REU home






Dear prospective applicant:

Thanks to funding from the Divisions of Physics, Astronomical Sciences, and Materials Research at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University will host an on-campus Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in the summer of 2017. This page answers basic questions about the program, but we also invite you to visit the links above to learn more about about which projects may be available next summer, what Rutgers and central New Jersey have to offer, how to contact us if you have questions, and how you can apply to the program. We thank you for your interest and hope to see your application soon!

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Baker, Sunil Somalwar, & Robert Bartynski (REU executive committee)


The program is expected to run from May 30 - August 3, 2017. Participants will generally arrive on campus on May 28 and move out on August 4. (Prospective applicants for whom these dates are problematic are encouraged to contact us for guidance before submitting applications.)


The REU will be hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy on the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus of Rutgers University in central New Jersey. Students will live in on-campus housing alongside undergraduate participants in other summer research programs and multiple graduate student resident advisors. Rutgers is conveniently located on the main train line between New York and Philadelphia (about an hour away from each) and offers easy driving access to beaches, mountains, and other recreational opportunities.


The focus of the REU program, as its name suggests, is research. Each participant will work on a different cutting-edge research project with a faculty mentor and the other members of his/her research group. Projects will be drawn from up to three different areas: Participants will present the results of their projects at an undergraduate research symposium at the end of the summer, and as appropriate will be encouraged to continue to work on their projects beyond the end of the summer, and to present their results at a relevant professional conference within eight months of the end of the program.

In addition to working on their individual research projects, participants will meet together for one afternoon each week for a common set of professional development activities. These sessions will focus on conveying the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as graduate school applicants, graduate students, and/or members of the workforce and will include preparation for the physics GRE subject test that features a significant demonstration component. The summer will be punctuated by three all-day field trips to nearby points of scientific interest (tentatively, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Rose Center for Earth and Space of the American Museum of Natural History, and the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center).

Each REU program participant will receive support in the form of

Participants will also have access to all athletic and recreational facilities on the Rutgers campus while they are in residence. At any point after the end of the summer, participants who apply to and are admitted to Rutgers will be eligible for support from a SUPER Grad (Summer Pipeline to Excellence at Rutgers Graduate) Fellowship in their first year of graduate school.


For 2017, we will have funding to support up to nine students. We welcome applications from all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who will have completed 2 to 3 years of undergraduate coursework but not yet have earned B.A. or B.S. degrees as of June 2017. Students with limited opportunities for research at their home institutions, women, members of underrepresented groups, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Current Rutgers students are not encouraged to apply, and are instead invited to explore the opportunities for research that are uniquely available to our undergraduates via the Aresty Research Center.


An application for the REU program comprises four elements: Review of applications will begin on February 9; applicants are strongly encouraged to make sure all materials (including recommendation letters) are submitted by this date. Offers of physics projects will be made on a rolling basis on or after February 24, and offers of astronomy projects will be made on a rolling basis on or after March 1; any student who receives an offer will be expected to accept or decline it within a week.

Last edited December 9, 2016.