CCNY NSF REU Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Research Projects

How do I find which research projects are being offered this year?

Our program encompasses the entire Biology Department. Applicants can refer to the Biology Department website ( to find out about different projects in the department.

I am NOT a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States. Am I eligible?

No, our funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, which restricts participants to Citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States. The ORCA program at CCNY does not carry this restriction for CCNY undergraduates.

I am already performing research with a faculty member at CCNY. Can I still apply for REU funding to sponsor my research this summer?

Unfortunately, we have more faculty who are interested in students than we have funds, so we are unable to guarantee funding to anyone. We are particularly interested in students at early stages of their college experience.

I really want to get an internship at CCNY. How can I increase my chances?

First, complete and submit your application. Make sure your recommenders are professors you know well and who can knowledgeably discuss your strengths. However, there are many research internships at CCNY, including the B3 Summer Program and ORCA. Check the to see a list of all summer intern programs at CCNY.

I am a CCNY student. Am I eligible for REU funding?

Yes, but we encourage you to explore possibilities outside of CCNY as well.  Our funding is from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which strongly encourages us to reserve the majority of REU-funded slots to CUNY community College students.


Application and Selection Process

How do I apply?

You must apply online though our online application. Application deadline is TBA.

Can I submit my application before my recommendation letters have been submitted?

Yes. However, you are responsible for making sure that your recommenders submit their letters by the due date.

How do I check the status of my recommendation letters?

If you login to your application, you are able to click Edit. From here, click on the Register Recommenders tab and you can check the status and resend the email if necessary.

How does the selection process work?

Once the application deadline has closed, a committee reviews the applications and chooses a short list of students. The student list is sent to faculty mentors, who select students who are a good fit for their laboratories. Once the finalists are selected, an offer is sent to the student, who has 1-2 weeks to respond. Once the student accepts the offer, we send official paperwork for the student to complete. We try to notify students by early May at the latest.

If you have any questions during the selection window please contact Ms. Christine Klusko at and we will respond as soon as possible. No phone calls, please.

What are my chances of being accepted into the REU program?

We fund 12 students per year.

When will I know if I have been selected?

We begin making offers in the second week of March; all students will be notified by early May regarding their status in the program. Offers are made as soon as research mentors send their selections to our office for review.

I have pending offers from other programs. Can I get an early decision?

We do not make offers until after the application deadline so that all applicants have an equal chance. If you have a pending offer, please let us know by email so that we know the date on which you must notify the other program.


Program Details and Expectations

What are the program dates? Are they flexible?

Our program dates are June 3 – August 9. We recognize that some of the CUNY community college students are on the trimester system. In the past, those students start a few days later.  These start dates are made in consultations among the REU fellow, program coordinators, and research mentor.

What is the stipend for the program?

The stipend will be $5,000 for the 10 week program. We also provide monthly or weekly MTA passes for travel to and from CCNY.

Is housing provided?

We have very limited housing in the East Campus dormitory at Columbia University for a CUNY student who would have to commute very long distances. Students must show that they would have to commute long distances to be eligible. Housing is provided free of charge.

Do you provide a meal plan?

We do not provide a meal plan. However, we do provide lunch every day for the fellows.

I would like to take a class or have another part-time job during the summer.

We do not allow REU fellows to take classes or have a part-time job during the program. Your research and our professional development activities will keep you busy during the program.