Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU)
Are you are an undergraduate student from an underrepresented group interested in forming a team to explore research in computer science at your college or university?
Or are you are a faculty member interested in being a research mentor to computer science students at your college or university?
Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) might be the program for you!
CREU is an undergraduate research program that provides research stipends to teams of students from underrepresented groups working on research projects under the guidance of a mentor at their home institutions. Students supported by CREU collaborate with each other and with their mentors during the academic year and, in some cases, the following summer. Students are strongly encouraged to present their CREU research at national or regional conferences. The program provides travel funds to support such participation and past CREU participants have found such activities to be extremely valuable.
The objective of the CREU program is to increase the number of women and underrepresented groups entering graduate studies in the fields of computer science and computer engineering by exposing them to the joy and potential of research.
Each research team needs to have qualifying undergraduate students and sponsoring faculty members. In the case of multidisciplinary projects, the team must include a mentor and student(s) from the computing field, but may additionally include faculty and students from the non-computing field. A project in computational biology might consist of a computer science major, biology major, computer science professor, and biology professor.
- Students should have completed two years of undergraduate study at the college level. Occasionally we are able to support second year students who are advanced in their computer science course work. Priority will be given to students who are juniors. We cannot support students after their graduation date.
- Students must have completed at least four courses in their respective majors.
- Projects must be either directly related to computing or, in the case of multidisciplinary projects, contain a significant research component in computer science or computing. It is not sufficient to propose a project that will simply use computer science or computer engineering students to write code in support of other research.
- Projects must be suitable for undergraduate research.
- Applications must be jointly submitted by eligible students and the sponsoring faculty members.
- The home institution of the recipients must be in the United States. In addition, undergraduate student participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.
- Teams consisting of all women and/or underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply.
- Projects will be considered that also include student(s) from non-underrepresented groups. However, financial support is available only for students from underrepresented groups.
- Teams of two to four students are encouraged, but proposals consisting of a single student working with a faculty mentor will be considered.
- If you are a submitting a single student proposal we expect a project plan that involves conference travel and opportunities for you to meet other research students.
- Research must be conducted onsite by students and their mentors during the program. Students may not be participating in a study abroad program and connecting with their group virtually.
Application Deadline: May 18.
Notification of Awards: will be emailed June 15.
Requests for optional summer extensions due February 15.
Final Summary Reports Due: May 2 for academic year projects; August 1 for projects with summer extensions.
To find a sample CREU proposal, click here.
The CREU Application is currently closed, sign up for CREU updates and receive the CREU application as soon as it becomes available!
The project should further the goal of the CREU program, “To increase the numbers of women and students from other underrepresented groups who continue on to graduate school in computer science and computer engineering.”
The scope and goals of the project should be reasonable and realistic.
The plan for the project should be well-defined and should describe the collaborative approach to be taken.
The proposal should identify the expected role and contribution of each member of the team.
- In the case of one-student projects, the proposal should make clear how the student will interact with other researchers.
The project should warrant background research on the part of the students, and should have an active, investigative and experiential nature by which the students can discover their results.
The project should enable student empowerment, leadership development, confidence building, and skill building.
The sponsoring faculty should have the background necessary to oversee the research.
The sponsoring faculty should understand their responsibility to mentor the students.
The sponsoring faculty and students must have enough time to devote to the research project.
It is expected that students will spend approximately 10 – 15 hours per week on the project during the academic year and 40 hours for 10 weeks during the summer.
Teams that are awarded academic year funding will be given the opportunity to apply for summer extensions the following February. If a team anticipates making such a request, they may indicate this in the May proposal.
For teams that have previously received CREU funding, performance on the earlier project will be considered.
Send any inquiries or questions about the CREU program to firstname.lastname@example.org
What does a CREU proposal look like?
You can find a sample CREU proposal here.
In the budget, are we allowed to include an academic-year stipend of $3,000 for each student?
As of 2007-2008, you may request an academic-year stipend of $3,000 for each student from an underrepresented group. If you plan to apply for the optional summer extension, you may also signal that you intend to do so. You will make the formal request for summer stipends, however, in the summer request due in February. Note that students who graduate in May do not qualify for the summer stipend (as they are no longer undergraduates at that point).
I am an international student majoring in CS at a US university. Are international students eligible to participate in this student undergraduate research program (CREU)?
International students must hold US citizenship or have permanent resident status in order to be funded by this program.
I am a student who would like to participate in CREU, but I will be studying abroad. Is this ok?
Sorry, no. We expect all students to be in residence at their home institution during the funding period.
Does CREU support projects at Canadian universities?
Unfortunately, proposals from Canadian universities cannot be funded from the NSF grant that supports CREU.
Can faculty members receive funds from the CREU program?
No. Funds from the CREU program are intended to directly support students.
Are faculty able to apply for additional travel funds for themselves?
We are sometimes able to provide travel support to faculty to accompany their students on conference trips related to the project. We expect the students to be active participants in the conference, for instance as co-presenters of a paper or by presenting a poster themselves.
How do I get my stipend?
Please refer to the Stipend and Travel Support section, here.
Can we use the extra $1500 to purchase a laptop? or an iPad?
No. We do not support the purchase of “general purpose” computing equipment. Any request you make to purchase special purpose equipment must be clearly stated and justified in the proposal.
Who do you consider "underrepresented"?
The CREU program is funded by an NSF BPC grant. The BPC defines “underrepresented” as follows:
“The Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) program aims to significantly increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents receiving post secondary degrees in the computing disciplines, with an emphasis on students from communities with longstanding underrepresentation in computing. Those underrepresented groups are women, persons with disabilities, African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.”
The office of sponsored programs at my institution wants to know to whom this grant is issued. Can you tell me who that is?
This is not a research grant. It is considered a stipend for the students. The other funds are treated as a reimbursement of incurred expenses. The stipends are awarded directly to the students. That is, the students are paid directly by the Computing Research Association. The funds are not awarded to the faculty sponsors or their colleges/universities for disbursement. As a result, there is no overhead allowed.
|Time||Summer (10 weeks)||Academic year plus optional summer|
|Target group||Women, minorities, and students with disabilities||Women, minorities, and students with disabilities|
|Stipend per student||$7000 per summer;
relocation travel assistance when appropriate.
|$1,500 per semester and $4,000 during optional summer extension|
|Location||Mentor’s institution||Student’s institution|
|Team Work||Varies||Encouraged in CS and CE. Expected on multidisciplinary projects.|
|Mentor||Faculty||Faculty at home institution of student. At least two faculty, from different disciplines, for multidisciplinary projects.|
|Deadline||February 15||May 18|
|Sponsor||CRA-W / CDC||CRA-W / CDC|
Participants will receive a stipend of $3,000 for their work during the academic year. If the optional summer extension is proposed and granted, then participants will also receive a stipend of $4,000 during the summer (for 10 weeks of work at 40 hours/week). During the course of the project, each team may request funds for supporting supplies as well as travel to conferences to present their work. Requests for additional funding (travel + supplies) may not exceed $1500 per team, per year.
CREU Participants Procedures and Requirements Summary
|Items Required for 1st Stipend (Before CREU Program Starts)||1. Letter of Agreement
2. Tax Documentation
As stipends are subject to taxes, all students must complete a W-9 form and submit it to CRA.
– W-9 form: for students who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent residents.
Students can receive their payment by direct deposit. (Recommended)
4. Students provide CREU program chairs with their website or blog URL.
Items Required for 1st Stipend (After CREU Program Starts)
|1. Progress Report
Mentor submits Progress Report
2. CREU Admin approves Progress Reports.
Items Required for 2nd Stipend Payment
|1. Student submits current payment and team information.
2. Mid Year Project Summary & Evaluation Form
Student submits Mid Year Project Summary & Evaluation Form.
3. Progress Report
Mentor submits Progress Report.
4. CREU Admin approves Student Mid Year Project Summary & Evaluation Form.
5. CREU Admin approves Progress Report.
Items Required for 3rd Stipend
|1. Student submits current payment and team information.
2. Progress Report
Mentor submits Progress Report.
3. CREU Admin approves Progress Report.
|Items Required for 4th Stipend||1. Student submits current payment and team information.
2. Student and Mentor complete the Final Report; the mentor submits Final Report.
3. CREU Admin approves Final Report.
|Other funding for CREU Program Participants||1. Research Experience Related Travel Request
CREU participants are able to receive Travel funding from CRA-W for activities directly related to the student’s research experience.
2. Submit Travel Request 3 months prior to the conference event.
CREU participants are able to receive funding from CRA-W for supplies in the context of the CREU project. Note that the CREU program does not provide reimbursement for general purpose computing equipment such as laptops or iPads.