FAQ’s for Undergraduates

Do I need to be a US citizen?

Yes.  We can only accept US citizens or permanent residents.

Can I have graduated from my undergraduate institution before the beginning of the REU program?

No. We can only accept current rising seniors.  That is once the REU program is over, you will return to your institution to complete course work.

If I cannot start on the posted program start date, can I still apply?

Yes.  We will try to work with students whose academic programs whose spring term does not end before the start date.  Please make a note of this in your application and let us know what would be your earliest start date.  We can either allow you to work the full ten weeks or have you work a shorter term with a prorated stipend.

Do I need to bring a car?

No.  However, former students suggested that REU students would appreciate having a bike or car since bus service only runs during the week.  More information on our bus route can be found at: http://www.catbus.com/

I am bringing a car. Do I need to purchase a parking permit from Clemson University?

No.  We will provide a parking permit for you when you check into your apartment.

Room assignments will be made my gender and students will not be housed with students from their home institutions.

Do you accept students from Clemson University?

The maximum number of students from Clemson University that we will accept is one.

How many students typically apply?

Last year was our first year and we had over 80 applications.  Be sure to make sure that you have a complete and spell-checked application.

Are there any holidays during the summer?

Clemson University recognizes July 4th as a university holiday.  To check for other holidays, please visit: http://www.clemson.edu/employment/benefits/holiday.html

What type of housing is provided to the REU participants?

All the participants in this program will be staying in the Lightsey Bridge 1 apartments.   (http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/housing/living-options/apartments/lightsey-bridge1.html.)  You will be housed in a 2-bedroom apartment (1 person per bedroom, roommate will be of the same sex).  The shared area is a full kitchen (refrigerator, microwave, stove), living room (no furniture supplied), and a bathroom.  You will also be supplied with a linen packet (one set of sheets, one pillow, one lightweight blanket, two towels and one washcloth).  Students will need to bring, mail or purchase cooking utensils.

When can I check in to the apartments?

You may check into the apartments one day before orientation.  Specific times, dates, etc will be provided to you in your welcome packet.

Will you provide a meal plan for the summer?

No, you are responsible for paying for your own food out of your stipend.  There is a kitchen in each apartment and the Clemson bus route (free) takes you to/from the grocery story.  More information on our bus route can be found at: http://www.catbus.com/

Once I am accepted into the program, what should I expect?

You will need to complete some initial paperwork with Dr. Kennedy such a housing contract, commitment contract and payroll registration.  Together, you will also make travel arrangements.  She will also email you more information on paydays, housing check in etc.

How much and when will I be paid?

You will be paid $5,500 for working 10 weeks.  If you cannot start on time due to your home institution’s academic calendar, please email me the first start date possible.  As long as housing is available, we will allow you to work the full ten-week cycle. Checks will be issued to you during the 1st, 5th and 10th weeks of the program.

I would like to mail some belongings instead of carrying them on the plane. Is this possible?

Yes.  Please use the following address until you arrive at your campus housing.

Your Name

C/o Dr. Kennedy, REU Coordinator

School of Materials Science and Engineering

Clemson University

Sirrine 161

Clemson, Sc  29634

I live far away from the REU site. Is there any more information on how to arrange travel?

REU students who live at least 50 miles away from campus can be reimbursed for travel up to $500 (both travel to and from the program).

You can either arrange your own travel or work with Ms. Bledsoe, office staff in MSE.  Her information will be given to you upon acceptance.  If you arrange your own travel, please keep your receipts and turn in on your first day.

When arranging your travel, you can fly in and out of GSP airport any time on the arrival Sunday and depart any time on the last day (Friday).

What should I wear for lab?

A casual dress code will be in effect for the duration of the summer following regulations for safety in laboratories (closed-toe shoes, long pants, and lab coat (to be provided by individual laboratories).  It is alright for you to wear jeans to work.  Business casual dress code will be in effect for the poster symposium.  Additionally, business casual might be considered for other occasions as deemed appropriate, such as luncheons with colloquium guest speakers and professional development guest speakers.  As a reminder, you will be meeting with faculty from Clemson, faculty from outside of Clemson and industrial researchers- all of whom might be potential employers.

I saw that the dress code involves lab coats. Do I need to purchase one?

No.  A lab coat will be provided for you.

I saw that there is whitewater rafting. Do I need to participate in this activity if I do not feel comfortable around water?

There will be an alternative option for those students who do not feel comfortable when possible.  However, we will be using a very gentle river and will be rafting with Dr. Pennington.  He has taken summer students for the last ten years.

What will we be doing the first day?

You will be going through orientation.  We will introduce you to the campus, your peers and go through safety training in the morning.  In the afternoon, you will be meeting with your mentors and getting started in the lab.  Please wear close-toed shoes and long pants.

What time will I be expected to show up for work?

After the first day (orientation begins at 8:30am), this question depends on your mentor.  In most cases, we will expect you to arrive at work between 8:00am and 8:30am.

What is there to do when I am not working?

All students will have full access to the state-of-the-art athletic facility (including swimming pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, indoor track, exercise machines, weight training area, etc.) Your temporary university ID / meal card will be your access card for the Fike center.

Clemson University also is close to a variety of outdoors activities (such as hiking or boating) and major cities (Atlanta, GA and Greenville, SC).  You will not have a shortage of activities, but you might have a shortage of weekends to explore!

Is there insurance for student participants?

Accident and Illness Insurance will be purchased for all resident summer program participants.  This insurance only covers your research activities and not extracurricular activities on your own time.

Can friends come and visit in the provided housing?

You may have guests come and stay in the provided apartments for up to two days.  However, you must receive permission from your roommate.

How can I get a guest parking pass?

For a two day stay, the visitor must go to the campus police building and show their vehicle registration and license in order to be issued a parking pass.  For a parking pass for a shorter period of time (1 day) can be obtained at parking services or the visitor’s center.  This information can be found at the following web address: http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/parking/faqs.html

If another student from my home institution is also selected for this program, can we room together?

No. Financial support for this program comes from the National Science Foundation  Division of Materials Research (Award number: 1062873) and the Clemson University Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies