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REU Program FAQ

Applications for the 2022 program are closed.
Applications for 2023 will open in late 2022.

What is Green Infrastructure (GI)?

GI can be described as the interconnected natural spaces in urban environments such as parks, riparian areas, and nature-based stormwater control measures that clean stormwater runoff, reduce urbanization impacts to local surface waters, and offer protection from flooding. These green spaces are vital to creating sustainable urban systems.


What is an NSF-REU program?

It is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).


What is the University of Tennessee Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Urban Environments REU program?

The University of Tennessee Green Infrastructure for Sustainable Urban Environments REU program is an intense, 10-week opportunity where undergraduate students will perform field, laboratory, or modeling studies to explore how GI can mitigate the effects of urban runoff on surface water quality and hydrology. As a participant, you will work closely with other undergraduates from around the U.S., graduate students and faculty, and staff mentors on projects related to Green Infrastructure for sustainable urban environments. Participants will learn about proper experimental design, the ethics of science, and how to present scientific information. This REU is a unique chance to make contacts in the field of sustainable urban environments and help propel yourself into an exciting career!


When does this program happen?

May 31 – August 5, 2022


How is the program funded?

Major funding is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).


How many students will participate?

We expect to have funding for 10 students per summer.


What are my chances of getting admitted?

We expect around 100 applicants. But don’t let that number discourage you! Getting admitted to our program is not all about having the highest GPA. We consider lots of other 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.


Is this a paid research training program?

Yes, the stipend will be $6,000.


Who is eligible to apply?

Students who are entering their sophomore, junior, or senior years are eligible.


Can current seniors apply?

Unfortunately, those graduating this coming Spring or Summer are not eligible.


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

Yes. To be eligible for NSF funding, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (hold a green card).


Are UT students eligible?

Yes, provided you meet the other selection criteria. Please note, however, that applications from UT are given somewhat lower priority because one of our goals is to serve students from other institutions where research opportunities are limited.


Is there an application fee?

No, there is no fee to apply for the REU program.


How do I apply for the REU program?

Start your application here.


What do I need to apply?

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Completed application form. Application for 2023 will be available in late 2022.
  • Academic transcript(s)
  • A brief personal statement (maximum of 500 words) on research interests, previous experience or training (if any), and how participation in the REU Program will contribute to your academic and professional development.
  • Contact information for two instructors or mentors who can recommend you. We will solicit letters directly from faculty if they are required.
  • Résumé with current and accurate contact information.

When must I apply?

We are now accepting applications. The application deadline is March 1st. You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete prior to the application deadline. We will use a rolling admissions process (exceptional applicants may be accepted before the deadline) so you should submit your application early.


What are the selection criteria? What is the selection process?

Applications are reviewed by the REU program coordinators. Acceptance into the program is based on multiple criteria including academic performance, research interests, career goals, and letters of recommendation. Candidates are notified as soon as possible after selection.


When do students find out if they’ve been accepted into the REU program?

We will begin accepting students as early as February 1. We expect to notify all applicants no later than April 1st. Please let us know if you have accepted another offer for summer research as soon as possible.


What are the typical work hours?

Hours are determined by your mentor and the project you are working on, but generally you should plan on putting in a minimum of eight hours per day. There are no concrete start or end times.


Is the starting date flexible?

No, the start date is not flexible.


Where will I live at The University of Tennessee?

On-campus housing is included for the ten weeks of the program. Housing is conveniently located within walking distance to all UT buildings and labs. Housing is covered by The University of Tennessee, and living expenses are the responsibility of the participating students.


Do I have to participate for the full ten weeks of the program?

Yes.


Can I take classes while I am participating in the program?

No. The program is a full-time commitment.


What about travel?

We will pay for your flight or, if you are driving, we will reimburse you for mileage. Once you are accepted to the program, we will contact you to help with travel arrangements.


Questions? Contact:

Dr. Jon Hathaway, hathaway@utk.edu