School of Polymer Science and Engineering
School of Polymer Science and Engineering
Q: How much is the stipend?
A: The stipend for 2021 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 Polymers. 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 teambuilding exercises with the other students.
Q: Will I interact with other undergraduate students?
A: Yes! We have planned a number of professional development and teambuilding 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 and 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 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, 2021.
Q: What are the application requirements?
A: Prospective REU participants must complete the online application. We also require an updated 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 Polymers 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.