When will the REU take place?
Ten weeks, June 1-August 5, 2021. We hope it will be in-person but are standing by to accommodate a virtual experience if public health and CSU research safety protocols require it. Lab hours vary by individual and you’ll know more as the summer nears and as you get into your project.
What is the time commitment?
You will work 40+ hours per week during the REU, including professional and personal development workshops, with potential for some evenings and weekends. We do not recommend taking any summer classes. We will provide you a comprehensive schedule as the summer nears.
How will I get paid?
You will be paid in three installments, one each month, in the summer. The research stipend income is taxable but CSU will not take any taxes out for you (you’ll want to save some so that in 2022 you can pay the income tax on the stipend).
Will I cure cancer in ten weeks?
No. Take those expectations down a notch and focus on learning the basics of what it means to work as a career scientific researcher. Generally, the research process is slow and there will be a lot of reading and autonomous learning in the first half of the summer.
What can I do to prepare now for being ready for Day One?
Read articles and other publications written by your project’s lab/primary investigator (PI). Read articles about the same topics but written by other researchers. Look up words you don’t know. Try your best to understand! Review your entry-level biology/chemistry/statistics/psychology coursework (textbooks/notes/YouTube). Attend all the W2R workshops as required in your contract.
I feel like I don’t know anything about what my lab mentor studies. What are their expectations of me?
You are just starting your potential career as a scientist, and your lab and PI know this. They do not expect you to know a lot about their project or even about the more general topic! They do expect you to come on time, ready to learn, excited to try new things. They expect you to ask a million questions. They expect you to keep trying even if you have a slow start or if it doesn’t go right the first time. They expect you to take initiative when you feel comfortable challenging yourself to do so.
In our final week, you will give a 20-minute presentation, present a poster during a poster session, and submit a research paper about your project. You will be amazed how much more you know than you do now, and how well you are able to communicate complex scientific ideas to a broad audience.