Frequently Asked Questions
About the Program
Will the 2023 program be offered in-person?
Our summer program will run in person May 15-July 21 but this is subject to change due to COVID-19 circumstances.
What research areas are available?
Research project vary year by year, but all have some element of simulations, imaging, or modeling. The applications have varied from cell communication to blood flow to muscle moment arms. Check out the past projects and information on the faculty mentors.
What kind of professional development activities are there?
At the beginning of the program you participate in a leadership challenge course and bootcamp. Then, each week we get together for a lunch seminar with topics like How to apply to graduate school, Graduate student panel, and Conferences – What to expect. Many weeks there will be a separate leadership workshop with topics like Exploring implicit bias, Advanced writing, and Professional social media presence. There are also opportunities to network and present your research. For more information see our Professional Development page.
Are there opportunities to present our research?
Yes! You present at least two times during the summer: one oral presentation and one summer-end poster presentation. You may also be asked to present at your mentor’s research group meeting. You will also have the opportunity to present your work at the Biomedical Engineering Society annual meeting in the fall after the program. Some students also present at their home institution. Ask your mentor about other presentation opportunities.
How are students matched with faculty/projects?
During the application process you are asked to rank the current projects in order of preference. Your preferences are taken into consideration during the selection process. Most students receive one of their top three projects. You can also describe your interest in the projects in your personal statement.
Your program starts before my semester/trimester is finished. Can I still participate?
The first few days of the program are critical for cohort formation and a successful summer. Ten weeks is a very short time for a research experience and shortening the program by even a week can have a substantial impact. We are happy to work with your instructors to proctor exams to allow you to fully participate. The same rule applies to those who would like to leave the program early. You must commit to stay for the entire 10-weeks.
Can I receive course credit for participating?
You can not receive course credit from ECU, but you can receive course credit from your home institution if they require an internship or similar experience.
How does conference travel work?
All students are funded to attend the Biomedical Engineering annual meeting. We will pay for your abstract and membership fees, registration, airfare, and hotel up front. You will be reimbursed for food, baggage, and any other necessary transportation. We will have several social events planned at the conference. Plan to go a day early for tours.
If accepted, will I receive the stipend as one lump sum or will it be divided?
Your stipend will be paid out in three installments: $2000 in early June, $2000 in early July, and $2000 after the completion of the program. Note your housing, meals, and transportation will be provided to you by the program.
Will my stipend be taxed?
As a result of your participation in the program, ECU will issue you direct and indirect payments (referred to as non-compensatory stipends). These amounts are not intended to be a scholarship, a wage, or a payment in exchange for services. IRS regulations do not require ECU to subject these amounts to income tax withholding (at the Federal or State level) and ECU will not be reporting them to the IRS. This does not mean that the amounts are not taxable and that you do not potentially have a federal and/or state tax liability related to these payments. Individual tax scenarios can vary greatly, therefore we recommend that you contact your accountant for tax advice to ensure that you are in compliance with applicable income tax laws.
About the Application Process
What does it mean when you say review of applications start on a specific date?
This means that on that date we will begin to look at all the applications received. As the review and interview process can take some time, we do accept applications until all positions are filled. However for full consideration, we encourage you to submit your complete application by the specified date.
Can I apply if I go to a community college?
Yes, we encourage students attending a community college to apply. Students must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program (i.e. high school students participating in early college or dual enrollment are not eligible).
What do I need to do to apply?
You need to complete the online application form, have two faculty members submit letters of recommendation, and submit your unofficial transcripts and personal statement by email.
What are the requirements to be accepted?
You must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and you must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in the fall after the program. With that said, the program is competitive. We select a group of students with strong potential to do well in the program and whose research interests match those of the projects.
Can I apply if I am an international student with an F1 student visa?
Can I apply if I have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)?
Can I apply if I am a graduate student?
What majors are eligible for the program?
We welcome applications from all students majoring in engineering, computer science, math, science, kinesiology, or similar program.
What year in school do I need to be to apply?
Priority is given to rising juniors or seniors; however strong rising sophomores will be considered.
If I graduate in May, can I participate in your program the following summer?
Will I be notified when my application is complete?
No. Due to the large number of applications, we can not inform students when theirs is complete. We will let students know if anything is missing.
When will I find out if I am accepted?
The timing varies from year to year and could be as early as March or as late as April. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates.
What should I write in my personal statement?
You should include the following and be approximately 300-500 words long:
- Explain your interest in the program. You might talk about personal experiences.
- Explain why you are a good fit for the program. Do you have a great academic record, research experience, or job experience? DO you have any special skills like computer programming?
- Explain why this experience is different from opportunities at your home institution and how this experience will help you achieve a goal you have.
- Tell us why you want to work with a particular faculty mentor
How do I submit my application materials?
You must complete the online application and then email your personal statement and transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I submit my letters of recommendation?
You do not submit your letters. The faculty members you ask to write them will send them directly to the program by email (email@example.com). Please tell your references to use the subject line: Recommendation – Your Name. Letters should be on official letterhead and signed.
How should I choose a reference to recommend me for the program?
In this order, you should consider choosing the following people to recommend you:
- Someone you have directly done research with already – e.g. mentors for paid or unpaid research experiences, someone at your institution who you did a project with.
- Instructor of an engineering or science class who you directly interacted with and who remembers you – e.g. a class where you asked a lot of questions, engaged in discussion, or went to office hours, someone who oversaw an independent course.
- Other faculty members who you know and have interacted with, if they have something specific to say.
- Current and previous employers
Remember to allow enough time for our references to submit their recommendation.
How many students are accepted into the program?
We typically accept 10 students, however sometimes we have funding for additional students.
About Living in Greenville
Where will I live during the program?
All students are provided housing in a suite-style dorm on campus. The suite includes two dorm rooms (double occupancy) each with their own bathroom, a living area, and a small kitchenette. You will need to bring linens, towels, and a few dishes and utensils. The rooms are cable ready but do not include a TV. Both ethernet and wireless internet are available. The dorms are only accessible with a key fob. Our students live with summer students from other REU and similar programs.
Do I have to live in the dorm?
Yes. We want all students to live together to build a strong community. Even if you are local to Greenville, you must live in the dorm.
How will I get to Greenville, NC?
If you will fly, we will book your ticket for you and you will be reimbursed for baggage and transportation fees. Some one from the program will pick you up from the airport. If you drive, we will reimburse you for mileage.