Overview

Opportunity Description

Scenes from the CNF REU programDuring the summer of 2020, the following four entities -- Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility (CNF), Center for Transportation, Environment & Community Health (CTECH), Keeping the Ezra Promise (KEP), and Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials (PARADIM) -- will sponsor Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs from June through August. Engineering and science students with broad interests across disciplines focusing on nanotechnology are eligible to apply (see restrictions and eligibility requirements) to the CNF, KEP and PARADIM Programs. (CTECH is not included in this application process having already filled their internship.)

The undergraduates taking part in these ten-week programs will receive hands-on nanoscience and technology experience through research, with applications to bio-engineering, chemistry, electronics, materials science, optics, optoelectronics, physics, and the life sciences -- and transportation/civil engineering! The research projects are designed and supervised by faculty and technical staff. Interns then work with their assigned faculty and graduate students on projects, using the unique resources offered by each program. A convocation is held in August to allow interns the opportunity to present their work to their peers in a concise scientific presentation. Interns also must complete a written report, akin to a research paper, summarizing the findings of their research project. These reports are published and distributed to the interns and sites, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and many others.

Participants receive a $5,000 stipend, plus housing and reasonable travel expenses. Full participation in the ten-week program, convocation(s), final reporting, and program evaluation is mandatory.

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Cornell NanoScale Science & Technology Facility (CNF) is a national user facility that supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology projects by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff support. CNF has been serving the science and engineering community since 1977! REU research at CNF encompasses chemistry, nanoscale electronics, materials processing, physical sciences, engineering, and life sciences. Our REU Program has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Over 700 users per year (50% of whom come from outside Cornell) use the fabrication, synthesis, computation, characterization, and integration resources of CNF to build structures, devices, and systems from atomic to complex length-scales. CNF REU interns get to interact with researchers from academia and industry, work with Cornell faculty and graduate students, learn hands-on nanofabrication processes, train on a variety of nanofab tools, and become independent nanoscale researchers in their own right. The first two weeks of our ten-week program include intense user training, including attending our short course, Technology & Characterization at the Nanoscale (CNF TCN), and attending our three-part New User Training. The summer will conclude by joining interns from all over the country who take part in the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) REU Convocation at The University of Texas at Austin.

Center for Transportation, Environment and Community Health (CTECH) pursues research and innovation to support sustainable mobility of people and goods while preserving the environment and improving community health. It leverages behavioral and economic sciences, epidemiology, information technology, and environmental and transportation sciences and technologies to address critical issues falling under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act's priority area of Preserving the Environment: greenhouse gas reduction, use of alternative fuels and energy technologies, environmentally responsible planning, and impacts of freight movement. CTECH's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is a summer research opportunity at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Again, the CTECH internship has already been filled for 2020.

Keeping the Ezra Promise (KEP): Any Person, Any Study -- A Plan to Make STEM more Inclusive at Cornell University. Cornell founders Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White founded a university where "any person" could get educated in "any study" -- women, students of color, rural farmhands, and first-generation immigrant children could attend Cornell University to educate themselves in any subject they desired. In a letter dated February 17, 1867, Ezra Cornell stated that he wanted to have girls educated at the university as well as boys, so that they could have the same opportunities. And in 1874, Andrew Dickson White took the bold stance that the just 9-year-old university would accept students of color even if the 500 enrolled white students "asked for dismissal on this account." Cornell's commitment to diversity has not wavered in the intervening 140 years. Today, roughly half the incoming engineering Cornell freshmen are women, but there is a lack of parity between U.S. populations of people of color, socio-economically disadvantaged, and first-generation college students, and their enrollment in science and engineering majors in four-year colleges, including Cornell. The Keeping the Ezra Promise (KEP) Program specifically addresses this disconnect by following their undergraduate interns from sophomore to senior year, and on to graduate school. In the first stage, sophomores are connected with graduate students and faculty through research experiences. The following year, a second cadre of sophomores is mentored, while the first stage students (now juniors) move to a professional development phase of their mentoring program. In the third year, we mentor a third cadre of sophomores, concurrently with stage 2 juniors and stage 1 seniors. Seniors will be prepared for graduate school and coached in applications and fellowship writing. By year four, our first stage of sophomores will -- we hope -- have joined a graduate program. Program "graduates" will be encouraged to mentor the next cycle of undergraduates and hence set up a continuous pipeline that reinforces their promotion from undergraduate to graduate student. This arrangement allows the newly transitioned graduate students to continue their leadership and mentoring development. Success creating more URM faculty would further reinforce the pipeline by encouraging their own future undergraduate students to "Keep the Ezra Promise."

Find the Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials, PARADIM, at https://www.paradim.org/reu/cornell