The Physics and Astronomy Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program is funded by the National Science Foundation to support twelve highly-qualified students to undertake supervised research projects in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, for a period of 10 weeks each summer. Departmental faculty conduct research in diverse experimental and theoretical areas, including Astronomy & Astrophysics, Biological Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Plasma and Laser Physics, Quantum Optics, Complex Networks and Data Science, and participate in Physics Education Outreach. Each summer, the Department's research effort involves approximately 20 undergraduate students, in addition to approximately 120 graduate students, 35 postdoctoral research associates, and 30 regular faculty members. Much of the research performed by past undergraduate research assistants has been published in scientific journals. Many students have also presented their work at national conferences and undergraduate research symposia at the University of Rochester.
Program: Over the summer research period, participants attend a series of informal seminars covering research topics as well as others, such as preparing for graduate school. These seminars are intended to foster discussion among REU students and faculty, and to serve as a basis for further social and scientific interaction. The core research experience takes place in the context of research groups working at the University's research facilities. Students present their work at an informal symposium at the end of the summer. They are encouraged to work with their research advisers toward completion of publications, submission of abstracts, and presentations of their work at professional and student conferences.
A description of last summer's REU research projects can be found here.
Descriptions of previous year's REU projects, list of publications, talks, BS theses, technical reports, and REU student awards can be found here.
Stipend and housing: Participants receive a stipend for the 10 week program. See the application details page for current stipend levels. Housing (with other summer research students) is available on the UR campus. Some students choose to live off-campus in summer sublet apartments or commute from home. Funding may also be provided in the following academic year to allow students to complete scientific articles on their research work and/or support their attendance and presentations at conferences.(University of Rochester participants are required to present their results at the local RSPS and URE undergraduate research conferences in the Spring).
Participants: Rochester's Physics & Astronomy REU Program supports a diverse group of participants. More than half of the NSF REU funds support students from other institutions, and the program aims for 50% representation of women and minority students. An additional site for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minority undergraduates from any institution is the University of Rochester’s McNair Summer Program. Students in that program often do research in the sciences and participate in REU program activities. University of Rochester students, particularly those who have partial funding for summer research from other University sources (such as Advantage Scholars), are welcome apply to the REU program.
Eligibility: Most students will have completed at least 4 semesters of college physics and math. Students should have an overall GPA of 3.0 or greater, with a major in engineering or physics. Preference will be given to students interested in research, considering an advanced degree. Members of under-represented minorities or students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Participants in the REU program must be US citizens or permanent residents. Students who have completed their bachelor degree by May of this academic year should consider applying to the graduate programs in physics or optics and will not be eligible for the REU programs.
For application details, current program dates, and stipends, go here.
The REU program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the University of Rochester, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. For a list of other REU programs funded by the NSF, go here.
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Bausch & Lomb 253
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627-0171
(585) 273-3237 FAX