A summer research experience is an exciting way to step foot into a research environment.
A research experience for undergraduates(REU) provides talented undergraduate students(that's you) the opportunity to carry out independent research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. For 8 to 10 weeks during the summer, rising sophomore, junior and senior students are immersed in the REU experience; they work side-by-side with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty who serve as role models and as mentors. They discover how modern physics research is formulated, carried out, and reported in an environment that stresses collaboration and multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving. In this way, they acquire skills critical to success in their research and teaching careers.
Each student participant will receive a stipend for their work.
You can be part of an on-campus or off-campus research experience.
For off-campus projects, funding is competitive and available through the National science foundation. The possible research area spans the entire range of physics fields, from astrophysics to particle physics, from theoretical to experimental projects. See the NSF-REU to get an idea of the breadth of choices. Typically, participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. (Persons holding F-1 student visas are usually not eligible but there are exceptions.) For full consideration, applications must be received by January or February, so you must think about it early on. The travel expenses to and from the research location, as well as the housing accommodation are usually reimbursed.
There are also available opportunities on campus. The funding for the on-campus projects is subject to approval by the URCPP (undergraduate research and creative projects program), but it has always been approved in the past.