Our REU Program

The UAB National Science Foundation – Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) “Regional Initiative to Promote Undergraduate Participation in Experimental and Computational Materials Research”

The NSF REU program is a 10-week program that involves a hands-on research experience for undergraduate students, whereby participants work in the labs of some of UAB’s renown scientists. The Summer 2024 program dates: May 19, 2024- July 26, 2024. For Summer 2024, we will begin accepting applications December 1, 2023. The application form, unofficial transcript, career statement, and letters of recommendation should be received by April 1, 2024, however, applications will be considered on a rolling basis (meaning they will be reviewed upon receipt and some offers may be made before the April 1, 2024). That being said, applicant’s are encouraged to apply early. Final decisions will be made no later than April 15, 2024.

Strict guidelines set by the UA System, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Department of Physics as well as the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration must be adhered to by all persons on campus.

The program will pay $6,000 over the entire work period and will involve 400 hours of remote/on ground research with a UAB faculty mentor. The research represents actual projects that will contribute, in some way, to the work already being conducted in the labs.

In the video, REU Program Director, Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra discusses the objective of the REU Program, followed by 2013 REU Robert Reeves (pictured), explaining his research project and how it fit into the overall scheme of existing work being conducted in the lab.

Approach to Undergraduate Training

CNMB basic philosophy is to have Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students work on research projects, which are simple to comprehend and have some short-term achievable milestones, but simultaneously contribute to longer-term scientific goals and technological applications. These projects should not only be challenging but engaging to our REU participants so that they are motivated to learn more about the research area as well to seriously consider graduate studies. Our teaming arrangement with faculty and graduate students, giving poster and oral presentations, writing a research-style paper, and attending training seminars in scientific communications and ethics have helped past 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. Lastly, most of the research projects have been a strong interdisciplinary flavor, lying at the interfaces of physics, chemistry, materials science, and biomedical engineering

Faculty Mentors

One of the most often asked questions that we get is “how are mentors selected?”  We are proud to say that our REU participants play an active role in selecting their own project/mentor.  On the second day of the program, faculty mentors will make Power Point presentations about their available research projects.  We ask participants to select 3 projects for which they are most interested.  Participants then meet with the top 3 faculty of choice and from there, a mutual decision will be made as to which project you will be assigned.


  • The program is open only to United States Citizens or permanent (green card) residents of the United States that are
  • Currently enrolled in a U.S. institute of higher education and who will be returning to an undergraduate program after participating in the program).
  • Must be available for the entire 10 week period
  • Due to the 40 hour a week schedule and planned events, participants are not permitted to take classes during the day between the hours of 8am and 5pm.

The REU program will pay a $6,000 stipend for the ten-week period, plus additional support for travel, housing, and other expenses.  Housing is provided for eligible participants (certain restrictions apply).

Our Commitment to Diversity

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) remains fully committed to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, nondiscrimination and the prevention of unlawful harassment in employment, education and the participation in university programs. Therefore, we reaffirm our full support for diversity and equal education and opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, disability unrelated to job or program performance, veteran status, or genetic or family medical history. Discriminatory harassment, whether sexual or non-sexual, is strictly prohibited. (See the University’s full Affirmative Action:  Equal Employment Opportunity statement here).

Application Available: December 1, 2023
Deadline: April 1, 2024
2023 PROGRAM DATES: May 19, 2024 – July 25 2024

This REU-Site is supported by a grant from the Division of Materials Research, National Science Foundation (NSF) and NASA-Alabama Space Grant Consortium.

For program information, please direct your questions to Charita Cadenhead

Charita H. Cadenhead
Program Coordinator II
(205) 975-8076
(205) 975-8009 (Fax)

Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra
Director, REU Program
(205) 934-6662

Department of Physics
University of Alabama at Birmingham

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