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Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU): Celebration of the 600th REU Student at the Penn-MRSEC

In 2015 we will celebrate the arrival of our 600th REU student in our NSF-supported REU program. This program started in 1989 with a small grant that supported 5 minority students. Over the following 26 years, we have averaged 23 students/yr by supplementing our MRSEC–supported students with an additional DMR REU Site grant that supported 10 students per year and some individual faculty contributions. Overall, 61% of our students were from under-represented groups (39% minority and 43% women) in STEM departments. Since the inception of the MRSEC program in 1997, 44% of these students have come from small colleges, which had no graduate research programs in the student’s discipline.

Every effort is made to track our students after they graduate and statistically we have observed that approximately 80-85% of our graduating students go on to STEM graduate programs with a small proportion of them going to medical school. The other 15-20% go into industry or academic staff positions with only a few being undecided when surveyed. Many of these students co-author archived papers or are listed as co-authors on conference proceedings with 57 or more papers published from 2005-13, i.e. ~27% of the students became co-authors (excluding those named on conference proceedings.)


Past 10 years of UPENN REU students

Past 10 years of REU students.