Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program

Harvard University REU

Many undergraduates get their first exposure to science and engineering by participating in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Each REU project is designed to involve the student in all aspects of research, which has a clearly identifiable research goal at a level appropriate for undergraduate study. Elements of the REU program include:

  • Multidisciplinary Research Projects — Each REU project has a clearly identifiable research goal at a challenging yet appropriate level for undergraduates during the summer program. Participants have the unique opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary environment with highly talented scientific mentors. Most experimental projects involve hands-on research in one or more of the state-of-the-art central instrumentation facilities with training and supervision provided by expert technical staff.
  • Faculty-Led Seminars — Faculty present on various research topics including discussion of ethical issues.
  • Technical Writing & Presentation Skill Workshops — Weekly writing and communication workshops assist with the program deliverables and provide insights into technical writing for academic journals, how to improve your personal statements, resumes, etc.
  • Multimedia & Public Outreach Training — Learn how to effectively communicate research through engaging multimedia presentations and in everyday conversation. Hone your elevator pitch for colleagues and people of all ages in the community.
  • Graduate School & Career Workshops — Learn from faculty, industry panels, and former REU students about their experiences.
  • Networking & Social Activities — Visits to local research institutes are arranged and students explore Boston-area attractions.
  • Deliverables — A final written report or multimedia project, an abstract, and a presentation before peers for sharing and documenting your research.
  • End-of-Program REU Seminar — Students present their projects and research results to peers and colleagues.

This program is subscribed by undergraduates from across the country. Applications and transcripts are due February 15, 2020, and selection of the summer students proceeds with Center faculty through April. With direction from a faculty advisor and, in most cases, a postdoctoral fellow or graduate student, the REU student defines and sets up the program necessary to accomplish the ten-week summer project. A final presentation is given by each student at the "end-of-summer" seminar attended by Center faculty, student mentors, and fellow REU students.

The summer 2022 REU Program runs from Tuesday, June 7 to Friday, August 12, 2022. Apply for the 2022 REU program at REU application details.

For more information about past projects and participants, please visit REU Participant Profiles, or for more information about this program, contact:

Kathryn Hollar
Director of Community Engagement and Diversity Outreach
29 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617.496.7479
Fax: 617.812.0760
Email: hollar (at)