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Finding REUs for Summer 2012? [Undergraduate Research Help]

  1. Aug 25, 2011 #1
    I am a sophomore petroleum engineering major, and I plan to pursue a PhD. I have been trying to participate in undergraduate research for a while by talking to professors, but I have not been able to secure a position. :(

    So I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on getting into undergraduate research either as an assistant during the regular term, or through an Research Experience for Undergrad? How can I find good programs to apply to for PGE/Geoscience research over summer 2012?

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2011 #2
  4. Aug 25, 2011 #3
    Just a tidbit of information: applications and deadlines usually start to come around during the very end of December at the earliest, and typically the beginning of Spring semester. So don't feel too stressed about hurrying to apply or gain knowledge for now.
  5. Aug 25, 2011 #4

    Yes, I looked there. But hardly any of the programs seemed to have applications up for Summer 2012.

    How good of a GPA and extracurriculars does one need in order to land a position in one of those NSF REUs? Since they are big national programs, it seems like competition would be very fierce.

    I desperately want to get involved in research but nobody seems to need any undergraduate help at my school. So as of now I have zero extracurriculars in college. :(

    that's good to know. Do you guys have any tips on getting involved in research as an undergrad?
  6. Aug 25, 2011 #5
    Look at Columbia's LDEO program... i just finished it. It was a lot of fun. I didn't have a great GPA but I had a lot of research experience.
  7. Aug 25, 2011 #6
    how did you get research experience if you don't mind me asking? I have talked to tons of professors about it but I can't seem to get my foot in the door!
  8. Aug 26, 2011 #7
    Try talking to the DUS (Director of Undergraduate Studies) or the Department Chair, they might know more about which professors want/need undergraduates.
  9. Aug 26, 2011 #8
    REUs in all fields are generally very competitive. I've heard many people apply to 10+ and get into maybe 2-3 if they do well.
  10. Aug 26, 2011 #9
    Well... I go to a small liberal arts school with active professors ( they are propionate in their fields) so while the choice of research isn't extensive (planetary science, atmospheric physics, lases are about it) pretty much everyone at my school starts from freshman year if they want to. Thats how I got research. I just got lucky that I am interested in Geosciences so the research is prefect for me.

    Honestly, there are few ways to control the outcome of your application when applying to REU's. Your statement better be sexy, your letters better be even sexier and you need a good GPA. In my experience, a 3.5 isn't necessarily at a disadvantage to the 4.0 student as long as everything else is very strong. I got into the columbia gig by calling (not email) my potential advisor and showing enthusiasm. Thats the most important thing: initiative. Thats your only chance, keep pushing and eventually u'll get something.

    Last summer I applied to 12 REU's and got into 6, and of those 6 4 were canceled if u want some statistic. I have less than a 3.5 GPA. I am also a rising senior, which I think helps.
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