REU at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Brownsville, Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Texas RioGrande Valley
Location: Browsville, Texas
Salary: $6,000 / 10 weeks
$6,000. For non-local students a travel reimbursement up to $800, free accommodation and a food allowance will be provided.
The REU/RET program is offered as an in-person experience with hands-on access to the research.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) established the Research experience for undergraduates (REU) to increase the opportunities for students who are perusing a degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This program allows students to participate in a broader spectrum of projects that would otherwise not be available to them. The NSF awarded The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) a renewal of a grant (#2244167) that will allow UTRGV to engage in high impact practices that will offer student research opportunities in relevant state-of-the-art research topics mentored by UTRGV physics faculty members. The most prominent change in the renewed grant is that NSF approved the extension of the program with undergraduate participants from Fine Arts into the REU cohort. The program now includes 2 Fine Arts major students in the cohort, changing the dynamic from a strictly STEM program into a STEAM REU that helps interpret Artistic theory and practice using the sciences. This REU program at UTRGV now represents a true interdisciplinary summer program that benefits underrepresented students and is located at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Integrating the art component to the REU exposes the Art students to research that they would normally never be exposed to and helps with their professional development, and exposing the science students to the Arts helps expand their horizons fostering interdisciplinary collaboration between departments.
The program supports a cohort consisting of 12 students, 6 local UTRGV students and 6 National students. Having half of the students from the Rio Grande Valley provides the framework for an organic cultural exchange where the local students show the visiting REU students the area, promoting the local region and in a sense serve as ambassadors to the Rio Grande Valley while they are also exposed to the background of the visiting students. The cohort has planned lunch meetings that are done daily, scheduled field trips, and talks by visiting faculty or program mentors. The REU students are also encouraged to speak about their research and give short presentations during the REU to practice presenting their summer projects.
The REU has a 10-week duration and during that time they will prepare to have a poster presentation, while the art students also have a poster presentation that they must present they also have a finished piece of art as a deliverable. We encourage the local students to present their research at conferences and the College of Science Research Symposium in April, these things help the students build up their CV and learn practical knowledge on how to present.
The program provides educational and outreach aspects to local and visiting students and promotes diversity by exchanging cultural, scientific, and creative thoughts on a peer level basis.
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