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   NSF REU Program

Unfortunately we will not be able to offer an REU Program for Summer 2014. 

Thank you very much for your interest.










What is the history of the REU program at Columbia University?

The Chemistry Department at Columbia University has hosted an NSF-REU site continuously since 1987.Over this 24-year period, our program has been consistently rated a success, both by participating undergraduates and by their Columbia mentors. Over the course of this REU program 295 undergraduates have carried out research in our laboratories. They have been extraordinary successful—co-authors on nearly 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and presenters of an even greater number of talks and posters at conferences, colloquia, workshops, and local, regional, and national ACS meetings. We have followed the research careers of our REU alumni, and find that they become very successful research scientists in academe and industry. Those who have graduated from college have, on average, published another 5 papers each within five years of graduation and 13 papers each within 15 years of graduation. Our REU participants are productive research apprentices while with us, and productive research masters later on.

Why should I come to Columbia this summer?

Because in just ten weeks we will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to every aspect of scientific research.

You will pick a research area of interest to you, develop a research proposal with one of our 23 Department faculty, learn the laboratory techniques needed to carry out your proposal from people who are experts in them, work intensely in a lab alongside graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to bring your project to fruition, receive special instruction in effective written and oral presentation of research results from people who have won awards for it, write a research report, present a seminar talk for the whole Department, and get guidance on career choices from experienced faculty on our Undergraduate and Graduate Committees. You also will learn to work safely in the lab with training from Chemistry staff and Columbia's Environmental Health and Safety group, be taught to recognize and follow responsible and ethical practices in research with guidance from Columbia's Office of Research Compliance, and discover how to provide appropriate peer review to others, and to accept and profit from such review yourself.


How do I know if I am eligible for this program?

The NSF requires that all undergraduate student participants in REU programs must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. All undergraduates majoring in the chemical sciences and related fields are eligible to participate.

Students in traditionally under-represented groups—women, minorities, people with disabilities—are particularly encouraged to apply. Undergraduates from historically underrepresented groups may also wish to apply to an affiliated summer research program sponsored by the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.


How do I apply?



Unfortunately, we have had to suspend our program this year and will not be accepting students for Summer 2011. 




What is the application deadline?

All application materials, including both letters of recommendation, must be received by Friday, February 25. Incomplete applications cannot be considered for review.


How many REU fellowships will be awarded this summer?

For our 2011 REU program we anticipate selecting 8 undergraduate researchers. There will be a similar number of participating undergraduate students funded by other programs.



When will I know if I am accepted into the program?

We expect to notify those applicants who have been selected for the REU program by e-mail by Friday, March 18.


What are the dates of the program?

The program is ten weeks,beginning Tuesday, May 31 and ending Friday, August 5. Attendance for the entire program is required, unless special exemption is arranged at the time you accept admission.


What financial support will I receive?

Each NSF-REU Fellow will receive a stipend of $4,000. Assistance with travel costs (excluding local transportation) of up to $300 is possible.



Where will I live?

Housing in a Columbia residence hall will be provided, at no cost to you.The housing check-in date is Sunday, May 29, and the and the check-out date is Saturday, August 6. Specific details about housing will be made available to participants upon admission to the program.


How will my participation in the program be recognized?

Since this fellowship supports research, no academic credit will be granted.However, upon successful completion of the summer program each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation.Faculty sponsors will be able to provide letters of recommendation for graduate and professional school applications.As part of the end-of-program research symposium, two REU participants, nominated by their peers and chosen by the faculty in charge of the program, will be awarded travel fellowships to attend a national American Chemical Society Meeting.


Who do I contact if I have further questions?

Send an e-mail to undergradchem@columbia.edu.Your question will be answered promptly by one of the faculty sponsors in the program or by one of the staff who manage it.