International Materials Institute
for New Functionality in Glass

Frequently Asked Questions

Are international students eligible to participate in the REU Program ?

Our financial support comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and NSF requires that its REU funds can only be used to support U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents. Students must also be enrolled as an undergraduate in a US University or other academic institution.

Are students enrolled in masters degree programs or other graduate programs eligible to participate in REU?

No. Only students enrolled as undergraduate are eligible to apply.

I am graduating in May 2013. Am I eligible to participate in the REU program?

If you are finishing your undergraduate career May 2013, you are not eligible.
If you are enrolled in a dual degree program such that you will still be enrolled in a college or university as an undergraduate during the Fall 2013 semester, you are eligible to participate in REU.
Note that, according to NSF, the relevant factor is whether you will be enrolled as an undergraduate during the Fall 2013 semester. It is not sufficient that you have plans to continue your undergraduate career at some future date.
You must state on the application form when you are graduating.

Are freshmen (defined generally to be students graduating in May 2016) eligible to participate in the IMI-Glass REU Program?

Our program is designed primarily for students finishing their junior (or in some cases sophomore) year of college. Although freshmen are eligible to apply, the chance of being selected is very low.

What is the situation regarding sophomores (i.e. students graduating in May 2015)?

Sophomores are certainly eligible and are considered for all positions. However, in general, sophomores will be given lower priority than juniors because they usually do not have the same level of advanced course work under their belts, and because students finishing their junior year (i.e. those graduating in May 2014) are in their last summer of eligibility for REU.

How much stipend will I get and how will this be paid?
Each REU site offers its own separate compensation package. 

Here at Lehigh we offer a relatively high stipend ($530 per week for 10 weeks) with free housing for non-local students.

Are travel funds provided by the program?

A limited number of travel supplements are available for students who must travel a considerable distance (for example, if coming to Bethlehem, PA involves traveling by air due to distance or a driving distance that requires more than a day).

Are any special forms required for recommendations?


Can my professors send their letters of recommendation by email? What about my resume?

All application materials (including recommendations and resumes) can be sent via email to Materials can also be submitted by regular mail to attention to address given on our website and application form.

Do my recommendations have to be sent by professors of courses I have taken?

No. You are welcome to have your recommendations sent by anyone who you feel can make the best case in support of your application.† In general, it is more important to choose someone who knows you well and can provide a good picture of your abilities, than to choose someone who doesn't know you but has an impressive sounding title!

Is an unofficial transcript acceptable?

We only need a copy or ďunofficialĒ transcript for the application process (which can be sent via email if you wish).† However, if you are selected for the program, and if you choose to attend, then we would need an official transcript at that time in order to get you officially enrolled in the program.

I didnít receive a confirmation from a real person that my application was received or that my file was complete. How do I know whether you have received all my materials?

We will make every effort to send a confirmation to applicants once we have received the completed application form and ALL the supporting documentation we have requested. Note: If you submit your application form online, you will get an automatic reply that states the form has been submitted. Once all your supporting material has been received (including transcripts and references) you will get an additional e-mail from the IMI to say that your application is complete. If you do not receive any confirmation, this is probably an indication that your application is not considered complete. It is your responsibility to make sure your professors get their recommendations in on time and to be sure your application and transcript (and resumeĖ useful but not mandatory, if you are sending one) also arrive on time. If you are sure that your application form and all supporting documentation was sent, and you still havenít received a confirmation from us, you are certainly welcome to call or email to ask whether your materials have all arrived.

What are the criteria used in the selection process.

This is a difficult question since each participant is selected together by the individual faculty advisor with whom he or she will work. Obviously good grades and strong recommendations are important. Many advisors simply look for someone who is bright, hardworking, and enthusiastic; other advisors specifically select students from colleges or universities that cannot provide more than very limited exposure to research since this is a particularly important target group of the NSF REU program.

What are the chances that I will be accepted into the program?

This is a difficult question to answer. In general this program is extremely competitive (as are all of the REU programs).

When will I be notified as to whether I have been accepted into the program?

Each individual faculty member looks at those applications that indicate an interest in that faculty memberís research area, and he/she makes a decision based upon his/her own criteria. Although our application deadline is March 7th for domestic REU program, we begin reviewing applications as early as mid-January since we know that many other programs make offers well before early March. Thus, a few of our positions may already be filled before our application deadline of March 7th. Therefore if you want your application to receive full consideration for all positions, you should have your file completed by mid-February. We try to send out notices by email as soon as possible to all students who will not be receiving offers of support. However, many of these notices are not sent until mid-April or even late-April since we donít send them as long as the student is in the running for at least one unfilled position. We do guarantee that you will definitely eventually get a response from us, one way or the other.

I have an offer from another program and I havenít yet heard from Lehigh. What should I do?

First of all - Congratulations! The competition for these programs is sufficiently tough that getting an offer from even one REU program is a significant achievement.

  • If you decide to accept an offer from another program, we would appreciate if you could contact us at to inform us you have accepted another offer and that we should remove your application from consideration at Lehigh.

  • If you have another offer but really prefer REU program at Lehigh, feel free to contact us by e-mail at or call at 610-758-1112 to discuss your situation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DMR-0844014.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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