Skip to main content

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Chemistry Connections for Community College Students at the University of California, San Diego (4 Cs at UCSD)

Are you a community college student from San Diego County who is interested in chemical research?  We welcome your application to participate in our newly funded NSF-REU program! 

Program Overview

Starting in 2015, our '4cs @ UCSD' program offers 10 first year (or the equivalent) students attending the extensive network of two-year colleges within commuting distance of UC San Diego an intensive and integrated early undergraduate research experience in the chemical sciences, at the frontiers of materials synthesis, human health and disease, energy and environmental science. Prior research experience is neither required nor expected. Students will work closely with faculty and graduate students on a research project related to their interests. And "local" has its advantages - including extended time for research, training, and mentoring!

Overall, it is intended that our National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site will serve to: 1) broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in undergraduate research; 2) enable the successful transition of community college students from associate degrees to baccalaureate and graduate programs in the chemical sciences; 3) engage graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in a mentoring process that leads to more effective and inclusive research training and practices; and, 4) expand access to key academic resources - people, facilities, and programs, and thus, opportunities for authentic collaborations and curricular innovations linking research and education at UC San Diego and local two-year colleges. Collectively, these initiatives will contribute to the growth of the science pipeline, the progress of chemical research and educational reform, and the achievement of national goals to recruit and retain a more diverse scientific network.

Program Timeline

The program spans a year, starting with an orientation to research in the late Spring, followed by a research placement in the Summer and Fall, and enrichment activities that extend to the next Spring.

Recruitment and research seminars will be hosted at local community colleges in early Winter.. Please visit our website again soon for more details!  

Program Features

  • Extended resesarch experience (summer and academic year): Students will commit to a research apprenticeship that spans 10-weeks of summer, 5 days per week, and 10-weeks of Fall (late September-early December), 1-day per week or weekend) at UCSD.
  • Enrichment activities: Students will participate in other program activities, including:
    • Spring: Introduction to research skills
    • Summer: Professional skills workshops, faculty research seminars/luncheons, an industrial field trip, and group socials.
    • Fall: Information panel on the University Transfer Process
    • Winter: Industrial field trip
    • Spring: Presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in Chemistry at UCSD. Travel awards to attend the ACS National Meeting will be given to the top two research posters.
  • Mentorship and community building: Students will have access to an extended academic network and a mentorship team comprising both UCSD and community college faculty.
  • Financial Support: A stiped of $5000 (summer) and $1000 (academic year) will be granted. Campus parking passes will also be provided.
  • Additional opportunities: Students may earn academic credit for research completed during the Fall quarter through UCSD Extension. (Note that the program does not cover enrollment fees.)