The following is a letter to the community from Margaret Martonosi, Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is aware of the disruption to undergraduate employment and education opportunities caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. We understand that many internships are being canceled, leaving students without expected opportunities this Summer. The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) previously issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL; NSF 20-016) expressing interest in funding supplements to active CISE awards for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), consistent with NSF’s REU Sites and Supplements solicitation (NSF 19-582). In light of COVID-19, and to enable the CISE research community to provide additional opportunities to engage undergraduates who are US citizens and permanent residents in research pathways, CISE reiterates this interest via this DCL.
While much of the prior guidance in NSF 20-016 continues to apply with respect to CISE opportunities for REU supplements, this DCL makes two exceptions: (i) CISE will accept REU supplemental funding requests to active CISE awards through July 1, 2020; and (ii) CISE will also consider requests for an additional number of students per active project beyond the limitations specified in NSF 20-016, at a funding level of $8,000 per REU student. For example, for single-investigator projects, CISE will consider requests in excess of two students per project for this summer. Proposers who received REU supplements earlier this year are also eligible to apply for additional supplements if they are able to identify opportunities to mentor additional REU students.
CISE will prioritize REU supplemental funding requests most responsive to the mitigation of adverse undergraduate employment and education circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and such requests are anticipated to provide for undergraduate research experiences this Summer and/or Fall. Supplemental funding requests should explain how students will be mentored if the awardee organization is closed, for example, through virtual mentorship experiences.
Any questions regarding this DCL should be directed to the cognizant program officer for an active award. REU supplemental funding requests are generally processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be subject to the above guidance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Assistant Director, CISE