Q: What are the dates of the Summer REU Program at Southern Miss?
A: It is a 10-week, full-time program. Dates for Summer 2020 are Tuesday, May 26th
– Friday, July 31st.Q: How much is the stipend?
A: The stipend for 2020 will be $6,000 given in three equal installments at the end
of May, June and July. This may be used for food and recreation. Housing will be
provided by Southern Miss.Q: My school is on the quarter system and I won't be finished until after the REU
program starts. Is it still possible for me to participate?
A: Yes! Specific arrangements are made on a case-by case basis.Q: What will I be doing during the REU program?
A: You will primarily be working on a real-world research project with your faculty
and graduate student mentors using state-of-the-art facilities available at the Southern
Miss School of Polymer Science and Engineering. You will attend a series of workshops
on modern polymer science and nanotechnology and learn valuable presentation skills
through biweekly research updates. You will also be taking field trips to local industries
and participating in team building exercises with the other students.Q: Will I interact with other undergraduate students?
A: Yes! We have planned a number of professional development and team building exercises
within our own REU program. Students will also interact with students from Southern
Miss REU programs in other departments, and with students within your faculty mentor’s
research group.Q: What about housing?
A: Housing and parking will be provided for REU participants in one of the nearby
residence halls on the Southern Miss campus free of charge. Each room is equipped
with a XL twin bed, a micro refrigerator, and microwave. Access to a kitchen is not
available in the residence halls. Students will also be provided with free membership
to the Payne Recreation Center located next to the Polymer Science Research Center
building.Q: What about food?
A: REU participants will be responsible for their own meals. We will provide a $250
meal card for on campus eateries. Unfortunately there is no access to a kitchen.
There are university summer meal plan options available as well as a number of on-campus
and off-campus restaurants and grocery stores.Q: Is there anything to do on the weekends?
A: Yes! There are many outdoor activities including canoeing and bicycling. The
Recreation Center has an indoor pool, weight room and aerobics facilities. Many of
our students take weekend trips to the Gulf Coast (one hour away) or to New Orleans
(about two hours away.) Q: What about travel expenses?
A: Travel expenses to and from the summer program will be reimbursed up to $350 per
participant (original receipts must be provided.) Q: Sign me up! When is the application deadline?
A: All complete applications must be received at our office by March 1, 2020.Q: What are the application requirements?
A: Prospective REU participants must complete the online application. We also require
an updated, official college transcript, and two letters of recommendation sent directly
to the department. No prior research experience is required. Students must be entering
their sophomore, junior, or senior years of college, and students from junior colleges
are encouraged to apply.Q: The School of Polymer Science and Engineering is a highly multidisciplinary department.
Is there a particular major you are looking for in summer REU students?
A: No. Many of our students are majoring in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials
science or another related field. Given the breadth of potential projects, there
is likely an excellent fit for you.Q: When do I find out if I am accepted?
A: Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by the end of March or early April.Q: When do I find out what projects I will be working on?
A: After a student is accepted into the REU program, they are carefully matched with
a faculty mentor. The student’s major, research interests and experience are taken
into consideration when making this project match. The accepted participant will
be notified as soon as possible when this match has been made.
Enrichment Activities & Team Building
Over the first two weeks of the summer REU students will participate in short courses
to provide a comprehensive background in basic polymer science while allowing students
to spend the majority of the time in the laboratory. The courses will be taught by
participating faculty mentors.
Each faculty mentor will meet with the students to discuss the focus of research
in his or her group during luncheons throughout the summer. Additionally, students
will regularly attend seminars by graduate students and featured speakers from academia
and industry in order to gain a broader understanding of graduate-level research.
Professional development seminars in subjects including presentation skills, scientific
writing, preparation for graduate school and career opportunities in polymer science
and engineering will be offered in lunch-time and evening formats.
Students will participate in bi-weekly presentation meetings throughout the summer
designed to improve scientific presentations skills, allow students to learn the art
of answering questions and develop student confidence in public speaking. Each student
will present his or her research before REU peers and faculty members during the summer.
Presentation sessions will take place in the evening, and will build throughout the
summer as students gain understanding of the field and obtain data. Students will
be provided encouragement and feedback in a positive manner to help develop effective
presentation skills. Students will also be provided training in writing research reports
and will be required to prepare and submit a final research paper.
Activities and Team Building:
Field trips to local industry including Hybrid Plastics, Western Container, and Nissan
facilities are planned. Along with the educational field trips the students will participate
in team building activities to build leadership, communication, confidence, and team
work skills. Trips to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans are also being planned.