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Rice UniversityCBEN
Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology

NSF Nanotechnology Research Experience for Community College Students (NREU)

NSF LogoWant to do hands on science?

Interested in experiencing life in a research lab?

Curious about nanotechnology?

Program Dates: June 4 - August 10, 2012
Location: Rice University Campus
Application Deadline: March 16, 201
Program Coordinator: Dr. Carolyn Nichol, CBEN Associate Director for Education; SST Executive Director

The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) and the School Science and Technology Program (SST) at Rice University offers a summer program specifically designed to give hands-on research experience in one of the most exciting areas of scientific research: nanotechnology. This program is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are community college students in engineering and science disciplines, especially chemistry, biology, physics, bioengineering, chemical engineering, environmental engineering and electrical engineering.

The NREU program lets undergraduates work on independent research projects in a Rice lab for 10 weeks and present their work at a conference held at the end of the summer. In addition to providing a research experience, we have social events in which students can interact with one another and discuss any issues of importance to them regarding their career plans.

Program Benefits

Conduct research with leading faculty and graduate research mentors

  • Explore career and academic opportunities
  • Join a community of students and faculty who value diversity
  • Share in weekly social and professional networking sessions
  • Receive a minimum stipend of $6,000 over 10 wekks for the summer*

Research areas that students can become involved in include:

  • Synthesis and characterization of new nanomaterials including gold nanoshells, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots and nanosilver
  • The application of nanomaterials in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases
  • The application of nanomaterials for environmental cleanup and the implications of nanomaterials on the environment

What are the requirements?

  • It is suggested, but not required that applicants have taken at least two semesters of calculus, chemistry and calculus-based physics prior to the NREU.
  • Submit a completed application by the March 15 deadline
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation, one from a professor and the other from either a professor, advisor, or employer.
  • An interview at Rice University’s campus.

NREU 2010 Group

What is nanotechnology?

  • Materials made out of carbon stronger and more flexible than steel.
  • Electronics in computers and gaming consoles
  • Materials for the detection and treatment of cancer
  • New materials that help bones heal and replace teeth
  • Particles that can lead to inexpensive water purification systems
  • Additives to cosmetics and sunscreens


Send completed application packets via email to:

Marilu Campos (  Please include in the subject line:  2012 Summer NREU Application

Or Mail To: 

Rice University
NREU Program, MS63
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892

    • Note: Letters of recommendation may be mailed or emailed separately.


Contact Dr. Carolyn Nichol at  or 713-348-2672


*Limitations and restrictions may apply.