About the REU Program



Students applying to Operation ETank will be expected to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • At least 60 credit hours from their home institutions;
  • A short statement (500 words maximum) detailing how the REU experience will contribute to their overall career goals, how they foresee a career in the research areas, and their interests, both present and future, in STEM areas;
  • Two letters of recommendation;
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
  • It is a requirement of the National Science Foundation that all REU participants be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Applicants will be ranked based upon four merit categories:

  • Clarity of the student’s statement;
  • Overall quality of the student, based on both GPA and recommendations;
  • Match with mentors’ research projects; and
  • Overall strength of the application.

In the event that we receive more applications that meet the mandatory criteria described above than we are able to fund, then applicants will be selected according to the following priority criteria:

  • Students who have not previously worked on an organized research team; and
  • Students from underrepresented groups in STEM

Note:  It is the responsibility of the individual student to have their own accident insurance. Neither NIU nor NSF provides insurance for participants in the REU program.