A bit of advance planning can help make for a happy and productive research experience.  An overview of the activities involved in mentoring a research experience for undergraduates, with suggested readings and resources, can be found on the following three tabs:

Before the REU
Type of REU Activities Resources
  • Select and recruit students
  • Select, recruit, and prepare graduate student mentors (if applicable)
  • Plan research topics
  • Set research agenda and milestones
  • Set up payroll and student finances and/or arrange for academic credit
  • Select or design evaluation instruments
  • Administer pre-surveys
  • Consult materials on mentoring undergraduates in research
NCWIT REU-in-a-Box

CRA-W Resources for Faculty Mentors

SURE surveys of undergraduate research experiences

Visiting (non-local) students
  • Arrange housing
  • Arrange relocation travel
  • Local institution’s campus-wide REU programs
  • Local institution’s Dean of Students office
  • Arrange group social activities
  • Plan end-of-program events (e.g., poster session or symposium)

Materials on Mentoring Undergraduates

During the REU
Type of REU Activities Resources
  • Introduce students to the work environment and establish clear expectations
  • Hold regular research meetings
  • Arrange sessions on communication, research methods, ethics, research careers, and graduate school
  • Prepare final reports and presentations
  • Administer end-of-REU student surveys
NCWIT REU-in-a-Box

CISE Online REU PI Site

CRA-W Resources for Faculty Mentors

Conquer graduate school page

GRE information and preparation

Academic Year
  • Address issues of academic credit (if applicable)
  • Work with students on time management and appropriate allocation of time for research
Local departmental or university undergraduate research programs
  • Organize co-curricular group activities
  • Check-in with students regularly (daily is ideal!)

Guidance on reading research papers

 Advice on writing technical articles

 Advice on giving technical talks

Advice/Guidance on preparing research posters

Exercises for Mentors to do with their Students

After the REU
Type of REU Activities Resources
  • Work with students to prepare work for publication
  • Nominate students for research awards
  • Bring students to conferences
  • Assist students with fellowship and graduate school applications
  • Analyze student survey results and refine next REU based on those results
NCWIT REU-in-a-box

CRA-W Resources for Faculty Mentors

Conferences with Student Research Poster Sessions and/or Competitions

Undergraduate Research Awards for Students and Faculty