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Research Areas

Each student will be selected to work on a 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. 


2021 Research Areas/Funding Sources

NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) 

Study the mechanics of films and interfaces, design and test materials for soft robotics, and engineer materials and techniques for biological studies at cellular scales.

NSF REU Site in Biomaterials and Bioengineering (BRIDGE)

Conduct research in biomaterials, including drug delivery, tissue engineering, microfluidics, and cells as materials.​


Privacy Tools Project and Open Differential Privacy

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-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

The Rowland Institute 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

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)

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 the CIQM website for more details.

This summer, CIQM is also offering sponsorship for the C2QA internship offered by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) from June 14-July 9, 2021. If you are interested in being considered for this sponsorship, please enter "C2QA" in the Other field on the Research Interests page on your Embark application. This sponsorship is not limited to college network schools.

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.