Life as a Summer Undergraduate Researcher

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The program will run May 23th to August 2nd for the summer of 2019.  It is expected that students will normally be working here at Penn State throughout this time. If these dates conflict with your school's academic schedule please let us know on your application form. It may be possible to arrange alternative dates in some cases.


Students will receive a stipend of $4,800 for the ten-week summer research program.

Travel Support

We will be able to reimburse out-of-state students for travel expenses to and from Penn State. The University Park campus is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of State College. State College is about a three hour drive or bus ride from Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and about four hours from Philadelphia, Washington DC or New York. Flights into State College are available through Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago O'Hare or Washington Dulles. For more information about traveling to State College, visit Penn State visitors' guide webpage.

Housing Arrangements

Visiting REU participants will be housed in apartments that are a short walk from the Department of Chemistry. Students will be responsible for making their own arrangements for meals. A number of restaurants are available both on and off campus. On campus meal plans are available. Convenience and grocery stores are also within easy reach should students want to use the apartment kitchens and microwave ovens will also be provided.

Please let us know if you will be staying in the housing provided.  Parking is an option but will be an extra charge.


The first full day on campus will be spent on an orientation tour of the chemistry department, research facilities, libraries, and Penn State campus. This tour also includes recreation and cultural facilities, and other resource centers. You will meet your faculty advisor and the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in your research group. During the second day, we offer an introductory safety course and a workshop on utilizing library and electronic resources. Additional professional development workshops will continue throughout the summer.

Throughout the ten week period we will have a weekly seminar where faculty will describe their work or other exciting current developments in their field. There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions. There will also be picnics, outings and other recreational activities organized. The aim is to encourage the participating undergraduates to get to know the graduate students, postdocs and faculty on an informal level.  These activities will help participants to get a feel one of the best ways of really getting a feel for what a career in chemistry is all about.


At the end of the summer students will present their work at a symposium. Each student will present a short talk and poster about their research to an audience of students and faculty advisors. We will provide training and assistance in preparing both the poster and oral presentation. In 2018, over 130 students participating in undergraduate research across campus took part in the symposium, giving students broad exposure to research at Penn State and experience presenting their work in a professional meeting environment.

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