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. 

2019 Research Areas/Funding Sources

  • 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.
  • NSF Site Materials for Bioengineering Initiative Dedicated to Gateway Experiences Conduct research in biomaterials, including drug delivery, tissue engineering, microfluidics, and cells as materials.​
  • NSF Privacy Tools - Join a 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. Positions contingent on funding.
  • 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.
  • NSF Quantum Cascade Lasers as High-Speed Wireless Communication Devices - This project aims at a radical reinvention of the quantum cascade laser: instead of using the emitted infrared radiation from the laser, light can be trapped inside the laser cavity to generate elusive microwave and terahertz frequencies - such waves may be used to transmit communication signals from the laser.

  • NSF-Simons Center for Mathematical and Statistical Analysis of Biology  - This Center focuses on understanding how molecular networks in individual cells contribute to developmental decisions; discovering how proteins and cells self-organize to produce intra-cellular structures, tissues, and organs; and understanding how biological systems adapt within and beyond the lifespan of individual organisms. Projects aim to advance knowledge of complex biological systems using mathematical and computational tools, developing new mathematics and statistics for the study of biology.

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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 on your application.