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Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Section I: Special Information and Supplementary Documentation

A. Evaluation questionnaire sent to REU undergraduates

Guidelines for Participant Reports

REU student reports have three main purposes, as follows:

  1. to provide a record of the scientific work done by the student;
  2. to give feedback on the student's overall experience, for use in internal, on-going evaluation of the program; and
  3. to provide descriptive and evaluative material for use in reporting to the program sponsor, the National Science Foundation.

Your report should address two general areas: (1) your research work, and (2) your overall experience in the program, including the research environment, seminars, administrative issues (housing, pay, etc.), and any other aspects of the program which affected you. Total length should be about 2 pages (single-spaced).Reports are due on or before the last day.Those working beyond then may turn in their report at the end of August.

1. Research

Describe (in about 1 page) the research in which you have been involved this summer.Give most attention to your particular research objectives,activities, and findings, while relating these if you can to the research of your group as a whole and to larger scientific problems.In addition,please respond to the following questions, as they apply to your work.

  • Was the project, as originally planned, completed? If problems were encountered that affected the outcome of your project, please explain.
  • Do you hope or intend to author or co-author an article for publication in a scientific journal?Indicate where in the writing/publication process you are -- from still finishing research to starting to write to ready to submit. Give the title of your paper, if one exists.
  • Do you hope or intend to make a presentation of your work at a student research conference or the general APS meeting, next spring?

2. Experience in the REU program

Overall experience in the program (see also questions on specific aspects below)

  • Overall, how well did the REU program meet your expectations?
  • In what ways have you benefited from the REU program?
  • How has this program affected your interest in research as an aspect of your career?
  • Would you recommend this particular REU program to someone else? Why or why not?
  • How could we make the program better from your perspective? You may wish to read and put specific comments in the following sections on program administration, research experience, seminars, and other program features.

Program administration

  • Program administration refers to the structure supporting the research experience: interactions with the program directors and administrative assistant; housing arrangements; reimbursements and paychecks; communications about seminars and other program features; and so on.
  • How well did the program administration support your research experience here at Rochester?
  • If you encountered problems pertinent to the program's administration, please describe them.
  • If you have suggestions as to how we could run the program better, please include them.

Research experience

  • How did working on this research project and/or in this research group enhance your learning?
  • How could your experience working on this research project and/or in this research group have been improved, if at all?
  • Would you choose to work in this group again?Would you recommend working in this group to someone else? Why or why not (to both questions)?

Mini-courses and seminars

  • Were the machine shop and computing courses worthwhile? In what ways? If there are ways in which these mini-courses could be improved, please comment.
  • How did the weekly seminars enhance your experience here at Rochester?
  • Which seminar(s) stands out positively in your mind?Which stands out negatively?
  • How could the weekly seminars have been improved?Are there particular topics we should include or eliminate?

Social activities and other program features

  • Did the weekly lunch-time seminars provide a means of social interaction with other REU students?Between students and faculty?Any specific examples?
  • Did your research group have any social activities (informal get-togethers), regularly scheduled or otherwise?Did you take part in these? Please describe these briefly.
  • Did you get together with other REU students for social activities?How were these initiated or arranged?What kinds of things have you done or are you planning?
  • Please comment on opportunities for social interaction in the REU program.

We welcome your comments on any aspect of the program not covered above.


Follow-up questionnaire sent to current and former REU students


Year(s) you participated in Rochester's REU Program:

University attending (or just attended):


Research projects in which you have been involved since participating in the REU Program:

Plans for the future:

Graduate school? (Which one, if already enrolled):

In what field?

Would you/did you consider applying to Rochester?Why/Why not?

Other plans:

Did your experience as a REU participant influence your choice of major or plans for your future? How?


Questionnaire sent to REU faculty

Questions for REU Faculty

Research Experiences in Physics for Undergraduates

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester

Faculty name:

Student name and title of research project:

1. Evaluation of the student's work in the REU program

  • How would you evaluate the student's work (Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor)?
  • Is the student planning or working on an article on his or her research work? If yes, indicate stage of writing.
  • Would you like this student to continue to work with you during the academic year or next summer?Indicate if this has already been arranged.
  • If any problems or issues were encountered that might have affected the student's experience, please explain.

2. Impact of the REU program

How has your research effort benefited by the REU students' participation?

Please list particular analytical or technical skills that you think the students gained through work in your group this year.

Please mention any ideas or practices that you (or your group members) have used, either in the process of guiding a student or in your conduct of research generally, which have a positive impact on students' experience and learning.(Note: statements on these issues are extremely useful when we are called upon to discuss the wider impacts of the program.)

Your thoughts on how this program benefits the University are welcome.

3. Feedback on the REU program

If you encountered problems pertinent to the program's administration (that is, the structure supporting the research experience), please describe them.

Do you think that the mini-courses were useful to the REU students in your group? Why or why not?

Do you think that the weekly lunch seminars enhanced the students' experience here at Rochester? Are there seminar topics that you think would be of particular interest or value to participants?

Were ethical issues ever discussed in your research lab or at other times during the program? If so, what was the topic?

How could we make the program better from your perspective?