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CIERA Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU):
Application Process

For all questions, please contact ciera-reu@northwestern.edu.


TIMELINE

Online Application Open - November, 2017
Online Application Due Date (including all supporting documents) - February, 2018
First round offers and wait list notified - March, 2018
Matching of participants to mentors - May, 2018
REU program mid-June to mid-August, 2018
Please note: Exact dates will be updated in November.


ELIGIBILITY

We highly value diversity. Women, members of under-represented groups (including ethnic, racial and gender), and students from small colleges without astronomy and/or physics PhD programs are all encouraged to apply.

The NSF will only fund REU positions for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent residents of the U.S.. If you are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident of the U.S., and you can obtain your own funding and are interested in our program, you can inquire by emailing ciera-reu@northwestern.edu. In this case, please do not submit an application before contacting us.

Also the NSF will only fund REU positions for students who are 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 generally not eligible to participate.


APPLICATION PROCESS

Applications for the REU program should be made via the online form, which will become available in November 2017 .
You will need to provide the names and email addresses of at least two referees who have agreed to write letters of recommendation. We encourage you to fill out this online application form as early as possible so that your referees have sufficient time to upload their letters of recommendation by February 1, 2018.

Also, we recognize that the online form (linked above) has room for improvements. Nonetheless, this is a very popular website for academic job applications, and many of your future applications for other positions may use a similar format. We've attempted to provide very clear instructions, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email ciera-reu@northwestern.edu.

We will send our first round of offers on March 1, 2018 and will allow students one week to reply to any offer. Please note that Astronomy REU site directors have agreed on this same timeline for first round offers. Physics REU sites directors will utilize a common deadline of March 3, 2018 for students to accept or decline first round offers at domestic (non-international) sites. Sites may send offers to students at any time before this, but students will not be required to decide before this common date. Because of necessary organizational lead time, international REU sites may require earlier acceptance dates.


APPLICATION DOCUMENTS

Top 5 Research Topic Choices

In the online form, you will indicate your top 5 choices among the possible research topics available to pursue during the summer CIERA-REU program.

Education, Work Experience, and Plans for the Future

In the online form, we ask a series of short answer questions about your educational background, previous work and/or research experience, your interests, and plans for the future.

Background in Computers

In the online form you will describe your background with computers and/or computer programming. Please include a list of what programs you have experience with (e.g., Excel, MatLab, Python, HTML, etc.) and your level of expertise with each. Also list any computer science and/or tech courses you may have taken.

Important note: Programming experience is not a requirement for our REU. We seek students with a range of computational backgrounds and will provide research opportunities appropriate for beginner to advanced levels in computing. Our REU is designed to help you develop these computational skills.

College Transcript

We require copies of transcripts from all current and former colleges and universities you have attended. These do NOT need to be official copies. Scanned copies or other electronic versions are fine; please be sure that your name is included on the transcript (this is sometimes not the case with transcripts that students can access online). Official copies will be requested from everyone we decide to make an offer to; the offer will be contingent upon the receipt of the official transcripts.

Upload a PDF version. If you have multiple transcripts, please combine them into a single PDF file.

While we take these grades into account, student's enthusiasm, initiative, and future goals are equally as important.

Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation. In the online form you will provide us the email addresses for your references. We will email them instructions. In the online portal, you will be able to view the status of your letters of recommendation.

Suitable referees include professors who know you well and researchers you have worked with. Referees from high school are normally only a good choice if this is your first year since finishing high school.