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Undergraduate Programs

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Advancing Human Health, From Nano to Network

REU HH student

The University of Rochester NSF REU: Advancing Human Health, Nano to Network, provides an interdisciplinary framework for faculty and students to utilize hypothesis-driven research to advance human health. The broad aims of the project are to develop critical thinking, ethics and the communication skills of undergraduate researchers who are less likely to receive these opportunities.

The Human Health REU is coordinated by the David T. Kearns Center, home to a vibrant community of undergraduate scholars. REU students will spend nine weeks living with and learning among 60-70 other undergraduate researchers. You will conduct 300 hours of research under the guidance of one or more of the University of Rochester’s premier faculty members, attend several seminars and workshops that discuss in-depth research techniques, complex problems and finding unique solutions, as well as career opportunities and preparation. You will create academic presentations and present a final poster at the end of the summer. In addition, you will visit and enjoy the summer scene of Rochester, NY and spend time bonding with new friends. Click here to view application requirements.


One key component of the REU program is mentoring. You will work with a faculty mentor, who will guide the completion of your research project and serve as a valuable resource in understanding the technical aspects of your questions and conclusions. Graduate students will also be working in the labs you are assigned for the summer. They will provide you advice and guidance on your research, social activities and for many of you the inside view into graduate school. In addition, you are assigned an advisor from the Kearns Center. The purpose is to have someone to help you balance your time, work through any personal matters and provide counsel on succeeding with your goals for the summer and creating a plan for future success. 


Human health is a compelling application space for undergraduate students, particularly for engineering students who often go into these fields of study to have impact on society throughout their careers. Our REU site, advancing human health, from nano to network, will enable students to not only obtain research experience in one aspect of this space, it will also provide the opportunities for all the REU participants to learn from each other about the multidisciplinary research within this area.

Only through advances in a range of engineering disciplines will we be able to solve some of the most challenging problems in human health, from the design of implacable devices to improved prosthetics to support for continuous monitoring of health conditions to enabling social support systems. Our REU program will expose the participants to this critical and evolving research field and enable them to make important contributions of their own to advance human health.

Program Dates: May 28 to July 30, 2019

Students should review the eligibility and application requirements before applying to the program


Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions, we encourage you to visit our FAQs page. You can also send an email to


2019 Research Opportunities

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To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Be majoring in the physical sciences or engineering with at least one year left to complete the undergraduate degree

Participants are selected based on academic achievement and scientific interests. This project has a specific focus on enrolling women and members of groups underrepresented in the STEM fields (African-American/Black, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Native Pacific Islander). The site also seeks to include students from smaller schools where research equipment and opportunities might not be available.

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Application Requirements

All of the following must be submitted to be considered:

  • Completed 2019 REU Common Application through NSF [Apply Here]
    • Statement of purpose indicating how participation in the REU experience will fit into your long-range academic and professional goals
    • A copy of your current resume/CV
    • A copy of your unofficial transcript
    • Two letters of recommendation
  • Complete the 2019 UR REU Supplemental Application [found in the REU Common Application]
    • Must choose at least 3 projects of interest on the application

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