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REU Application Advice, Warnings, and Answers

the following is adapted from the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network at Cornell University

Dear Applicants:

We will likely process over 100 full or partial applications this year. We are happy to answer questions as they arise but things will go much smoother for everyone if you consider the following Advices, Warnings, and Answers before you ask a question. Please read on before emailing us!

AAMU REUG Application Advice

If you are having any trouble accessing your application online, try one of these tricks:

  1. Access your application from a different web browser, such as FireFox or Google Chrome. 
  2. Try shutting it all down -- log out, quit your browser, shut down your computer and start fresh. As you know, computers get into a funk sometimes and then a complete rest is advised.
  3. Try accessing your application from a different computer altogether.
  4. Name any file you send us with the following format: LastnameFirstinitial-filetype -- essay.doc, -.pdf or dot whatever. Long file names with lots of spaces tend to jam our system!

Please note the following advices for filling out your account information and application form:

  1. Please capitalize proper names correctly -- Your Name, Your Street and City.
  2. Be sure to spell out your university's full name and location.
  3. The same goes for your Field of Study -- please spell it out completely and correctly. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, etc.
  4. Respond to any emails from the AAMU REUG Program Assistant with your full name within your email.
  5. The Faculty/Academic Advisor is usually someone in your department who helps you decide what courses to take, in what order, to fulfill your major's requirements. It is often the person an applicant will also ask to write a recommendation, but not always.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Your complete AAMU REUG application includes the following FIVE components:
    1. Our completed application form, which includes your site choices,
    2. your relevant coursework (transcript),
    3. Your personal essay,
    4. At leat two recommendation letters, to be mailed to
  2. We do not require an official transcript as part of your application. If you are accepted, we will supply instructions for getting an official transcript to us expediently. Remember your internship is contingent on your declared coursework matching the coursework in your transcript.
  3. Application Materials: We log and file all the materials we receive -- whether or not we know we are going to receive them and whether or not we have an application to which to attach them. We hang onto all materials until well after the application deadline. If we do not receive something by the final deadline that an applicant said we'd receive (i.e. a second recommendation) we don't look for it.
  4. Online Application: Submit your application, personal essay, and recommendation letters should be submitted via the online application.

  5. Application Submission: We MUST receive your entire application by the ONLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE. If the application is not received by the ONLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE, then your application does not exist and ergo, will not be included in the selection process.
  6. Application Confirmation & Completion: Once we receive your online application components, we will send you a confirmation email. We will also email incomplete applicants one week before the FINAL APPLICATION DEADLINE to apprise them of a still missing recommendation. I'm sorry to say that there are too many applicants for me to check on recommendations BEFORE you submit your application components.
  7. Essay: Your personal essay is critical to our selection process. It is through your words that we ascertain your 'fit' with our program. Please submit a well-written essay, 1-2 pages long, in which you discuss the relationship between your present studies and a career in biological or scientific research. As preparation, you may wish to discuss your career interests with one or more professors, and include any insights you gain from these discussions, and any other sources, which explain how this program might help you prepare for your future. Be sure to discuss any research field you are most interested in. If you do not believe your grades reflect your potential, please explain them in this essay. The formatting of your ESSAY is, in fact, ENTIRELY up to you. But, I do have a few suggestions! Try using Times, font size 12, one inch margin all around, TWO pages maximum. Single space is fine as long as you use a SIZE 12 font! Any size smaller is too hard to read when one is reading hundreds of essays! CRITICAL: Put your FULL NAME as a footer on every page, along with the page number. Finally, do NOT include your social security number anywhere in your essay or any other document. It is illegal for us to distribute SS#s!
  8. OOPS! You uploaded the wrong file! If you uploaded the wrong essay or resume, just email the correct document directly to me as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf, whatever works best for you. SEE THE CAVEATS BELOW! Please name the file "YourLastNameCorrectEssay" and/or "YourLastNameCorrectResume." In the body of the email, note that this new document replaces any previous documents we may have received and sign your full name. I'll trash the old document and include the new one.
    • WARNING #1: This is not an invitation to upload any old document and then email the correct document to me later! Be cautious and upload the correct document the first time around.
    • WARNING #2: As we get closer to the application deadline, I may NOT have time to switch out documents. Again, be cautious and upload the correct document the first time around.
  9. Permanent Residents: If you are a citizen of another country AND a Permanent Resident of the United States, your application must include a copy of your Green Card, BOTH SIDES. Email that directly to me, as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf, and name the file "YourLastNameGreenCard" -- you may also snail mail or fax it to me (contact info above). Whatever works best for you. We will black out your resident number and will not send it on to anyone.(If you are NOT a Permanent Resident of the United States, then I'm sorry to say that you are not eligible for our program.)

  10. Project Reviews: We do not have the upcoming summer's project information for you to peruse ahead of time. Students are selected for particular projects by the project leader based upon their interests and experience.  To help you choose your Top Three preferred sites, please read over past project rep​orts​ to get a taste for the research performed at each REUG. DO NOT contact past principal investigators and ask to work with them via the AAMU REUG Program. To do such a thing is presumptuous and ill-advised.

  11. Prerequisites for Admission to Program: (1) you need a passport with at least 1 year left before it expires; (2) you need to be able to bring your own laptop and this laptop must have (3) Microsoft Office (with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) on it. If you do not own your own, you must be able to borrow one.

I hope this page answers your questions!