Make a lasting impression with the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

As an undergraduate research assistant (RA), you’ll work alongside a faculty mentor on an in-depth project, learning a wide range of research skills such as reviewing literature, developing surveys, collecting and cleaning data, and analyzing results. At the same time, you’ll make valuable connections with JMU faculty as you collaborate on research topics of mutual interest.

The REU program will give you a chance to build your professional skills or prepare for graduate school. These experiences also may give you a competitive edge in applying for prestigious national scholarships or Hillcrest scholarships, which often provide the opportunity for international travel and study. Check out some past REU accomplishments.

Michael Buncher

By performing background research for literature reviews, creating taxonomy charts to categorize articles, summarizing arguments to clarify points for peer reviewers and defining important concepts to serve as a common base for a paper, I have strengthened my research,  communication and collaborative skills. The REU program has been one of the most important and valuable learning experiences in my time at JMU.”

Michael Buncher ('23)

Gizem Atav

“I have had a wonderful experience working with undergraduate students who have helped me in my research. Their enthusiasm, curiosity and fresh perspectives have not only improved my research and made the process more enjoyable for me, but also enriched my teaching and mentoring skills.”

Gizem Atav
Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing

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  • Fall applications close in August
  • Spring applications close in December 
  • Summer applications close in April
  • Contact Tim Ozcan for specific dates each semester.

Submit a Student Application

Applying for a Continuation

Students and faculty wishing to continue working together in subsequent semesters must reapply and submit individual evaluations of their work from the previous term.

Subsequent research awards may be granted, contingent upon the faculty-RA team successfully meeting their project’s "completion standards."

Student Evaluation Form

FAQs for Students

You must submit an application to participate in the REU Program. If you and a particular faculty member already have discussed working together, you are encouraged to submit applications together noting your mutual request. If you do not apply with a faculty collaborator in mind, you may be matched with a partner with similar research interests. Submit a student application


Students applying to the REU program must be in good academic standing and have a 2.75 GPA to be accepted into the program, as well as to reapply for future assignments. You are not required to be enrolled in the Honors College or to be admitted to the CoB at the time a project begins. However, preference will be given to underclassmen demonstrating a high likelihood of ultimately gaining entry to the CoB. Upperclassmen are also eligible for awards. 


You will be conducting academic research that meets definitive benchmarks or guidelines—not simple or menial tasks. Through this experience, you should develop a wide range of skills, from reviewing literature, developing surveys and collecting data to conducting statistical and qualitative analysis and writing results. 


Your first assignment will last for one semester. However, you may apply to continue your project into a second semester or apply for a totally new project after completing the first. Projects also may be initiated and completed over the summer. Each new assignment or renewal requires an application. 


Work should range between five and 10 hours per week. Research assignments offer a flexible schedule, with hours to be negotiated between the student and faculty adviser. 


Research Assistants (RAs) will receive an hourly rate of $12.00 for time worked up to 100 hours per semester. Two-semester or summer assignments may qualify for payment up to 200 hours.


No. If you are interested in completing a research project for course credit, talk to your academic advisor about the possibility of completing an independent study project.                        


You do not need to complete work that would be submitted for publication, but faculty-RA pairings must collaborate on a brief presentation and/or reflection of the work completed. Students are encouraged to present their work at either the Honors Symposium (if applicable) or through departmental poster presentations. 

Pending a recommendation from faculty mentors, funds may also be made available for student travel to present their joint work at professional conferences (e.g., Council on Undergraduate Research Poster Session on the Hill,  the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), or other discipline specific professional conferences).

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