Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Developing an Evaluation Framework and Pilot-Testing a Longitudinal Tracking System

2015-2020
Prepared for
National Science Foundation

REU scientists robotic arms

The National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program provides students with opportunities to participate in disciplinary or interdisciplinary research with scientists across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program seeks to attract and retain students in STEM careers, particularly student groups underrepresented in STEM, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

Mathematica is:

  • Developing an evaluation framework that will guide program data collection efforts and enhance the foundation’s ability both to monitor the REU program and to conduct evaluations with increasing levels of rigor.
  • Building and piloting a longitudinal data collection system to comply with the congressional requirement that REU participants “be tracked, for employment and continued matriculation in STEM fields, through receipt of the undergraduate degree and for at least three years thereafter” (The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, Section 514[a][6] of Public Law 111-358).

To learn more, see "Building the STEM Evidence Base and Expanding Capacity for Monitoring and Evaluation."

Photo: REU participants at the Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale in Science and Engineering (reproduced with permission).