Chicago Materials Research Center


education summer photoUndergraduates can gain research experience in the lab of an MRSEC faculty member through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. MRSEC administers research opportunities with the University’s Department of Physics. Undergraduates can gain research experience in the lab of an MRSEC faculty member through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. 

Program benefits

During the summer, REU students become immersed in the University of Chicago research culture. They receive safety and ethics training, interact with graduate students and faculty members, and explore the city of Chicago. Participants attend seminars several mornings a week given by faculty and graduate students from across MRSEC and the Department of Physics. Guided tours of nearby national laboratories further broaden students’ exposure to state-of-the art materials research. Each student has the opportunity to present a seminar on their summer research during the last two weeks of the program and prepare a written report.

As registered University students, REU students also have full University privileges for the duration of the program, including access to libraries and athletic facilities, and substantial discounts to University-sponsored social and cultural events.

The stipend for the full 10-week summer program (approximately early June to mid-August) is $6,000. The program provides a modest travel expense reimbursement for flights and personal vehicles (no rental cars). Participants must be US citizens or permanent residents who are enrolled in but not yet graduated from an accredited undergraduate college degree program with a concentration in a materials science–related field.

The highly selective program chooses participants from a nationwide pool and has an acceptance rate of less than 10%. Many participants become listed as co-author on publications resulting from their summer research projects. About 75% of MRSEC REU students enrolled since 1995 have gone on to graduate studies in related fields or have expressed an intent to apply for graduate study upon completion of their undergraduate degree.

Visiting Argonne

REU students visiting Argonne.

How to apply

Interested undergraduate students can apply using the online web application. Deadline for the 2024 summer program is February 15, 2024.

If you have questions about the MRSEC REU program, please email

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