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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

REU-Raptor Research Site applicants who have questions about the application process must reach out to NSF ETAP (National Science Foundation Education & Training Application) by calling (800) 673-6188 or emailing Prospective applicants to our REU-Raptor Research Site who have questions about our REU-RR program can reach us via email at and we will be happy to respond.

Eligibility FAQs

If I graduate in the spring, am I eligible to participate in the REU program during the following summer?

Unfortunately, no. The National Science Foundation (NSF) stipulates that all REU participants must be current undergraduates who have not graduated.

If I am still in classes on the start date, if my school uses a quarter system, OR if some other engagement will not allow me to start the REU program on the specified program start date, am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. We have an input field in the application for students to indicate when they can start the program. While it is preferable that all students start the program together on the typical start date, sometimes individual research projects may allow a slightly later start while still giving students time to prepare to present their research at the Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (ICUR), usually held in late July.

Application and Selection FAQs

How do I know you received my application?

You will receive an email confirmation of receipt after you submit your application. If you do not see this in your email inbox, please check your spam/junk mail folder for an email from ETAP. If you cannot find an email confirmation, please contact ETAP by calling 800-673-6188 or emailing

How do my references submit letters of recommendation?

During the ETAP application process, you will be asked to enter email addresses for at least two references. Once you enter these and submit your application, emails will automatically be sent from ETAP to the individuals you indicated. These emails will include unique URLs that your references must use to submit letters of recommendation on your behalf. In order for your application to be considered complete, letters of recommendation must be submitted through ETAP (NOT emailed directly to the REU-RR site or the Raptor Research Center). You will have the opportunity through the ETAP portal to monitor the response rate of references and prompt the system to send them reminder emails.

The application asks for two reference letters from academic faculty. If I do not have close relationships with academic faculty, is it OK if one of the letters comes from my employer?

Yes, although letters from faculty are preferred whenever possible, the REU-RR program selection committee will accept references from employment/volunteer supervisors, teaching assistants, postdocs with whom you have worked, research collaborators, and academic advisors.

When will I hear about the decision on my application?

Finalists are typically selected in March of each year, although the date varies depending on when we know about final funding for our programs. Rest assured, all applicants will be notified about the decision on their applications as soon as possible.

Overall Program FAQs

Will there be an REU-RR program next year at Boise State University?

Program availability is dependent upon funding. Please check our REU-RR website in December to see if applications are being collected for the following year.

How many students are supported in the REU-Raptor Research Site?

We typically have NSF funding to support 8 to 10 students per year.

Can I receive academic credit for the summer experience?

Yes. Typically, REU-RR participants receive 1 cr. from Boise State University for their participation (at no cost to the students) associated with a summer semester seminar course designed around the REU program. Students may also work with either their home institution or Boise State University to pursue additional academic credit for the experience.

Students standing together on a bridge over the Boise River holding books
Summer REU-Raptor Research Students on the Boise State University campus with Edward Wilson’s “Letters to a Young Scientist”
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