NSF Renews Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Renewal Effective March 9, 2018

PER the NSF website:   The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will host a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)-site in experimental and computational materials research. This REU-site project plans to recruit students from underrepresented groups and academic institutions where research opportunities are limited. This project offers a broad range of interdisciplinary materials research experiences to undergraduate students with a diversity of backgrounds in physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and engineering. The undergraduate students will gain experience in materials synthesis, materials characterization and computer modeling and simulations during their ten-week research stay at UAB campus. The scientific research projects have been specifically developed for undergraduate students by an interdisciplinary team consisting of science and engineering faculty at UAB. This project will continue to provide lecture series and workshops in materials growth and characterization, research ethics, and professionalism, innovation and entrepreneurship, and preparation for graduate school to all participants. Our REU participants will publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and/or present at professional meetings leading to a broad dissemination of new knowledge created in the undergraduate research projects.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION

REU research projects are organized in four research clusters: (1) materials under extreme conditions (2) materials for energy applications, (3) materials for sensors and laser applications, and (4) biomaterials for implants, tissue engineering, and drug delivery applications. The undergraduate research projects contribute to fundamental understanding of phase transformations and degradation of materials under extreme conditions, novel materials for fuel cells, materials for nanoscale sensors and mid-IR lasers, and 3-D printed biomaterials and stimuli-responsive polymers. Some research projects will also involve the use of national x-ray synchrotron facilities and neutron diffraction facilities in materials research. The undergraduate student projects have short-term achievable milestones, while simultaneously contributing to longer-term scientific goals and technological applications. Our teaming arrangement of REU participants with faculty and graduate students, giving poster and oral presentations, writing a research-style paper, and attending training seminars in scientific communications and ethics will help REU students see the “big picture” of what it takes to develop into a “research scientist” with the critical skills needed for analyzing, interpreting and presenting scientific data.

This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

2018-2019 Alabama Space Grant Fellowship/Scholarship Program

ASGC Fellowship/Scholarship Deadline is February 28, 2019

The Alabama Space Grant Consortium is now accepting undergraduate scholarship and graduate fellowship applications.  The following is a brief summary of the undergraduate (Table 1) and graduate (Table 2) program details extracted from program application packages (attached).  Please read the package in its entirely for complete details and requirements.

UAB is among the largest site in the Consortium and as such, expectations are high with regard to the number of applications received.  We are asking faculty to personally reach out to both undergraduate and graduate students and encourage them to apply.

Please share with anyone who you think would be interested in this program (scholarships are for Jr./Sr. in STEM fields and Fellowships are for graduate students in STEM fields).  Must be a U.S. citizen.

 

2018 – 2019 Alabama Space Grant Consortium Scholarship
Award Amount Brief Summary
ASGC Scholarship $1,000

(possible renewal)

Application Deadline February 28, 2018
Award Announcement Mid May 2018
Award Criteria Scholarship awards will be based on academic excellence, the student’s accomplishments and description of their career intentions towards an aerospace career.
Fields of Study Space related fields include any academic discipline or field of study (including the physical, natural,and biological sciences; engineering; education; economics; business; sociology; behavioral sciences; computer science; communications; law; international affairs; and public administration) that is concerned with or likely to improve the understanding, assessment, development and utilization of space.
Eligibility

 

  • US Citizen
  • Currently pursuing bachelor’s degree
  • Full time junior or senior
  • Good academic standing with 3.0 GPA or higher
Apply Online only

asgc_scholarship_undergrad_information_booklet_2018

https://spacegrant.net/apps/?pk=als

Required documents

 

  • Resume
  • Official transcript
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Academic goals statement
Awardee Requirements

 

                                           Final report

  • 4 Research interviews or an Outreach Activity
  • (see application package for details)
  • Professional Photo
  • Biographical info

 

FELLOWSHIP INFORMATION

2018 – 2019 Alabama Space Grant Consortium Fellowship
Award Amount Brief Summary
ASGC Fellowship Not to exceed $37,000/12 mos

(possible renewal)

$24,000 for stipend

$12,000 for tuition/insurance

$1,000 Student Travel allowance

Application Deadline February 28, 2018
Award Announcement Mid May 2018
Award Criteria Fellowship awards will be based on academic excellence, the quality of the proposed research program or plan of study, the quality of the interdisciplinary approach to achieving the objectives of the proposed program, the merit of the utilization of a NASA field center in carrying out their objectives, the prospects for completion of the project within the allotted time, and an assessment of the applicant’s motivation towards an aerospace career.
Fields of Study Space related fields include any academic discipline or field of study (including the physical, natural, and biological sciences; engineering; education; economics; business; sociology; behavioral sciences; computer science; communications; law; international affairs; and public administration) that is concerned with or likely to improve the understanding, assessment, development and utilization of space.
Eligibility

 

  • US Citizen
  • Currently pursuing bachelor’s degree
  • Full time junior or senior
  • Good academic standing with 3.0 GPA or higher
Apply Online only ASGC Fellowship Graduate Information Booklet 2018

Apply online:  https://spacegrant.net/apps/?pk=alf

Required documents

 

  • Resume
  • Official transcript & GRE Scores
  • Two Letter of recommendation
  • Proposal Title & Abstract
  • Description of Proposed Research project
  • Schedule of Target Dates
  • Budget
Awardee Requirements

  • Final report
  • (see application package for details)
  • Professional Photo
  • Biographical info
  • Respond to academic and employment follow up surveys
Of utmost importance:  Applicants should identify source of cost sharing prior to submitting an application.  Please discuss with faculty mentor and have mentor faculty mentor discuss with department chair regarding providing the funds for cost sharing in the amount of $18,500

 

UAB Partners With Nine Alabama Universities fo $20M NSF Award

CPU2AL: Connecting the Plasma Universe to Plasma Technology in Alabama

A partnership comprising nine universities in Alabama, including The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as the lead institution (Dr. Gary Zank, PI), has been awarded a $20 million, five-year grant by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR

Along with UAH, the partnership includes the University of Alabama (lead: Dr. R. Branam), the University of Alabama at Birmingham (lead: Dr. Y. Vohra), Auburn University (lead: Dr. E. Thomas), Tuskegee University (lead: Dr. V. Rangari), the University of South Alabama (lead: Dr. E. Spencer), Alabama A&M University (leads: Dr. R. Mentreddy and Dr. E. Cebert), Alabama State University (lead: Dr. K. Vig), and Oakwood University (lead: Dr. A. Volkov), with additional assistance from CFD Research Corporation (lead: Dr. V. Kolobov), a computational fluid dynamics software company located in Cummings Research Park. These members bring “a range of expertise in space science, laboratory plasma physics, materials, biosciences, and manufacturing to this endeavor,” says Dr. Zank )….(more).

NSF Announcement

REUs Tour Birmingham’s Innovation Depot

Dr. Joel Dobbs Leads Tour of Innovation Depot

Dr. Joel Dobbs, Instructor at UAB School of Business (Management, Information Systems and Quantitative Methods) was kind enough to give the REUs a tour of Birmingham’s Innovation Depot.  Dr. Dobbs also presented at one of our seminars this year.  His topic: Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Both the seminar and the tour were a delight and helped to shed new light on how students should approach their careers.  One of the big take aways from the seminar and the tour, per Dr. Dobbs, is that students should approach their careers with the mindset of an entrepreneur.  What a great way plan for an exceptional career path.

Below are photos from the tour featuring participants as well as a sample of some of the features and businesses housed in the Depot.

REUs Visit UAB Graduate Fair

2017 Graduate Fair

There is a lot of graduate programs to explore at UAB and our 2017 REUs had the opportunity to talk with program representatives in a variety of disciplines at UAB.  The Graduate Fair was deemed a success by our REUs and they felt that they learned a great deal about their options (whether here at UAB or elsewhere.

REUs Participate in UAB 2017 Summer Expo

Live From the 2017 Summer Expo

We are so proud of Class of 2017 REUs and the outstanding work that they did in the lab, their PowerPoint presentations, research papers and of course showcasing the culmination of their hard work at the 2017 Summer Expo.  A huge part of our program is the experience of presenting their research to a broad audience. The annual Expo gives them just such an opportunity to share that knowledge through being well prepared to explain their work and answer questions posed to them by judges and other Expo attendees.

2017 REUs Working in Their Labs

REUs in Action

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates at UAB ended on July 21, 2017, but not without capturing remnants of a successful 10 weeks working along side of UAB faculty mentors and grad student mentors.  Take a look at these photos of the REUs in the labs with theri mentors.

Congrats to Nicolas Merino, Sabrina Siu and Sherilynn Knight

2017 Summer Expo Winners

(l-r) Sabrina Siu, Nicolas Merino, Sherilynn Knight

Congratulations to Nicolas Merino,  Sabrina Siu and Sherilynn Knight.  Nicolas, Sabrina and Sherilynn, three of our REU participants won 1st and 2nd place winners in Engineering and Physical and Applied Sciences at this year’s 2017 Summer Expo.  Their 10-week research experience at UAB was sponsored by National Science Foundation (Grant Number DMR # DMR 1460392) – Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) award to UAB

First place winner in Physical and Applied Sciences, Nicolas Merino’s presented a poster titled “Theranostic Systems of Polymers and Tannic acid for Ultrasound Therapy Drug Release.”  Nicolas is a Junior at Georgia College & State University.  He spent 10 weeks working in Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva’s lab in the Chemistry Department along with her graduate student Aaron Alford.  As always, special thanks to Dr. Kharlampieva and Aaron for their commitment to the REU program.

Second place winner in Physical and Applied Sciences, Sabrina Siu presented a poster titled “Solid-state Reaction Synthesis of Gd:BaZrO3 for the Production of Pulse Laser Deposited Thin Films for Fuel Cell Applications.” Sabrina is a senior at University of Florida (Gainesville).  This year she was mentored by Dr. Renato Camata’s (Physics) lab along with his graduate student Eric Remingtong. Dr. Camata has had a long standing commitment of mentoring participants in our REU program and we certainly thank and appreciate his dedication.

REU participant Sherilynn Knight won 2nd place in Engineering category for her poster  titled “Retrieval Analyses of Wear and Debris in Oxidized Zirconium Total Knee Arthroplasty.” Sherilynn is a Sophmore at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.  She worked in Dr. Alan Eberhardt’s (Biomedical Engineering) lab this summer along with graduate student Thomas Ballard. Dr. Eberhardt is among the ranks of our longstanding REU mentors and as with all of our mentors, we value his continued support.

The Physics NSF REU program has been in continually in existence since 1997 and that’s an accomplishment that Program Director, Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra is quite proud.  Again, congrats to our winners and much success to all of our 2017 participants.