COVID-19 FAQs for Education/ REU Program

Frequently Asked Questions

For RMBL’s Education/REU Program for undergraduates and post-graduates during summer 2020

Last updated: 3/13/20

RMBL is committed to the health and safety of our community and acknowledges that the current global pandemic is causing lot of uncertainty about summer 2020 plans.  Below is a list of questions and answers directed to our undergraduate and post-graduate students and is meant to help students make decisions about their participation in our summer 2020 program.  Every year, RMBL actively manages many risks, and we are actively monitoring the situation and will enact appropriate measures as necessary.  Any additional questions can be directed to Rosemary Smith, RMBL’s Education and Research Manager, at

Is RMBL still offering the education program in summer 2020?

RMBL is committed to the education program and doesn’t see any reason to cancel or alter the program at this time.  The start of our summer research season is over two months away, and we expect the situation will continue to unfold in the coming weeks.  We will continue to closely monitor the situation and communicate with students regarding any changes.

The acceptance deadline in my award/scholarship letter is coming up soon.  Do you anticipate extending that deadline?

Not at this time, but we encourage any students with questions or concerns to reach out to Rosemary Smith, RMBL’s  Education and Research Manager.

What about my deposit?  Will students have their deposit refunded if they can’t attend or the program is cancelled?

Yes.  We have already waived any cancellation fees associated with coronavirus, and this would include student deposits.  Our intent is to interpret coronavirus related cancellations quite broadly.

If the education program is cancelled or if a student declines to attend, will students who have an REU award or scholarship get priority for a future summer?

Yes, although at this time NSF currently does not fund students who have graduated, so some students may not be eligible for an REU award in future summers. Both undergraduates and post-graduates are eligible for scholarships in future summers.

Will RMBL have any travel bans, including for international students?

At this time RMBL has not enacted any travel bans.  We don’t anticipate doing so, but if we do, we will follow the guidance and recommendations of public health officials.  Any changes or updates to this policy will be posted on our website.

My acceptance letter says I need to submit my travel plans by May 1.  Given the uncertainty around the pandemic and traveling, will there be flexibility around that deadline?

Yes.  We will do our best to accommodate students as this situation evolves, and that includes re-evaluating deadlines as appropriate.  Many airlines are waiving “change fees” for travel plans, so we encourage you to make sure you understand your airline’s cancellation policies before you book travel.

I heard there is community transmission of coronavirus near RMBL.  Where can I get the most current updates on the local situation?

Coronavirus is circulating in Gunnison County, the county where RMBL is situated.  For the latest updates on the local situation in Gunnison County, please visit this page on the Gunnison County website:

As of 3/11/20, the Colorado Governor’s office recommended that travelers over 60 years of age and those with underlying health issues avoid nonessential travel to mountain resort towns in Colorado.  This is primarily due to the limited capacity of mountain community health systems to handle a surge in demand for their services.