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Astronomy Research Experiences for Undergraduates Sites (AST REU Sites)

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.



The NSF-wide REU Sites program is governed by a single solicitation but administered individually by each NSF Division or Directorate. An REU Site should provide research opportunities with a coherent intellectual theme and may be based in a single discipline or academic department or may be interdisciplinary and multi-departmental.

The NSF-wide Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) solicitation governs the overall competition. The following clarifications/explanations are specifically for REU Site proposals submitted to the Division of Astronomical Sciences.

  • Note that if the planned research activities will be located at a Federal agency or its research labs (including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers [FFRDCs]), the PI must contact the AST REU Program Officer before preparing a proposal for submission, in accordance with PAPPG Chapter I.E.7.
  • Interdisciplinary proposals are welcome (these are typically with physics or geosciences) but should be predominantly astronomy-focused. Proposals that have a minor astronomy component should be submitted to the dominant Division with a request for co-review by the Division of Astronomical Sciences.
  • It is not necessary to include all potential mentors (for the student researchers) as senior personnel, but the potential mentors and their role should be fully documented in the Project Description.
  • With sufficient justification, AST will consider proposals from non-academic sites (e.g., observatories or laboratories) that have a higher cost-per-student than that suggested in the solicitation. Please contact the Program Officer in advance if you anticipate exceeding the cost-per-student guideline.
  • Typical awards are for a 3-year duration. Longer durations (up to 5 years) are possible for existing sites, but the proposal should address why the longer duration is appropriate.

Interested PIs are advised to explore the Online Directory of Astronomy REU Sites to determine the scope and breadth of fields funded under our program.

NOTE:  All AST REU Site applicants should submit their proposals to the NSF-wide REU solicitation and choose "AST - MPS/AST - Special Programs in Astronomy" (Directorate: Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences [MPS]; Division: Division of Astronomical Sciences [AST]) as the appropriate Unit of Consideration.

Program contacts

James Higdon
jhigdon@nsf.gov (703) 292-2389