skip to main content

Undergraduate Research

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) are offered to give you the opportunity to actively participate in research and work with faculty and researchers on ongoing research projects. Develop not just your research skills, but also your interpersonal skills. Explore your fields of interest, perform research, and build relationships with scholars. If you're interested in graduate school, this experience may open doors to that opportunity. These are also great ways to make new friends and to travel!

Expand your goals

Undergraduate research is an excellent way to accomplish several goals.

  1. First, it exposes you to the notion of research as one of the many opportunities the university provides and what engineers do as a career outcome.
  2. Second, it will give you an experience that will distinguish you from your peers. A small number of undergraduates pursue research because it goes above and beyond their degree requirements.
  3. Third, the experience brings a close working relationship with a member of the faculty and with graduate students.

CEE REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Program

The CEE REU Program is designed to (1) expose undergraduate students to research and (2) encourage CEE faculty to engage undergraduate students in research early in their academic career. Undergraduate students are encouraged to develop a one/two-page research proposal with a CEE faculty member in the areas of their joint interest. If funded, the student will be paid $1,500 and professor $500 per semester.

The program will be announced within two weeks of the start of a semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer II). Request for proposals will be sent, and posted on the Undergraduate Blog, to faculty and undergraduate students on exact deadlines and requirements.

Proposals can only be submitted by CEE faculty members on behalf of their students and each faculty member is limited to 2 students per year and students are eligible for two REUs during their undergraduate studies. The length of employment will be 12 weeks (10 hrs per week) in the Fall and Spring semesters and 6 weeks (20 hrs per week) in the Summer at the hourly rate of $12.50 per hour. The total amount an undergraduate student will receive is $1,500 per student per semester of employment. It is the hope of the program to promote the interactions between faculty and undergraduate students.

In many cases, if an undergraduate can prove his/her value and contribution to the faculty advisor’s research programs, they may be subsequently funded by the faculty’s research projects. The REU experience, in some cases research publications, may be very helpful in job search and graduate school application. The CEE REU program is meant for new undergraduate research opportunities; therefore, it is not applicable to undergraduate students who are already working for a faculty member.

A student-driven initiative called PURE can also help you find undergraduate research opportunities.

More Questions? 

Becky StillwellBecky Stillwell
Senior Academic Adviser 
1102 Newmark Civil Engineering Lab
205 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL  61801
(217) 333-3812