REU Frequently Asked Questions

Projects of interest and instruments for the MRSEC REU:

Topics of interest (projects)
Synthesis, Characterization, and Theory of Molecular Cluster Materials
Synthesis, Characterization, and Theory of 2D Materials and Heterostructures
Nanoscale Optics
Nano/Bio Systems

Electron microscopes
E-beam and photo-lithography
X-ray diffraction

1. What are the dates of the summer 2020 program?
The summer 2020 REU program will run for approximately 9 weeks. The full-time program will begin on or around June 1st and run through August 1st, 2020. 

2. How much is the stipend?
The stipend for 2020 is expected to be $5,000. This stipend may be used for food and recreation. You will not be paying for housing.

3. What about housing?
Housing will be coordinated and provided for REU participants on-campus in the East Campus dormitory located on the Columbia Morningside (116th Street) campus.

4. What about food?
REU participants are responsible for their own meals. There are university summer meal plan options as well as local grocery stores and restaurants (East Campus has student accessible kitchen facilities for cooking).

5. What about travel expenses?
Allowable round-trip travel expenses to and from the summer program will be reimbursed up to $500 (“regular” tickets only, no first-class, etc.) per participant, subject to the Columbia University travel policy. Original receipts must be provided.

6. Do I need health insurance?
Yes – Columbia will cover minimal care for health issues during the 9-week program.

7. What will I be doing during the program?
You will be working on your research project with your faculty mentor, attending our weekly seminar series, and interacting with other summer science research students in other programs formally and informally, such as on field trips and special events/symposium/seminars.

8. When is the application deadline?
All complete online applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday February 12th, 2020.

9. What are the application requirements?
Prospective REU participants must complete the online application; upload all college transcripts (unofficial is fine) as well as two letters of recommendation. No prior research experience is required. Students must be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior years of college – no graduating seniors, please!

10. When do I find out if I am accepted?
Applicants will be notified in late March or early April 2020.

11. When do I find out what projects I will be working on?
REU students, faculty, and projects are closely matched after participants have been accepted. The participant will be notified of this match as soon as possible. Each student’s major, research preference, and experience are taken into careful consideration regarding project match.

12. Are international students allowed to apply?
Unfortunately, due to regulations governing the use of federal funding, we are only able to offer admission to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

13. Why choose Columbia’s Materials Research REU program?

  • Top-notch faculty mentors
  • Excellent materials science research facilities
  • Collaborative setting with other summer program participants at Columbia University and CCNY
  • Wonderful location in one of the greatest cities in the world, New York City

For additional information, please contact:

Columbia University MRSEC REU

Schapiro/CEPSR, Room 1001

530 West 120th St., MC 8903

New York, NY 10027