Research Opportunities for Undergrads

Kimberly Guzman-Betancourt (University of Puerto, Cayey) works on the directed assembly of nanowires in Prof. Christine Keating's laboratory. Photo credit: Penn State

Opportunities to work on MRSEC research are available through several Penn State programs.

Nanoscale Physics & Materials Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program

This REU program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and jointly hosted by both the Physics Department and the Center for Nanoscale Science, gives undergraduate students from across the nation the opportunity to participate in frontier materials research at a major research facility. The interests of selected MRSEC students are matched with those of current MRSEC faculty member, with whom they work closely, as well as the graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the research group. By participating, students experience the challenge and excitement of a career in research (and perhaps the occasional frustrations with a supportive team, too). In the process, students acquire valuable skills, participate in seminars, and enjoy a variety of extra-curricular, outreach, and joint professional development activities with the campus-wide undergraduate summer research community.

Participation is sought to include and welcome a broad and diverse range of students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, experiences, scientific interests, identities, etc. Students who are representative of underserved groups in STEM fields are encouraged to apply.

Learn more about the Nanoscale Physics & Materials REU Program.


Other Penn State Undergraduate Research Programs

Individual MRSEC faculty members also choose to advise students who participate in the following programs:

CIC Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)

Penn State is strongly committed to encouraging the participation of members of groups presently underrepresented in the physics community, including women, minorities, and the disabled. The CIC Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) specifically invites members of underrepresented groups to experience Penn State and explore the opportunities that it offers for future study in all disciplines across the University academic spectrum.

Visit the SROP Website for more information.

NASA PA Space Grant Consortium

  • WISER:  Women in Science and Engineering Research
    Available to first-year women. 
  • MURE: Minority Undergraduate Research Experience
    Available to underrepresented minority students  (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander) who are first-year, sophomores, or juniors.
  • FURP: First-year Undergraduate Research Program
    Available to all first-year students; those with economic hardship are encouraged to apply.

Visit the NASA PA Space Grant WISER / MURE / FURP webpage for more information.