This article is published in the May 2023 issue.

Who has participated in an NSF CISE REU in the last ten years?

During the Spring of 2022, the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) surveyed former participants and mentors in the National Science Foundation Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. This data collection effort was undertaken as a part of CERP’s CISE REU Evaluation Contract as an ad-hoc project to understand the experiences of former participants and mentors of the NSF CISE REU Program. The project’s main goal was to provide information about the structure and content of REU programs and assess the impact of REU participation on career pathways.

Recently, CERP staff summarized the project’s demographic data to understand better who has participated in a CISE REU program within the last ten years. What follows is a summary of the demographic makeup of CISE REU Past Participants.

Fact sheet presenting a summary of the demographic makeup of CISE REU Past Participants who participated in REU projects between 2013 and 2021.

Of those surveyed:

  • More than half (51%) self-identified as male.
  • 28% reported having one or more disabilities.
  • Nearly three out of four (73%) have a parent or guardian with a graduate degree.
  • 59% attended or are currently attending an R1 university (i.e., universities that offer doctoral universities with the highest level of research activity).
  • 74% majored, or are majoring, in a computing field.
  • Most (83%) reported that their NSF REU was their first formal research experience.

Over the last decade, NSF’s CISE REU program has reached a diverse population of computing, information science, and engineering students. In the coming months, we will highlight students’ experiences and outcomes from participation in an NSF REU and explore these students’ educational and career pathways.


The survey data analyzed for this infographic were collected by the Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline via the CISE REU Evaluation Contract Ad-Hoc Project. The sample includes approximately 600 Former NSF REU students who participated in REU Site and Supplement projects between 2013 and 2021.

horizontal CERP logoThis analysis is brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. Subscribe to the CERP newsletter. Do you have an REU Site or REU Supplement? Sign up to work with CERP to evaluate your project by completing our interest form.

The CISE REU Evaluation Contract Ad-Hoc Project was conducted via a contract with National Science Foundation and was approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB control number 3145-0265). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.