Frequently Asked Questions


What is provided as a result of my participatin in the PCCM REU program?
REU Students receive a monthly stipend of $550–this is separate from and in addition to the free housing provided. The stipend is made every 3rd week. To collect your checks, please see Soonoo Aria in her office at 318 Bowen Hall.

Important: We do not withdraw taxes from your stipend or issue W-2s or 1090s; however, this payment may be taxable as a non-qualified scholarship/fellowship.  Please contact your tax adviser to guide you on how best to report this income on your tax returns.

Must I remain on campus for the entirety of the REU program, until the last day? What about sick days?
We strongly encourage you to stay on campus for the duration of the program–e.g., until the end of the last day of the program. Please keep in mind that your pay/stipend is contingent on your presence. For example, your pay/stipend will be deducted $110 each day you miss (or $550/week).

Note: For the Summer 2020, the last day of the program is Friday, August 7.

Where can I find more information about REU programs at other universities, beyond the Princeton program?
We encourage all applicants to the PRISM/PCCM REU program to also apply to REU programs taking place at other universities as well . The MRSEC website offers a complete listing of REU programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


How do I fill out an application?
When the application process opens in late-November, candidates will be able to click a link and register their information using a online form. Data culled from online registrants will form the REU 2018 applicant pool.

When do I find out if my application was accepted?
Decision letters will be distributed to all applicants. Usually notification occurs mid-April.

How competitive is the application process, and how many students are accepted each year?
In 2015, approximately 400 applications were submitted and 17 students were admitted to the program.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement on the application?
There isn’t a minimum GPA requirement for our application, nor are there any minimum coursework requirements. 

Living on campus

Are meal plans provided?
No. Although some lunches associated with sponsored events are occasionally provided, REU students are to provide for their own meals. There are many locations to get groceries or prepared foods within walking distance. There is also on-campus cafeteria located in the Frist building and a cafe in the Engineering Quadrangle (E-Quad). Other locations may require public transportation.

Past experience indicated that the majority of participants utilized the kitchens in their dorm/suite. Utensils, pots, pans, etc. can be provided at no charge–please make sure they are returned clean and in good condition! Also note that the Center for Jewish Life will be closed in the Summer, and will not make meals available.

What about free/down time?
Nights and weekends are your free time–NYC, Philly, and DC are only a train ride away; then there’s also the beaches! However, please refer to the initial information packet regarding applicable policies (i.e., drinking policies, dorm rules, etc.). Also keep in mind how your actions may reflect on the University, on PCCM and PRISM, and on you. We encourage you to act in a manner that is respectful of laws, policies, and other persons.

Is there a dress code?
Each lab may be different, so the requirements may be too. This is a matter to be discussed with your mentor or his/her grad students—you’ll meet them during orientation. Generally, dress is fairly casual (see the photos of prior REU students).