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Astrophysics REU

May 24 - July 30, 2021


Research Experiences for Undergraduates (PDF) is a 10-week summer program for undergraduate student research, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). West Virginia University is proud to host a REU site focused on astrophysical research.

Each student will be associated with a specific research project, where he/she will work closely with their faculty research mentor and other researchers. Students receive a $5,000 stipend, $300 in travel expenses, meals, and lodging.

Application deadline is February 15, 2021.

What areas of research are included?

Research projects will focus on studies of the Sun, the Milky Way interstellar medium, transient astrophysical phenomena, pulsars, galaxy evolution, and gravitational waves.

Projects are listed under Research Opportunities.

What is included in the REU Program?

  • A two-day visit and scientific tour of the Green Bank Observatory (GBO). The GBO is the world’s largest steerable radio single dish and many research projects involve Green Bank Telescope data.
  • Research Poster Session: REU students will present their research at a poster session at the conclusion of the 10-week program. Students will gain an experience similar to that of an academic conference and to hone their skills discussing research with a diverse audience.
  • American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting attendance: Students in the REU program will be sent to the winter American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting, where they will use these skills at a genuine scientific conference. This conference hosts thousands of astronomers, whose research interests are representative of the entire field.
  • Seminars and informational meetings: students will be exposed to a wide variety of topics related to working in STEM fields.
  • Workshops: Workshops will be provided to give guidance on professional preparation, public speaking, professional interactions, and scientific poster creation. Topics include Graduate School Roundtable, Career Building (resumes, interviewing, elevator speech), Prestigious Scholarships, and Creating an Effective Research Poster.
  • Team Building Activities: The state of West Virginia has numerous outdoor recreational opportunities (e. g., biking, hiking, rafting) within a short drive of WVU that make ideal excursions during the program.

Who should apply?

Applications will be accepted from rising sophomores through rising seniors, as well as rising freshmen with advanced (Honors or Advanced Placement) Physics and Astronomy coursework or those involved in the First 2 network.

REU participants must be citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. Qualified applicants will:

  1. Have a grade point average 2.8 or above in their STEM undergraduate coursework,
  2. Be majoring in physics or astronomy undergraduate degree programs (baccalaureate or associate and part-time or full-time), and
  3. Be rising freshmen through seniors.

When is the program?

May 24, 2021 – July 30, 2021

Where is the program?

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, 26505

How to apply?

Application deadline is February 15, 2021. We are no longer taking applications at this time.

Each applicant will be required to submit:

  • A formal application, which includes personal, academic (institution, major, level, coursework), and voluntary demographic information and future career plans
  • An essay on motivation for wanting to participate in the REU
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Letter of recommendation from a science faculty member familiar with the applicant’s abilities/motivation


National Science Foundation

Dr. Loren Anderson

Currently, the 2021 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Astrophysics at West Virginia University is being planned as an onsite program. Due to the ongoing circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the feasibility of holding an onsite program may change at any time. Please note that WVU may shift the 2021 REU Site from onsite to virtual if, in WVU’s sole discretion, the state of the COVID-19 pandemic has not improved sufficiently for WVU to safely hold the program.