LUMCON’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program:
Interdisciplinary Research Experiences in Changing Coastal Environments
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the program cost? There is no cost to participate in the LUMCON REU program. All housing expenses are covered by the program and meals will be provided during the week. Participants also receive a $5000 stipend and some funding support for travel to and from LUMCON as well as for research and small boat use.
Can I receive credit for this program? Students participating in REU internships are often eligible to receive academic credit from their home institutions. Program participants may be interested in exploring this possibility.
Can I be a senior and participate in the program? Yes, as long as you have not graduated and will be returning to an undergraduate program after the summer.
I'm a sophomore. What are my chances of getting a fellowship? LUMCON looks to provide National Science Foundation (NSF) REU fellowships to rising college seniors. From past experience, additional science courses taken during junior year prove good preparation for the summer REU research experience. In general, only a few fellowships go to sophomore applicants.
I live in the United States however I'm not a US citizen. Can I still apply? NSF regulations require that all students receiving a REU fellowship with LUMCON be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
I've already had an REU Fellowship. Can I still apply for your fellowship? In general, NSF has a "no repeat" guideline which means a student who has already had an REU Fellowship will not be considered for another one. There are exceptions to this rule and each decision will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
When might I expect to hear about a fellowship offer from LUMCON and how much time do I have to decide? This year applications are due February 15, 2012. LUMCON sends out initial fellowship offers on or near March 15th. NSF stipulates that REU applicants are not required to respond to any offers of acceptance before March 15th. After you have been offered a LUMCON REU Fellowship, you may have up to 5 days to decide whether to accept it. Our program schedule this year targets the first week in April for notification to applicants regarding their final status. If you have questions or concerns regarding your status, please contact Dr. Brian Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nicole Cotten ( email@example.com).
How do you select mentors? Students are encouraged to look at the list of mentors and research projects conducted by former REU students before applying. Particular areas or specific mentors that may match an applicant's interest should be stated in the personal statement. Primarily, the selection committee matches students and mentors based on their mutual interests.
If I am offered a fellowship and accept, what kind of workload can I expect? Will I have to work weekends? You are expected to work at least 40 hours/week. You will be spending the summer at a marine lab where the atmosphere is serious but relaxed, where scientists work hard but enjoy flexible schedules. For example, some days you may be expected to work long hours in the field, running a particular laboratory experiment, or preparing a report. Alternatively, other days you may find yourself with a free afternoon due to the particulars of your experiment schedule. You are expected to be responsible for your time, meeting the minimum 40 hour/week requirement, while setting a schedule that is compatible with the lab you are working in and the research you are doing.
Will I see other REU students during the summer? All REU students will live in residence at LUMCON and participate in orientation activities as well as field trips and other program activities together. REU students will also have the opportunity to interact with other undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses offered as part of the LUMCON Summer Program.
What if I want to accept a fellowship but my school is on the quarter system and I'm not able to come to LUMCON until after the program starts. Can I still participate in the program and miss the orientation and first week of the fellowship? Sometimes students are able to work out arrangements with their professors to take exams early, or to take them while they are LUMCON. There is, however, a tight schedule of orientation, research design, proposal writing, and data collection. Students are expected to be at LUMCON for the entire ten week program. Details should be discussed with the program director, Dr. Brian Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where will we live? Participants live in dormitories on site at the LUMCON DeFelice Marine Center. LUMCON has two dormitory wings (one guy wing and one girl wing). In each wing, eight 2-4 bunk rooms with two desks and closets accommodate overnight and long-term visitors. Every two adjacent rooms share a Jack-and-Jill style bathroom. There is also a common area for visitors, the student lounge, which is equipped with a refrigerator/freezer, stove, cooking utensils and television. For recreation, visitors can play basketball, volleyball, or ping-pong and even go fishing (with a State of LA basic and saltwater fishing license).
What about laundry facilities? LUMCON provides washers and dryers. You'll need to provide your own laundry detergent.
Are linens supplied? The DeFelice Marine Center provides bed linens and towels. The AC can make the rooms cold, so additional blankets are advised.
Where will we eat? The DeFelice Marine Center has a cafeteria located between the dormitory/apartment and the scientific wings of the building. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be available Monday – Friday with costs covered by the program (REU students are on their own for meals from Friday dinner until Monday breakfast). When you are going to be in the field during meal times, it is possible to request that the cafeteria staff provide you with packed meals.
Do I need a car? You may bring a car, but it is not required as housing is located on site. LUMCON is located in the tiny village of Cocodrie, LA so access to a vehicle may be desirable for making excursions up to Houma (~30 miles) or New Orleans (~80 miles). LUMCON can provide transportation to and from the New Orleans airport, if necessary.
What is the area near LUMCON like? LUMCON is located in a coastal saltmarsh that is accessible by driving south on Highway 56. The facility is about a quarter mile from the end of a long a stretch of road in the saltmarsh mainly lined with weekend and summer fishing camps. Three charter fishing buisinesses with seafood restaurants are within 3 miles of LUMCON. The nearest grocery store is about 15 miles north of LUMCON. Thirty miles north of LUMCON is Houma, LA, the nearest urban area. There is a movie theater, putt putt golf, a Laser tag facility, a shopping mall, and many restaurants.
How often do we get paid? Students are paid every two weeks. Your first check will be paid on the second Friday of the program so make sure to bring enough money to get you through the first two weeks. Paychecks are picked up on Fridays. There is no direct deposit available.
Do I need to bring my own computer? LUMCON provides Wi-Fi throughout the building including the dormitories. LUMCON also has a seven computers available for use and printing in a shared computer lab. Some mentors provide interns with a desktop computer in their office space.