal usually due mid to late August
• This year’s solicitation not yet out
      Will be posted at

• Duration 1 – 5 years (3 years typical)
• Amount: $70K – 120K per year typical
 (depending on number of students; $700 –
 $900/student/week; # students > 6)
• No organizational limit or limit on number of
• Can specify one PI, up to one Co-PI
  (remaining faculty are Senior Personnel)
                           Texas A&M University                      4
                      Office of Proposal Development
REU Supplements: Basic Facts
• Proposal due date varies with program (check
  with Program Officer) – 3 page supplement
• Duration 1 year typical (can’t exceed term of
  underlying project)
• Amount: $6K – 12K typical (one or two
• PI must currently be funded or applying under
  NSF program (talk to current Program Officer
  before submitting)
                     Texas A&M University         5
                Office of Proposal Development
NSF’s Objectives for REU Program
   Attract talented and diverse pool of
    undergraduates to careers in science and
    engineering by involving them in a
    meaningful research experience
    • Students learn how research works
    • Students engage in active learning as
      members of a research community
    • Encourage students to continue to graduate
    • Offer high quality mentoring
                        Texas A&M University        6
                   Office of Proposal Development
Advantages to University, Program,
   Faculty of winning an REU
   Increases national visibility of program,
   Improves recruiting and diversity of graduate
   Strengthens connections with other colleges and
   Increases visibility at NSF
   Provides component for other NSF projects,
    particularly center level and diversity initiatives
                          Texas A&M University        7
                     Office of Proposal Development
           REU sites - Overview
   Undergraduates
    • Must be US citizens or permanent residents
    • “Significant fraction should come from outside
      host institution”
         For research university, close to 100% typical -
          “target students who otherwise would not have
         For non-research university, greater than 50%
    • Diversity and recruitment plan crucial

                            Texas A&M University             8
                       Office of Proposal Development
          REU Sites - Overview
   Typical REU Activities
    • Typically 10 weeks during summer
       Some 6 – 8 weeks
       Some have follow-up activities during
        academic year
    • Professional Development Activities
       Orientation, social activities, field trips
       Workshops, seminars, training sessions,
        optional ethics training
       Closing Session at end of summer, present
        at conference, etc.
                        Texas A&M University          9
                   Office of Proposal Development
             REU Sites Overview
   Research Experience
    • “The essential ingredient of a competitive REU sites
      project is a high-quality student experience in which the
      students are members of a research community.”
    • Must be opportunity for student to make “substantive
    • Faculty mentors should have record of active research
    • Research should have potential to lead to original,
      publishable results
   Other components
    • Student Participant Recruiting and Selection plan
    • Evaluation Plan
    • Budget
                             Texas A&M University             10
                        Office of Proposal Development
         REU Proposal Sections
   Project Summary (1 page)
   Project Description (15 pages)
    •   Overview
    •   Nature of Student Activities
    •   Research Environment
    •   Student Recruitment and Selection
    •   Project Evaluation and Reporting
    •   Results from Prior NSF Support
   References Cited
   Current and Pending Support
   Biographical sketches for Senior Personnel
                            Texas A&M University        11
                       Office of Proposal Development
      Project Summary (1 page)
 New REU Site, or renewal of previously funded REU Site (provide previous NSF
  Award No.)?:
 Project title (as shown on Cover Sheet):
 Principal Investigator:
 Submitting organization:
 Other organizations involved in the project's operation:
 Location(s) (universities, national labs, field stations, etc.) at which the proposed
  undergraduate research will occur:
 Main field(s) and sub-field(s) of the research:
 No. of undergraduate participants per year:
 Summer REU Site, or academic year REU Site?:
 No. of weeks per year that the students will participate:
 Does the project include an international component, ethics component, or RET
 Name, phone number, and e-mail address of point-of-contact for student applicants:
 Web address (URL) for information about the REU Site (if known):
PROJECT SUMMARY: Briefly describe the project's objectives, activities, students to be
  recruited, and intended impact. In separate sections clearly labeled "Intellectual Merit"
  and "Broader Impacts," address NSF's two merit review criteria. Proposals that do not
  separately address both merit review criteria within the one-page Project Summary
  will be returned without review
                                     Texas A&M University                               12
                                Office of Proposal Development
                Project Description
                   a. Overview
   Objectives of Site
   Targeted student participants
    • generally favor targeting of students who would not otherwise
      get the chance to participate in research or are from
      underrepresented groups
   Intellectual focus
   Organization
    • (management of program)
   Timetable
   Institutional Commitment
    • Cost share not required, but like to see strong institutional
    • Examples: institution covers travel cost, housing cost, time of
      faculty, sponsors additional undergraduates, etc.
                               Texas A&M University                     13
                          Office of Proposal Development
          Project Description
     b. Nature of Student Activities
   Research Activities – need specifics!
    • “Provide detailed descriptions of examples of projects that
      students might pursue”
    • May be organized around theme or department or may be
    • Discuss significance of research area, and (where appropriate)
      underlying theoretical framework, hypotheses, research
      questions, etc.
    • Emphasize quality of research experience
           How is research original and important?
           What will student do?
           How is it substantive?
           How will the student “own” project?
           How will the student be kept on track?
    (good ref: Lopato, “The Essential Features of Undergraduate Research,” on your
       Seminar CD)
                                   Texas A&M University                              14
                              Office of Proposal Development
          Project Description
     b. Nature of Student Activities
   Development activities
    • Orientation, seminars, workshops
    • Examples
          Help students ramp up skills, knowledge for research
          Help students with communication skills
          Prepare students for application to graduate school
    • Social activities
    • Plans to ensure the development of student-faculty
      and student-student communication
          Students should learn not only about their own research
           project but also about research conducted by others in group
    • End of session poster presentation, conference, etc.
                               Texas A&M University                   15
                          Office of Proposal Development
            Project Description
        c. Research Environment
   Experience of PI and Faculty Mentors
    • Experience and record of involvement in research
      with undergraduates
    • “Record of faculty/mentors in publishing work
      involving undergraduate authors and in providing
      professional development opportunities for student
    • Diversity of mentor pool
    • Training and/or monitoring of mentors
   Facilities, equipment and other resources
    available for undergraduate research

                           Texas A&M University            16
                      Office of Proposal Development
        Project Description
d. Student Recruitment and Selection
    Detailed recruitment plan
     • Types and/or names of institutions where
       students will be recruited (letters of support from
       those institutions very helpful)
     • Efforts to attract students from
       underrepresented groups
           Take advantage of any existing connections; e.g.,
            among TAMU system schools and Community
           Pathways to the Doctorate partnerships can provide
            connections (
                            Texas A&M University           17
                       Office of Proposal Development
     d. Recruitment and Selection
   Selection Criteria
    • Want students who will be successful
    • But excessively stringent criteria can work
      against you with reviewers
   “A significant fraction of students should
    come from outside the host institution.”
   Students must be US citizens or
    permanent residents.
                         Texas A&M University        18
                    Office of Proposal Development
        Project Description
e. Project Evaluation and Reporting
   “Measure qualitatively and quantitatively
    success of project in achieving its goals”
    • Student learning and broadened perspectives
    • Structured means of tracking students beyond
    • Note: this highlights the importance of explicitly
      stating specific, measurable goals
   Formative
    • On-going evaluation aimed at fine-tuning project as it
   Summative
    • Final evaluation of results at end of project
                            Texas A&M University               19
                       Office of Proposal Development
Evaluation and Reporting (cont’d)
   Evaluation resources
    • In solicitation, refers to The 2002 User-
      Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation

    • Office of Undergraduate Research

                            Texas A&M University                20
                       Office of Proposal Development
    Evaluation and Reporting (cont’d)
   Examples of Evaluation Instruments
     • Compilation of retention and academic performance
     • Student and faculty surveys
     • Study of student behaviors
     • Focus groups
     • Evaluation of post-graduate study
   Can engage evaluation expert and include in
   Several good references on evaluation will be on
                           Texas A&M University            21
                      Office of Proposal Development
          Project Description
    Results from Prior NSF Support
   Only required if organization had previous
    REU Site in same disciplinary area
   Part of 15 pages of Project Description
    (limited to 5 pages)
   Describe earlier REU, outcome, results
    from project evaluation, list of publications
    and reports, etc.

                        Texas A&M University        22
                   Office of Proposal Development
     Other Sections of Proposal
   References Cited (optional)
   Current and Pending
    • For all Senior Personnel up to max 12
   Biographical Sketches for all Senior Personnel
    • Follow NSF 2-page format in Grant Proposal Guide
    • Maximum 12
    • “include publications with undergraduate co-authors
      (with the student labeled by an asterisk) and other
      activities or accomplishments relevant to a successful
      REU Site.”
                           Texas A&M University            23
                      Office of Proposal Development
Budget and Budget Justification
   Total costs typically $700 – 900 per student per week
   Main costs should be for student support:
    •   Participant stipends (at least $450/week per student)
    •   Housing
    •   Meals
    •   Travel
    •   Tuition
    •   Laboratory use
   “The level of other allowable costs, such as faculty
    salaries, varies among NSF units.” Consult disciplinary
    program officer.
   Administrative Allowance in lieu of indirect costs (25%
    percentage of the student stipend budget)
   Budget Justification
    • Describe costs
    • Max 3 pages
                                Texas A&M University            24
                           Office of Proposal Development
     Supplementary Documents
   Optional Ethics component (limit 3 pages)
    • Up to additional $4K/year in direct costs to
      support ethics activities
    • Description requirements listed in solicitation
   Signed Letters of Commitment
    •   Document collaborative arrangements
    •   Can be helpful in documenting recruiting plan
    •   Should be substantive and detailed
    •   No letters of endorsement
                          Texas A&M University          25
                     Office of Proposal Development
             REU Supplement
   Can be supplement to on-going NSF project or
    embedded in proposal for new grant
   Typically support 1 to 2 students at total cost of
    $700 – 900 per student per week
   Proposal limit 3 pages
    • Form and nature of students’ involvement
    • Experience of PI and other possible mentors in
      research with undergrads
    • Process and criteria for selection (if student pre-
      selected include bio)

                           Texas A&M University             26
                      Office of Proposal Development
          Special Opportunities
   Joint NSF – Department of Defense REU
    • For DoD relevant research – all considered
   Cyberinfrastructure
    • NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure may co-sponsor
      REUs that make innovative use of CI and are
   International Projects
    • Co-funding by Office of International Science and
      Engineering for REUs with an international dimension

                          Texas A&M University           27
                     Office of Proposal Development
               Background Info
              (available on website)
   REU Proposal Announcement
   General Information – Undergraduate Research
   Mentoring Students
   NSF-REU Links & Articles
   Other Undergraduate Research Opportunities
   Successful REU Example proposals available on
   Resources at Texas A&M for REUs
    • Summer Scholars program for underrep. Students
    • Links to resources from Office of Undergrad
                         Texas A&M University          28
                    Office of Proposal Development