NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

  • Weekly Lectures

    Students gather weekly to discuss research and hear presentations from Penn faculty & researchers.
The LRSM has hosted NSF-REU programs since 1989 during which approximately 540 students have spent 10 weeks working on individual research projects with our associated faculty. We currently have funding for 20 undergraduates both through our MRSEC grant and a NSF-REU Site grant. The program runs from early June to August every year and takes applications from well qualified undergraduate who are mainly juniors but sophomores and freshmen can also apply. Students are required to make an oral presentation of their research during the final week of the program and to submit a paper describing their research before leaving the program. We encourage applications from under-represented groups in science and engineering, especially from women, minorities, and disabled students. The program is restricted to US citizens and permanent residents and deadline for applications is March 1. Students should apply through our on-line application form.


REU Student working in glove box.

REU Student working in glove box mentored by a Penn graduate student.

The LRSM, a National Science Foundation supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), will offer up to twenty Summer Research Fellowships to undergraduates from colleges and universities in the United States who are majoring in science or engineering. Successful applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents. Each will work under the supervision of a faculty member on a current materials research project in chemistry, physics, biochemistry, biophysics, materials science or engineering. Summer Fellows will have access to all the research facilities of the LRSM and of other laboratories, as required. University faculty will give a series of lectures on materials science and the Fellow will be expected to both write a short research report at the end of the fellowship period and also give an oral presentation to the group. An award will be given for the best paper. Fellows will also have access to the libraries, computer centers and recreational and athletic facilities of the University. Fellowships will normally be for a ten-week period, from May 30 through August 5, 2016, and will carry a stipend of $5,000. Fellows should have completed their junior year by the beginning of the fellowship period, although consideration will be given to exceptionally well-qualified sophomores. Students requiring accommodation will be housed in university dormitories at reduced rates.

REU Student in the Lab

REU Student in the the chemistry lab.

Candidates should apply online (link provided below). Submission will require that a CV/Resume is uploaded with the application. An official transcript copy and letter of recommendation from a faculty member at the applicant’s current college are required as well, although they can be uploaded or sent at a later time (see the bottom of the application page for more information). Applications should be submitted as soon as possible but no later than March 1, 2016 and results will be announced in letters mailed no later than April 1. Financial support for Summer Fellowships is provided by the NSF-REU program. Applications from women, minorities (defined as African-Americans, Hispanics, Native American Indians and Pacific Islanders) and students with disabilities are especially encouraged and should be so identified. click for On-Line Application Form (preferred)

more information:

Mark Licurse, Assistant Director of Education
Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter
University of Pennsylvania
3231 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6202
Tel. (215) 573-4759
Fax (215) 898-8296
e-mail: mlicurse@lrsm.upenn.edu