Research Experience

National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates in Physics: Materials and Modeling
From 2014-2017, the University of Missouri (MU) hosted an NSF-funded Summer Research Experience in the Department of Physics and Astronomy to engage students in high quality research on topics in materials and modeling. After graduating, a majority of our participants have gone on to earn acceptance at selective graduate programs in physics and related fields (Colorado State University, MIT, Princeton University, University of Alaska, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Wyoming, Vanderbilt University).

See what activities our past participants have enjoyed.

Program details:

  • Engage in cutting-edge research in active and established physics research groups. List of specific projects.
  • Participate in a nine-week research experience from Wednesday, May 30 to Friday, July 27, 2018 (travel days on Tuesday, May 29 and Saturday, July 28).
  • Earn a $4,500 stipend.
  • The program covers the cost of travel to and from Columbia, tuition, air-conditioned campus dorm housing and meals.
  • Earn 1 hour credit for a course in “Undergraduate Research in Physics.” (Tuition is covered by the program.)
  • Join 50+ undergraduate students in a Research Symposium. Prepare a poster presentation and a one-page abstract for publication in a symposium handbook.
  • Present completed work in an oral presentation in the physics department.
  • Work towards publishing your results as a co-author in a journal publication or presenting at a conference during the academic year.
  • Attend weekly physics lunch seminars, and evening science events, including popular science lectures, skill development (e.g. science writing and ethics), career and graduate school opportunities, and weekly lunches with other undergraduate researchers.
  • Visit off-campus industrial research and development opportunities.
  • Have fun and build a collegial network with organized community-building activities and outings.
  • Enhance your resume and prepare for graduate school!

Acceptance to the program is competitive. At a minimum, students must:

  • have completed at least two years of full-time college enrollment prior to June 2018 and be entering their junior or senior year of college. Outstanding students who have completed only one year will be considered.
  • be pursuing a major in physics, engineering, biophysics or related fields.
  • be citizens or permanent residents of the US.
  • have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on 4.00 scale) including both overall GPA and science/math GPA.
  • have completed calculus-based physics by the start of the program.
  • be interested in physics, including a possible career in physics.

Students graduating prior to December 2017 are not eligible. MU students are encouraged to apply for other funding opportunities for summer research (

Application Information:

  • Deadline for 2018: February 12, or until all spaces have been filled.
  • REU application 2018.
  • Review the list of projects and indicate your top five choices in the space provided on the application.
  • Provide an unofficial transcript.
  • Include at least one recommendation (two preferred) .
  • Prepare a personal statement including career plans, prior research experience (if any) and a statement of research interests.
  • Include a resume.
  • Completed application packets should be emailed to Office of Undergraduate Research, at General questions about the REU can be directed to Jen Sanders (573-882-4818). Please direct questions about physics projects or faculty to Dr. Karen King.

Columbia, MO
MU is located in the beautiful town of Columbia, MO. Enjoy exploring our vibrant college town and the “Show me” state:

For more information on research opportunities, visit the MU Office of Undergraduate Research.
This program is supported by the National Science Foundation, the University of Missouri Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the College of Arts & Sciences.