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Remote Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The COVID-19 pandemic has undermined national capacity to offer onsite Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites. Due to the rapid onset of the pandemic, REU principal investigators (PIs) were caught largely unprepared to deliver REU learning through distance technologies, and they made substantial changes to their programs to engage students in research at a distance. The project aims to systematically characterize how REU programs were carried out during summer 2020 and evaluate their effectiveness, especially the extent to which remote REU programs were able to build a sense of community among their student cohorts, ensure student ownership of their research projects, provide quality mentorship, and influence students’ education and career interests. Data will be compared across REU sites and with published studies of in-person REU sites to identify strategies useful for improving student learning in distance REUs.