Hands-on research infuses the traditional undergraduate curriculum with excitement. Through its Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) summer program, the IIN has provided over 330 students with a glimpse into the life of a scientific researcher as well as opportunities to meet and work with world-renowned scientists.
IIN REUs engage in full-time research over a nine-week period in the summer. They attend regular group meetings, which give them opportunities to share their progress and gain a broad overview of a wide array of scientific projects. Additional activities include tours of facilities and laboratories, special lectures, a field trip to Argonne National Laboratory, technical writing workshops, a public speaking seminar, and a summer picnic.
At the end of the summer, each student completes a substantive research paper that is then submitted for publication in Nanoscape—the first undergraduate journal of nanotechnology in the country or other professional journal. Each IIN REU participant receives round-trip airfare, housing in Northwestern dormitories, and a stipend of $4,500.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, majoring in the physical sciences or engineering, with at least one year left to complete their degree. Participants are selected based upon academic achievement and scientific interests. Efforts are also made to include students from smaller schools where research equipment and opportunities might not be available and to encourage participation by young women and minorities.