The Contract outlines expectations for incoming REU students and as well as the faculty mentors to give an indication of how the independent research projects should be conducted:
- Students will be provided with a research stipend, an allowance for research supplies, accommodation, and if funding is available financial support to attend a scientific meeting.
- Students will be expected to work independently on their research projects but will receive sufficient guidance from their mentors to complete their projects.
- Students will probably work more than 40 hours per week on their research projects. Field work may entail irregular hours or adverse field conditions.
- Students will be active participants in all aspects of the REU program, including orientation activities, the research symposium and the trip to a scientific meeting.
- Students will be expected to participate in tasks that keep a research laboratory functioning properly. Responsibilities may include ordering supplies and materials, maintaining research equipment or assisting lab technicians.
- Students will act responsibly when using research equipment and project vehicles. Research facilities will be kept orderly and well maintained.
- Students should recognize that the independent projects are not guaranteed to produce research results that can be published in the scientific literature. Experiments can fail and the ten week period may be too brief to collect adequate data. Prior projects have been published but usually require additional effort by the student after completion of the REU program.
- Students will make all of the data from their research available to the mentor before they leave the REU program.
- Students will assist the Program Coordinator by responding promptly to requests for information that are part of evaluations of the REU program.
- Mentors will provide an environment where students can gain first-hand knowledge about designing and performing ecological research.
- Mentors will offer students opportunities for independent research and will not solely use them as undergraduate field technicians.
- Mentors will assist students in selecting research problems. Assistance may vary from a detailed research plan to informal guidance on projects developed by students.
- Mentors will encourage originality and independent effort by the student in the design and implementation of their research projects.
- Mentors may require that project topics be restricted to areas of research that are in progress in the mentor's laboratory.
- Mentors will inform students during first contacts if they have specific expectations about the research to be conducted.
- Mentors will provide adequate guidance to students as their research project progresses. The mentor may be assisted by graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the mentor’s laboratory.
- Mentors will give appropriate credit to students in any publications that result from REU research projects.