Research Areas

Each student will be selected to work on a specific project that is funded through a specific source, outlined below. Please visit the links below for more information about the research and faculty involved with each center or institute. You do not need to apply for specific funding, but if you have a preference to work with a particular area or certain faculty funded by the centers or institutes listed, please note this in your research statement. Applicants are considered for all projects based on interest selected in the online application. 

Research Areas/Funding Sources

  1. NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) focuses on mechanics of films and interfaces, engineering materials and techniques for biological studies at cellular scales, and interface mediated assembly assembly of soft materials.
  2. NSF Site Materials for Bioengineering Initiative Dedicated to Gateway Experiences - REU Site gives students opportunities to explore research in biomaterials - including drug delivery, tissue engineering, microfluidics and cells as membranes.
  3. The Rowland Institute at Harvard is dedicated to experimental science over a broad range of disciplines. Research in physics, chemistry, and biology has an emphasis on interdisciplinary work and development of new experimental tools. Rowland Junior Fellows can host 1 REU student each. 
  4. The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering aims to discover the engineering principles that Nature uses to build living things and to harnesses these insights to create biologically inspired materials and devices that will revolutionize healthcare and create a more sustainable world. Each Wyss Core Faculty can host 1 REU student. 
  5. Team Research in Computational and Applied Mathematics (TriCAM) - Participants will gain experience in real-world collaborative problem solving, and will be challenged to apply mathematics and computation to tackle team projects posed by Harvard faculty and industrial partners. Projects will involve the application of computational and mathematical tools such as machine learning, data analysis, and numerical simulation to solve problems in fields including geoscience, medicine, materials science, and the social sciences. Participants will be selected for teams based on their individual academic strenghts and for their potential fit as a member of a team and for a particular project. 

  6. NSF Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Program: Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data - This project is a broad, multidisciplinary effort to help enable the collection, analysis, and sharing of personal data for research in social science and other fields while providing privacy for individual subjects.
  7. Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) is an NSF Science and Technology Center studying extraordinary new quantum materials with striking ‘non- conventional’ properties with the promise to transform signal processing and computation. Open to students at CIQM College Network Partners only - visit for more details.
  8. NSF National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) at the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard  - The Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) at Harvard is a node of the NNCI, a network of nanotechnology user facilities. Areas of current exploration at CNS include photonics and optical computing, biomimetics, low-temperature physics, graphene and other 2-D materials, diamond-based nanoscale sensors and computing elements, photovoltaics, fuel cells, energy storage, and many more.

  9. NSF 2-D Atomic-layer Research and Engineering (2-DARE) - This project explores novel electronic, optoelectronic, magnetoelectronic, and plasmonic phenomena in 2-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures.

  10. Other Opportunities - Many of our participating faculty have other opportunities in related areas such as alternative energy, bioengineering, and computer science. Please specify your research interest.