Awards to Stimulate and Support Undergraduate Research Experiences (ASSURE)
The ASSURE program supports undergraduate research in DoD relevant disciplines and is designed to increase the number of high-quality undergraduate science and engineering majors who ultimately decide to pursue advanced degrees in these fields. A strong U.S. science and engineering workforce is of clear interest to the DoD, as the capability of producing superior technology is essential for future national security.
The ASSURE program aims to provide valuable research opportunities for undergraduates, either through ongoing research programs or through projects specially designed for this purpose. Research projects should allow high quality interaction of students with faculty and/or other research mentors and access to appropriate facilities and professional development opportunities. Active research experience is considered one of the most effective ways to attract and retain talented undergraduates in science and engineering.
ASSURE projects must have a well-defined common focus that enables a research related experience for students. Projects may be based in a single discipline or academic department, or interdisciplinary or multi-department research opportunities with a strong intellectual focus. Each proposal should reflect the unique combination of the proposing institution's interests and capabilities. Applicants are encouraged to involve students in research who might not otherwise have the opportunity, particularly those from institutions where research programs are limited. Thus, a significant fraction of the student participants should come from outside the host institution. In addition, DoD is interested in strengthening institutions with limited research programs and especially encourages proposals that help to enhance the research infrastructure in predominantly undergraduate four-year institutions. Student participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions.
The DoD ASSURE budget is $4.5 million annually. DoD expected ASSURE budget for new projects is approximately $1.5 million; this funding will be distributed among fifteen to twenty new ASSURE awards. DoD relevance will be considered in making funding decisions. Projects may be carried out during the summer months, during the academic year, or both. Sites may be proposed for durations of one to five years, with a three-year duration being typical.
DoD executes the ASSURE program collaboratively with the National Science Foundation (NSF) through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites Program. DoD funded ASSURE sites will be selected by DoD scientists and engineers, but will be overseen by NSF as part of the NSF portfolio of REU Sites. There is no separate application for the ASSURE program; ASSURE funding is awarded through the NSF REU Sites Program.
Information about the NSF REU Program can be found at NSF Program Solicitation NSF 05-592: Students apply directly to REU Sites and should consult the directory of active REU Sites.
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