Advanced Materials Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

The University of California San Diego MRSEC Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program provides full-time summer undergraduate research opportunities at the forefront of materials science and engineering.  Participants in our highly collaborative and interdisciplinary program, which focuses on predictive assemblies and engineered living materials, will be fully immersed in the research laboratories of the MRSEC faculty from 5 departments across campus (Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, Molecular Biology, NanoEngineering, Physics), as they engage in projects with a focus in either or both experiment and theory.

NSF-REU MRSEC students can expect to be:

• exposed to the grand challenges in the field of materials science;
• trained in computational, nanotechnological, and biological methods aimed at making new materials;
• provided mentoring and academic/professional development opportunities, including the potential to produce publishable research and participate in professional conferences.

The 2022 program application portal is now openApplications are due by February 18, 2022.

Program Details

Duration: June 21 - Aug. 12 (8 weeks). Trainees will have the option to extend their paid laboratory research participation to up to 10 weeks.

Programming: Extensive training and mentoring (by faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students) in cutting-edge materials science research is accompanied by weekly research seminars, industrial field trips, biweekly professional development workshops (safety and research ethics, science communication, information literacy, graduate school preparation), and social networking/recreation.

Expectations: Full-time commitment to extensive lab work and engagement in program activities, including presentation at UC San Diego’s Summer Undergraduate Research Conference in mid-August.

Support: $600/week stipend. Stipend includes allowances for meals*, on-campus housing, and travel reimbursement up to $500.

Who is eligible to participate?

This research program is open to undergraduate students in science and engineering at any 2- or 4-year institution who are:

• interested in gaining rigorous research experience in materials science and engineering;
• majoring in engineering (chemical, bio-, nano-, electrical and other), materials science, chemistry, biology, or physics; and
• citizens or permanent residents of the US or US territories, as stipulated by the NSF.

UC San Diego and our MRSEC are committed to the achievement of excellence and diversity among faculty, staff, and students. Women and minority applicants, veterans and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply to our NSF REU program.

Note:  There is NO (1) prior research experience necessary; (2) minimum GPA requirement; and (3) class standing requirement.

Faculty participating in the MRSEC 2022 REU Program

Applicants will be asked to select, in a ranked order, up to three faculty whose laboratory they would like to be assigned to, based on their research interests. (The list of faculty participating in the MRSEC 2022 REU program is subject to change)

* On-campus meal plans will be available for purchase, for more information, visit https://hdhdining.ucsd.edu/

PDF flyer can be downloaded here.

Jinhye Bae
Jinhye Bae

Developing new pathways of programmable assembly and deformation of soft matter at the nano to macro-scales.

Mike Burkart
Mike Burkart

Fundamental understanding of carrier protein biosynthetic pathways, which includes non-ribosomal peptide, polyketide, and fatty acid biosynthesis.

Rachel Dutton
Zheng Chen

Designing and understanding novel materials and chemical processes for energy and environmental applications.

Joshua Figueroa

Seth Cohen

Synthesis and investigation of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and their polymer composites

Nicole Steinmetz
Joshua Figueroa

Design and synthesis of highly tailored and reactive transition metal complexes for small molecule activation chemistry.

Jim Golden
Jim Golden

Developing improved genetic tools for cyanobacterial genetic engineering and the use of these tools to answer basic-science questions and for biotechnology applications.

Susan Golden
Susan Golden

Understanding the key events that enable the clock to tell time, become set to local time, and regulate global patterns of gene expression and metabolism.

Jim Golden
Andrew Kummel

Investigating the chemistry of microelectronics processing using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy , molecular beams, laser spectroscopy, impedance spectroscopy and density functional theory calculations.

Darren Lipomi
Darren Lipomi

Investigating fundamental and applied studies that relate molecular and nanoscale structure to function, and in devices that incorporate new physical effects to solve real-world problems.

Steve Mayfield
Steve Mayfield

Investigating molecular genetics in green algae, and on the production of therapeutic proteins and biofuel molecules using algae as a production platform.

Tod Pascal
Tod Pascal

Investigating predictive assembly of nanomaterials with desired properties for energy conversion and storage applications.

Jonathan Pokorski
Jonathan Pokorski

Developing novel materials by pursuing interdisciplinary research that combines chemistry, protein engineering and materials science.

Alex Frano
Michael Sailor

Synthesizing silicon-based nanomaterials and studying their fundamental chemical, electrochemical, photophysical, and nanomedical properties.

Seth Cohen
Alina Schimpf

Developing and characterizing inorganic materials with unique electronic or photophysical properties that can be accessed via inexpensive, solution-based technique.

Seth Cohen
Nicole Steinmetz

Design, development, and testing of materials and biologics derived from plant viruses as next generation pharmaceuticals and engineered living materials with applications in human, animal, and plant health.

Andrea Tao
Andrea Tao

Studying the synthesis and surface chemistry of nanoscale materials, with an emphasis on developing new approaches for rational assembly and integration into composites and biological systems.

Akif Tezcan
Akif Tezcan

Developing new chemical strategies for the construction of complex protein assemblies with sophisticated structures and physicochemical properties, and integrating such systems into living systems

How can you apply?

A complete application consists of an online application form with the following materials:

1. Statement of purpose:
A 1-page (maximum; 12pt font, 1-in. margins) document describing (1) your interest in materials research, (2) prior experiences in this area of study, (3) academic and professional goals, and (4) how your participation in UC San Diego’s MRSEC REU program will help you to achieve these goals.

2. Letters of recommendation (2 required):
These references should be provided by faculty members (in a scientific field) who as an instructor or advisor can address your abilities and potential as a student researcher.  The online application form will allow you to enter contact information (name and e-mail) for each reference.  Your references will then receive an email that requests an electronic letter on your behalf, with instructions on how to submit their file.

3. Resume/CV:
Among other relevant experiences and skills, please be sure to note if you have computer skills (for example, knowledge of programming languages).

4. Current (unofficial) transcript

Complete applications (with reference letters) are due by 11:59 PM (PST) on Friday, February 18, 2022.  Successful applicants will be notified by e-mail by late March. If you have questions about the MRSEC REU program, please contact Janka Bond.