October 1, 2020 Lauri Stone

Sanmita’s Innovative Solution: Streamlining the Higher Ed REU Process through Automation

Sanmita’s innovation labs have been at it again and this time with an application that streamlines and automates the entire REU process.

REUs or Research Experiences for Undergraduates, are fully-funded, highly competitive summer research programs sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Undergraduates compete to get into these programs to advance their science, engineering or mathematics studies. The submissions are like college applications; some students apply to several, others to a dozen or so, and some to 20 or more. As well they should… the programs are so prestigious, some are as competitive as the top graduate programs with upwards of 500 students applying for twenty or fewer spots.

At select REU site universities, the student recruitment and applications are often managed manually, costing valuable staff and faculty time. Also, the application submissions themselves are often inaccurate causing even more delays. The shortcomings and potential flaws added to an already cumbersome and time-consuming procedure makes the REU program prep work a job in itself that relies heavily on multiple players’ costly time and attention.

Introducing the REUApp. This application is cloud based, requires no software to download, and no complicated licensing fees. Another great feature of this app is the fact that there is no need to get the IT team involved. In fact, with this app, there is no more running back and forth with IT to set up the REU portal each year. Instead, the REUApp can easily be up and running in one to two weeks with very little, if any, time commitment from any faculty or staff at all.

More than just software with a bunch of forms, the REUApp works in four dedicated modules; one for the student, another for recommenders, a module for faculty/reviewers, and another for program administrators. Altogether, the modules work together like a fine-tuned machine and the end result is a process completed in an accurate, timely fashion. The REUApp is also competitively priced so the ROI is significant considering the amount of time and money saved.

Here’s a quick look at each of the modules and their features:

Student Module

  • Student profile data stored securely for future use
  • Flexible data entry allows students to complete applications at their own pace with deadline reminders and online status updates
  • Automated recommendation system
  • Integrated data checks ensures accuracy prior to submission

Recommender Module

  • Automated deadline reminders
  • Fast and efficient online submissions
  • Online submissions that avoid SPAM filters and get straight to the right person
  • Tamper-proof and secure; one and done.

Faculty/Reviewer Module

  • Student auto assignment to Reviewers based upon the project
  • Detailed Comments section to accompany grades
  • Secure data access – see student’s profile without exposing personal data
  • Multi-platform performance across all devices; desktop, mobile, tablet.

Program Admin

  • Autopilot mode– yes! Have at it with the timer function
  • Set up all sorts of timers, templates and criteria with easy configuration settings
  • Instant access detailed reports
  • Data integration feature

If the NSF has blessed your grant submission with an award and you have an REU at your university, or you have a colleague who received an award, gaining support by using this simple automated application is well worth your attention now so you will free up your valuable time during REU recruitment and application season.

Explore the REUApp and sign up for a demo here.


Sanmita has been involved in hundreds of strategic development, marketing, site redesign, and application development projects and is an agency that specializes in the complex worlds of Higher Education, Government, and Nonprofits. If you find you could use support in any of these areas, reach out for a consultation.


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Lauri Stone

Lauri Stone is Director of Client Relations at Sanmita, Inc., a web design and development firm offering strategy, design, and technology services to higher education, government, and nonprofit entities. She comes to Sanmita with over 25 years of experience in media marketing and advertising and is located in Los Angeles, California.