This award from the Division of Chemistry (CHE) supports a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site at the University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) for the summers of 2008-2010. This REU site will be managed by Fillmore Freeman with assistance from Gregory Weiss, both from the Department of Chemistry at UC Irvine. This REU site will bring eight students to campus for a ten-week period each summer to conduct cutting edge research in chemistry. The main focus UCI's Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (Chem-SURF) program is to introduce students to faculty-mentored and collaborative research in the chemical sciences. Twenty-two faculty mentors with research projects in the areas of chemical biology, chemical physics, analytical, atmospheric, bioinorganic, bioorganic, computational (theoretical), inorganic, materials, organic, physical, polymer, and surface chemistry will be available to the REU students. In addition to their core research projects, students will be attending several seminar sessions designed to develop their research, communication, and professional interaction skills and several field trips and tours will be arranged to local companies and organizations.
The NSF REU program in the Chemistry Department at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) had 32 Faculty Research Mentors with expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, Nanotechnology, and Physics. Thus there was a wide range of cutting edge interdisciplinary research projects from which the participants could select.These types of research projects serve to encourage and to inspire the REU participants to attend graduate school in one of the STEM disciplines and to pursue science as a career. From 545 applicants the UCI NSF REU Program selected 55 participants, 24 of whom were supported by NSF. Non-NSF funds were obtained in order to support the other 31 REU particioants who included students from Germany and Italy. The 55 participants, some with disabilitties, were a diverse group in terms of ethnicity, gender, being from institutions with little or no opportunity for undergraduate research, being members of underrepresened groups, and being from various socioeconomic levels. After receiving their undergraduate degrees many of our REU participants entered graduate schools and some received awards, fellowships, and scholarships to cover the costs of their graduate education. The UCI REU participants presented the results of their research at local, regional, and national scientific meetings including the National Meetings of the American Chemical Society (ACS), as well as having their research results published in peer reviewed scientific journals.