This award from the Division of Chemistry (CHE) supports the renewal of an International Research Experiences for Undergraduates (iREU) site between the University of Florida and France for the summers of 2012-2014. This renewal involves Morehouse College, a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI). The U.S. program will be under the overall direction of Professors Adrian E. Roitberg, Valeria D. Kleiman, and Daniel Talham of UF and Professor James P. Brown, of Morehouse College. The focus of the program provides an extended international summer research project in materials chemistry. It starts each year with a spring pre-departure meeting in the US in order to prepare participants for their extended stay abroad. The length of the program allows for meaningful contributions to research projects that will lead to peer review publications with undergraduate co-authorship. US faculty will also be in France each summer to provide on-site mentoring. This is made possible through invited professor positions contributed by French partners. Students are distributed in groups of at least 2 per research site spread over 3 different sites (Paris, Toulouse and Strasbourg) and assigned to research groups according to their previous experience and application statements. The students will have the opportunity to disseminate their research results to a broad audience at the undergraduate poster session at the American Chemical Society National Spring meeting following the summer research experience.
The proposed i-REU Site will provide a high-level research experience, allow the participants a deep cultural immersion with an opportunity to learn another culture, and prepare for the increasing impact of European unification on US science. The very successful partnership with Morehouse College in the US is continuing, which has provided access to a large pool of talented underrepresented minority undergraduates. The impact of this program is measured by the increased number of underrepresented STEM groups participating in the program who are from diverse communities. The majority of the students going to France will not be from the University of Florida. Participants will have previous research experiences with backgrounds in chemistry, biochemistty or physics. As a true exchange program and through a collection of French and UF funding, a similar number of French students will be brought to the US to perform research at UF's chemistry department, increasing the internationalization of the undergraduate and PhD programs.