At this time, the REU coordinators are optimistic that the Garden will permit an onsite program to be held in summer 2022, but we cannot yet know the circumstances that will apply. Students will be expected to agree to comply with all public health measures and risk-reducing behaviors that may be required by city or state authorities or by the Garden, and strongly encouraged to adopt any that are not mandatory. In compliance with the Garden’s current health and safety guidelines, we are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination status for all in-person internships. As is always the case, the REU program cannot provide Garden visitors with health insurance, so students should be prepared to be responsible for seeking health care should they become ill during the program.
We are making contingency plans to offer an online, virtual program in case circumstances should force the cancellation of the onsite program. All of the projects being offered for 2022 could be converted to projects that could be worked on remotely, and meetings with mentors, educational sessions, and group social activities would be done virtually. In that event, we would request that NSF provide computer and internet services for anyone who did not already have adequate web access at home. However, at this time we consider it likely that an onsite program will be feasible, and encourage everyone to do their part to make it possible by mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing.