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Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Teachers

Information

Applications for the 2024 program are open! See links below. Program implementation is conditioned on grant renewal by the National Science Foundation. 

The program will be June 3, 2024 - August 9, 2024 at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Applications and recommendation letters are due Monday, Feb 5, 2024.

The BYU Department of Physics and Astronomy runs an NSF-funded summer research program for undergraduate students (REU) and secondary school teachers (RET). There are exciting opportunities in a number of areas including optics (using lasers of all kinds including ultrashort pulse and UV lasers), computer modeling, plasmas, solid state and thin film science, acoustics, theory, and astronomy.

REU: Undergraduate participants will receive a $7,000* stipend, round-trip travel expenses to Provo, Utah, free housing (for outside students), and a small food stipend. In addition, after the program is over, selected students will be funded to travel to a regional or national conference to give a presentation on their research results.

*BYU students who are selected may need to be funded as student employees for an equivalent amount, rather than through stipend.

Undergrads: Click here to apply for REU

RET: Teachers will be compensated at the same rate they get for teaching for a 10-week period during the academic year (to the extent that our budget permits). Out-of-town RET participants will also receive a $1,000 stipend to assist with housing and food for the duration of the program. See the RET tab above for many more details on RET-specific aspects of the program.

Teachers: Click here to apply for RET

Applications

Applications and reference letters must be received by 11:59 pm MST on Monday, February 5, 2024, to receive full consideration. Click on the menu links above for more information, and the buttons above to apply online. We are especially interested in applicants from minority groups who are underrepresented in physics or who come from schools which don't have graduate research programs. The application will ask you for the following, so you might want to have this information handy (not a complete list):

  • Your GPA and your major GPA
  • A list of the physics and math courses you have taken/are taking, with grades (we don't require an official transcript)
  • Your top four choices of advisors, and why you are interested in their projects (see “Projects” link for details on available advisors)
  • A short paragraph on how participating in the BYU REU program will help further your academic and career goals
  • A short paragraph on what attracts you to the BYU REU program in particular
  • A short paragraph on how you can contribute in making this BYU REU summer experience an inclusive, interesting, and collaborative adventure for all
  • A one page resume to include with your application
  • Contact information (email addresses) for at least two individuals who will write letters of recommendation for you

Requirements

Undergraduates in the REU program must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. college or university and must have at least one semester to complete after the REU program is over. REU students also must agree to the Code of Conduct, including the BYU Honor Code. Students are generally placed in BYU-sponsored housing paid for by the REU program; placement in this housing also involves REU students being accepted as "visiting students" which requires a 2.5 GPA, no criminal history, being enrolled in research credits (paid for by the REU program), and receiving an "ecclesiastical endorsement" after acceptance to the program. The ecclesiastical endorsement involves an interview with a church leader to verify the student understands and agrees to the expectations of the BYU Honor Code. LDS students meet with their local bishop; non-LDS students meet either with their own ecclesiastical leader, a local LDS bishop, or the nondenominational BYU chaplain.

Teachers in the RET program must be currently employed as a secondary school teacher. NSF requires that all participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens. RET participants must also agree to the Code of Conduct, including the BYU Honor Code.

If you are an international student please consider applying for the Fletcher Research Internship instead as there is no REU funding for international students. 

You are also welcome to contact us to describe your specific situation if you have any  other questions about eligibility; see the "Contact Us" tab.

Fletcher Research Internship

Our department has a similar summer research program which is designed especially for students with a strong interest in attending BYU for graduate school, called the Fletcher Research Internship (FRI). If you are an undergraduate who is strongly interested in attending BYU for graduate school, we invite you to also apply to the FRI program! This program is internally funded so (among other things) it does not have the same restriction on international students that the REU program does. For more information, see here: https://physics.byu.edu/fletcher/home.