Research Experience for Undergraduate Studies


Q: When can I apply for the REU and what is the deadline for application?

A: This summer REU program application will be open on Feb each year, and the deadline will be posted on our REU program website.

Q: My institution is on a quarterly system (or another schedule). This means that I won’t be available on the exact start date. Can I still apply?

A: Yes, you could still apply for this program. The exact starting and end dates for the REU program in each year will be posted on this REU website. Please include your possible start date in your personal statement. The mentors will determine whether your earliest possible start date is acceptable within the requirements for their projects. If you have any following question, please contact the program director.

Q: Do you accept international students?

A: Unfortunately, as required by our sponsor NSF, this REU site will only accept applications from a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States.

Q: How is undergraduate students defined?

A: An undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Students who are transferring from one college or university to another and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate. Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible to participate. Undergraduate students eligible for this program must have at least one year remaining before graduation after finishing this REU research.

Q: Will the REU program be held in person or online?

A: The REU program will be held in person. However, this decision is affected by local and CSUN safety and health regulations. We continue to monitor the situation closely. If there are any changes, it will be posted on our REU website.

Q: Do you send notification emails when my application is submitted?

A: Application submission is managed through the NSF Education and Training Application (ETAP) website. We will not send separate notifications for your submission. If any required materials or information is missing, we will contact you.

Q: When could I expect to receive a notification of the phone interview?

A: We hope to conduct all the phone interviews and make selections in one month after the deadline of application. Emails will be sent out for scheduling the phone interview if you are selected as a candidate.

Q: When could I expect to receive a notification of the final decision?

A: The first round of acceptance will be sent out in early May. If there is any delay on the notification, it will be announced on the home page of this REU site. If any of these positions is not accepted, it will be offered to the next round of candidates in mid-May, and so on until all the positions are filled.

Q: How do I confirm my participation in the REU program?

A: Together with the acceptance email, an agreement will be attached which describes your obligation and states your commitment to participate in this program. Sign the agreement and send it back to the PI will be considered as confirmation of participation. 

Q: What may I expect if I confirmed my participation in this REU program?

A: For confirmed students, we will send out an email with instructions on planing for the travel between your home institute and the REU site, signing an agreement with the on-site apartment for housing, and share resources to prepare for your traveling. A webinar will also be hosted in May to introduce the REU program design and schedule, on-campus housing and dining, arrangement to make initial reservations for apartments, and answer REU students' questions.

Q: Where students will be hosted in this REU program?

A: REU students will be hosted in the Apartments at University Park at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) provided through the Conference Service. For more information about the housing, transportation to the site, parking, and dining options, please visit

Q: How should we pay for the housing?

A: After you sign the agreement with the Conference Service Office, a deposit will be made by the REU program to the Conference Service Office. After you arrive at the REU site, the following payment for the housing during the summer program will also be managed by the REU site.

Q: Will the info session presentation slides be published?

A: The presentation slides will be posted on the website homepage after the info session.

Q: Is there any prerequisite knowledge we should have?

Q: No specific knowledge is required to participate in the REU program, and we will offer training sessions for REU participants students to learn the needed knowledge and skills for the research projects.

Q: What should we include in our statement of purpose?

A: You may state why you are interested in this REU Site, your past project experience, and projects that you are interested in. 

Q: Is graduate application required after the program?

A: It is not required. We will offer seminars to share resources with REU participant students. The graduate student mentors will share their experience of graduate school application and their experience in graduate schools. 

Q: Is onsite housing mandatory?

A: It is highly suggested. If you have any special requirements, please contact Dr. Xunfei Jiang for arrangement.

Q: Are meal and housing costs also covered during the program?

A: Yes, they will be both covered by the program. More information about housing and meals will be shared in the webinar before the summer research.

Q: Would the reimbursement be taken out of our stipend?

A: The reimbursement is for the travel costs between your home institute and CSUN, and it will be covered by the program (not from the participant's stipend).

Q: How many students will the program accept each year?

A: We will accept 8 undergraduate students to participate in the summer research each year.

Q: How many hours per week would a participant be spending on the program?

A: The participant students are expected to spend 40 hours per week in this summer program.

Q: What would a typical daily schedule look like in the program?

A: The daily schedule is not fixed, and it changes according to the progress of the projects. REU participant students will have weekly meetings with their faculty mentors and work with the graduate student mentor and teammates on the project. Training sessions and seminars will be offered throughout the program to provide opportunities for participants to gain knowledge and skills, and share their experience and outcomes from their research. 

Q: Will we be using a variety of programming languages? Or will we be focusing on a particular language for our research?

A: The programming languages depend on the projects and the components that you will be working on for the projects. We will provide training sessions according to the background knowledge of the participants. 

Q: Are the interviews behavioral, technical or both? Do you have any particular preparation recommendations?

A: The main purpose of the interview is to learn more of your experience and your interests. One recommendation is to be familiar with the projects and experiences you listed in your resume and be prepared to talk about them during the interview. If you have any questions for our program or projects, you could also ask during the interview.

Q: Whom should I contact if I have any other questions about this program?

A: Please contact the REU Site Program Director, Dr. Xunfei Jiang ( ), for other questions.