Summer 2020 Dates and Application Information

REU students in our Center participate in uncommon opportunities in transdisciplinary research. Students are involved in an internationally recognized research program at the cutting edge of soft materials science, technology and engineering, immersing them in an intensively transdisciplinary research culture. This provides students with a one-of-a-kind research experience, which includes training, observation, evaluation, and feedback. Students are placed in research groups to work on a project with oversight from faculty, post docs, and graduate students. Although students are based in one department, they experience the transdisciplinary interactions of the Center. Throughout the summer, students attend a series of professional development presentations including faculty-led scientific talks acquainting the students with the scope of research in the Center and the university, speakers from industry, and workshops on communicating science.

The Center REU program recruits and selects students nationwide to carry out research in six broad academic areas: Physics and Biophysics, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.

Research topics addressed by previous REU students include:
   • Ferromagnetic Liquid Crystal Colloids
   • Synthesis of Azulene Bent-Core Dye Manifesting the Helical Nanofilament Phase
   • Photo-Responsive Hydrogels for use in High Diffraction Efficiency Holography
   • Liquid Crystal Phases of RNA Mononucleoside Triphosphates
   • Tuning of Photo-clickable Electrospun Hydrogels for Cellular Applications
   • P-Terphenyl as a High Temperature Superconductor
   • Formation of Liquid Crystalline Macromolecular Chiral Conglomerates from Achiral
   • Molecules Kinetics of Toehold-Mediated Strand Displacement Reactions at Lipid Interfaces
   • Active Matter on Freely-Suspended Liquid Crystal Films
   • Modulation of Aspect Ratio in Bent-Core Mesogens with Flexible Linkages
   • Synthesis and Properties of Bolapolyphilic Mesogens
   • Measuring the Dynamic Instability of Microtubules in Monopolar Mitotic Spindles

Research Partnerships with Minority-Serving Undergraduate Institutions

armand calpoly studentThe Center encourages and supports joint research projects in soft materials science and engineering between Center investigators and faculty and undergraduates at minority-serving and primarily undergraduate institutions. We currently have partnerships with Metropolitan State University Denver (MSUD) and California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo (CPP-SLO). During the academic year, chemistry and physics students work in their own laboratories and each summer they come to perform research in the Center laboratories.

Summer Multicultural Access to Research Training
(SMART) Program

The SMART program offers ten-week research internships for historically underserved undergraduates in science and engineering each summer. The internships provide hands-on experience in research and an introduction to graduate education at a major research institution. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, interns design, carry out, and formally present research projects in their area of interest. Interns earn 3 hours of upper division credit, and receive all expenses and stipend. Application deadline is mid-February.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder is designed to create research partnerships between faculty and undergraduate students. "Research" in this context is interpreted as any scholarly or creative activity ranging from traditional scientific experimentation to the creation of new artistic works.


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