Why participate in a REU Program?

REU participants are research apprentices that position themselves to become research masters later on!

Participation in our REU program will provide you a comprehensive overview of laboratory techniques in your area of choice needed to carry out graduate-level research (see Proposed Research Projects). You will work intensely in a lab alongside graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and your faculty sponsor to bring your project to fruition. Many publications with REU co-authors were the result of this collaboration.  In past years, REU participants also received travel fellowships from our program to attend a national or regional American Chemical Society Meeting (see also Publications with REU Co-authors).

In addition, you will receive training in laboratory hygiene and learn how to work safely in the lab, be taught to recognize and follow ethical practices in research with guidance from experts in ethics in science. You will also receive special instruction in effective written and oral presentation of research results, keep a research notebook and write a research abstract, present a seminar talk for the whole Department, present a poster of your work, and get guidance on career choices from experienced faculty. All in all, this is the best way to experience the intellectual delights of discovery and to secure a foundation for making informed decisions regarding future (graduate) careers.

Program History

The 2024 Program will be the 23rd year for the Chemistry REU program here at the University of Connecticut.  We hosted 185+ students in the past years, the majority of which have gone on to graduate school, and many joined top tier schools (such as Columbia, Yale, Berkeley, U of Michigan, U. of Colorado, U. of Texas, Dartmouth, etc.). The participants in past years accomplished quite a bit, both in and out of the lab (see also Publications with REU Co-authors). We are very proud of their accomplishments and look forward to continued success in the years to come.


The NSF stipulates that participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled as Chemistry (or related fields) Majors who have completed their sophomore or junior year by June 1. We seek to expose applicants from primarily non-Ph.D. granting institutions to a stimulating research environment.  We especially encourage women and to apply to our program. UConn students cannot apply (please look for an REU program outside of UConn, see all NSF-REU Programs in Chemistry).

Number of Participants

For the summer 2024 cohort, we are seeking applications for 8-10 positions. Together with UConn students funded through other sources, the total number of undergraduate students performing summer research in chemistry and that participate in the REU social activities, workshops and seminars is at least twice as high. Our program support includes stipends of $6000 (which includes a $500 meal allowance), cost of travel, and a room in our modern University Dormitories.

How to Apply?

First, make sure you are eligible. Then pick from the many available research areas/research groups that interest you most. Complete the online application form, and arrange for two letters of recommendation.  You will hear from us within a month after the deadline.

Scientific Program

The REU is accompanied by a variety of scientific group activities, typical activities are listed in Anticipated Seminar Topics.

Social Program / Recreation

Our program is accompanied by an active social program, including ice cream socials, trips to Boston, Hartford, hikes, or the nearby beach. University recreational facilities will also be available for participant use (a nominal fee may apply).
All NSF-REU and similar undergraduate research programs on campus are closely coordinated with each other with respect to housing and many social and scientific activities. We currently host programs in Physiology & Neurobiology and Electrical & Computer Engineering.

Food & Housing

Partial board in the form of a charge card valid at all University dining halls, sandwich shops, and coffee shops will be provided. You will be housed in our modern dormitories; the program covers the full costs.  Some dorms may offer apartment-style accommodations, others standard double rooms.

How will my Participation in the Program be Recognized?

Since this fellowship supports research, no academic credit will be granted. However, upon successful completion of the summer program, each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation. Further, faculty sponsors will be able to provide letters of recommendation for future graduate and professional school applications.

The UConn Department of Chemistry

chemistrybuildingOur Department has over 30 faculty members. Research is conducted by 150 full-time graduate students (40% female) and 10 postdoctoral fellows. In a typical academic year, 120 articles in refereed journals and presentations at national or international meetings originate from this department; a total of $5+ million in grants are received; the department graduates 20+ undergraduate chemistry majors (50% women) with approximately 90% going on to careers in the sciences; finally, the graduate program grants annually more than 15 Ph.D. and 10 M.S. degrees.

The Department moved into a new 200,000 sq. ft. chemistry research and teaching building in 1998. This building is the first of several new buildings in the University’s “Technology Quad” envisioned to centralize the science and engineering programs on campus and it was the lead project in the University’s $2.1 billion infrastructure rebuilding program. The building includes 65 networked research and 19 teaching laboratories, multi-media capabilities in all classrooms and lecture halls.

The Department is the site of both the University NMR Central Research Laboratory and the University Mass Spectrometry Facility. Additional departmental instrumentation includes HPLC systems, ESR, FT-IR, Raman, UV, fluorescence, magnetic balance, Mössbauer spectrometer as well as a metal-atom reactor, lasers, X-ray powder diffractometers, micro-calorimeters, and equipment for electrochemical analyses, electron microscopy, and surface analyses (e.g. AFM). The department maintains cell culture rooms, metal-free clean rooms, glass and mechanical shops.