Cover Photo Image

Frequently Asked Questions

Application and Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants include: 

  1. Applicants must have taken community college (including tribal and other 2-year junior colleges) courses and must be attending community college in fall.
  2. Underrepresented minority and first-generation college students are highly encouraged to apply.
  3. Applicants must be willing to commit for the entire 10 weeks of this on campus program.
  4. As per the NSF regulations, the applicants must be U.S. citizens, naturalized citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

There are no specific course requirements. However, the applicant must complete one year of community college by the beginning of the REU program and must have taken STEM courses.

This research opportunity is for community/junior college or tribal colleges ONLY. Please contact Dr. Corey Cleland ( or Dr. Bisi Velayudhan ( if you have questions about your eligibility. 

We are looking for students who has a passion for learning, who has the curiosity about science and an interest to participate in scientific research. This program is for community college and other 2-year junior colleges Applications are especially encouraged from under-represented minorities and first-generation college students. 

Students submit an online application that includes academic history, area of research interest and/or mentors with whom students wish to work (see research projects page), short essay question responses, unofficial transcripts in PDF format from the current college and your high school, and a reference letter from a professor from your current college. The PI and Co-PI, in collaboration with the research mentors, will review applications. Project assignments will take into account both the student and mentor preferences.  Accepted students will be notified by early April. Students must decide by April 15th whether to accept of decline REU offers.

Yes. All applicants will be contacted whether or not they are accepted into the program.

  • Students must not register for any other coursework during their program participation
  • Students must not work outside of their research project and extracurricular duties during the course of this program
  • Students must participate fully in the research setting, working with the faculty mentor’s research group on the project to which they have been assigned, and in the required extracurricular activities for the duration of the 10 weeks
  • Students must meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the REU Program
  • Failure to complete the REU summer research commitment in any way may result in removal from the program and/or the stipend being rescinded or reduced
General Questions

The program will be subject to any State and University COVID-related restrictions. All participants will be housed on campus and all research projects will be done in person, but workshops and seminars may be conducted virtually. 

The REU program DOES NOT provide health insurance for the participants. The university health center can provide service to the participants for acute illness and injuries for a $25 per visit and if any additional fees are generated for lab work, etc, they will be expected to pay at the time of service. Costs are expected to be comparable or less than community urgent care facilities.

REU participants are required to be engaged in the project for about 40 hours per week for 10 weeks. The participants will also have preparatory and post-lab work to be completed after lab hours. If you are planning to commit to the REU program, you may not enroll in other summer courses or hold a second part-time job. Accepting an REU position implies that students agree to be available for the entire 10‐week program. A typical workday is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a short break for lunch. Exact hours depend on experiments and seminars, and sometimes students start early or work late, depending on what is going on in the lab. Students are expected to attend and fully participate in all required extracurricular activities. Additionally, students will present either a poster or a short talk at the Summer Symposium and are required to submit a formal paper about their summer research project at the conclusion of the program.

Yes. The stipend for the summer of 2021 is $6,000. Housing, food, and travel support are also provided.

It may be taxable, and students should report it in their tax filings. The program does not withhold taxes from fellowship stipend payments. For tax-related questions about stipends, students should contact a tax advisor or review IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education.” To obtain a copy of Publication 970, go to or Google: IRS Gov Publication 970. The IRS publication is updated each calendar year.

Please see the Research Projects page for specific information relating to the types of research participants can expect to engage in.

Program Logistics

All REU participants will be housed in JMU on campus apartments.  These apartments are in 15-20 min walking distance from the laboratories. The apartments are with kitchen and house 4 students per unit. The BIO REU students may be sharing the suite with other summer program participants. The residence halls have WiFi access.  A Residential Advisor is available to assist residents with any needs they may have.  

Yes. Your roommate will another participant in the REU program. All roommates will be same-gender.

The dorm rooms have kitchen and participants are expected to prepare their own meals. The REU participants will be given a small allowance for food which can be used for on-campus or off-campus dining. Information on on-campus dining and summer hours can be found here

There are campus shuttles available, but the frequency is limited during summer (mostly, 1 hour apart).

Yes, you can bring your car. You will have to pay a small parking fee to park on campus.  There are charging stations for electric cars.

The REU students are required to attend all weekly workshops and seminars, as well as all professional development workshops. Participation in other social activities like hiking, canoeing, and other field trips to museums and planetarium is also expected. 

James Madison University is located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, a region known for the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park, the Shenandoah River, farmlands and other gorgeous landscapes. The participants will have opportunities to explore the valley after hours and on the weekends, if there are no scheduled program activities at that time. Washington D. C. is only under 2 hours of drive from the campus and the participants will have an opportunity to visit the national mall.

Additional Questions

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact Dr. Corey Cleland ( or Dr. Bisi Velayudhan (

Back to Top