Application and Acceptance

What is an REU?
An REU is typically a Research Experience for Undergraduates that is funded through the National Science Foundation. The CURE REU program has been running each summer since 2007!

What is unique about the CURE-REU program?
Each of CURE’s fundamental science research projects strives to light the way toward breakthrough technologies for tomorrow’s clean energy solutions. Each project is a collaboration between 2 REU students working in different labs and possibly different departments. Students will learn how to work in a team and utilize each other’s strengths to tackle big problems. Examples of the collaborative projects include:

Fuel Cells and Batteries — design and synthesis of membranes and polymers for enhanced ion transport; theoretical modeling; fabrication of fuel cells and batteries;

Photovoltaic Devices — design and synthesis of molecular structures with enhanced exciton lifetimes, charge transport, and mobility; directed molecular assembly, fabrication, and analysis of devices;

Cellulosic Biofuels — chemical and biological conversion of recalcitrant biomass to liquid transportation fuels.

Who can apply?
Applicants must have permanent resident status in the US or be a US citizen.

How long is the program?
The 2021 program is 10 weeks it runs from May 31st to Aug 6th.

How will it be decided what group I join?
Your application will be evaluated by a group of faculty at UMass on a rolling basis. It is recommended to not wait until the deadline to submit your application. We will try our best to place accepted REU students into their preferred group.

When will I hear if I have been accepted?
Accepted students will be contacted between March 2 – 9, 2021. Students will then have a stated deadline to accept the terms of the REU and commit to being on campus during the dates of the program. There is the possibility that additional students will be accepted after March 9.

Who do I contact for general inquiries?
Please address all inquiries to

Are there any pre-requisites?
There is no minimum GPA nor is there any requirement to be a chemistry major.

How many students are accepted to the program?
Ten students are accepted into the program each year.

Arrival, Housing, and Food

What kind of housing is there?
Housing is provided on campus in the North Apartments, which are conveniently located near the science buildings at the north-end of campus.

Are linens provided?
Linens are provided, but you will need to bring your own pillows, blankets, and towels.

Is there a dining/meal plan included?
We are happy to provide a meal plan of 100 meals. There are also kitchenette’s in the dorms to prepare meals. There are multiple grocery stores nearby campus.

Will I be able to park my car on campus?
Yes! When you check into the dorms you will be able to obtain a parking pass.

How do I arrange flights/transportation to campus?
The local airport is Bradley located in Connecticut. Amtrak is also a viable option as there is a train station in Springfield, MA and Northampton, MA. Shuttle transportation is available from the airport and train stations. The cost of transportation will be reimbursed. Participants will be contacted by Dr. Paradise to arrange the exact details.

Daily Routine

How many hours will I need to work each week?
The total expected hours per week will vary, but typically this is capped at 40 hours. This number may vary based on the experiments you are running. Time spent in workshops and group meetings count towards this time.

Will I present anything at the end of the program?
Yes, the REU programs on campus gather to present their work to the public on the last Friday of the program. Participants will be working on this poster and developing effective presentation skills throughout the 10-wk program.

When are the weekly meetings?
There are meetings each Tuesday and Thursday. Please check the schedule for exact details. These are required workshops and seminars.

How much is the stipend for the summer?
The stipend is $5500 plus housing and a limited meal plan.

When can I expect to be paid?
We will do our best to ensure participants receive at least a portion of their stipend within the first week of the program.

Do I need to bring my own goggles and lab coat?
No, we will provide you with whatever safety equipment is necessary for the research you will be performing. You will receive goggles during the mandatory laboratory safety training session with Environmental Health and Safety.

Living in Amherst

Are there any external activities planned?
The only planned external event is a final picnic the last weekday of the program. Otherwise, there are a large number of events that occur over the summer locally and further afield in Springfield, Boston, and New York. These are no NSF or UMass sanctioned activities planned that occur off-campus.

What can you do in the Amherst area?
There are many options. There are excellent hiking and biking trails in the area. Many restaurants and breweries are located in the surrounding towns. Throughout the summer a variety of festivals take place in the valley. We also have a number of museums to visit.

What sort of public transportation is there?
There is a bus system that runs in the area called PVTA. They have an app called PVTrAck available for Android and iOS. The website is: Specifically check out the Amherst/Palmer/Ware routes. You would primarily use the 30, 31, 33, and B43.

Where can I buy food?
There are a number of grocery stores in Hadley such as Big Y, Stop & Shop, WholeFoods, Aldi, and Trader Joes. We also some local grocery stores such as Atkins Farms, too.