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As prospective REU participants, you might be interested to learn more about the department, university, and region you could be spending time in as a summer researcher.

Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is a lively place, featuring an energetic, friendly, close-knit group of about 60 faculty members and 100 graduate students. Areas of active research include astronomy, biological physics, experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics, experimental and theoretical high energy physics, nuclear physics, and physics and astronomy education. Department faculty are also members of a number of focused and often interdisciplinary research centers, including the Center for Quantitative Biology, the Center for Emergent Materials, the Laboratory for Surface Modification, and the New High Energy Theory Center. Among other resources, department researchers are guaranteed a ~10% share of the observing time on the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), which is the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere. The deadline for applications to the department's graduate program, which features a new research-focused qualifying exam and a low student-to-faculty ratio, is January 1 every year.

Rutgers University

Rutgers is the State University of New Jersey, and has adopted as its tagline "Jersey Roots, Global Reach." The main New Brunswick/Piscataway campus (somewhat confusingly comprising five different "campuses" most easily navigated by free bus) is complemented by satellite campuses in Camden and Newark. A number of other REU or REU-like programs in different research areas also take place on campus every summer, so if you have classmates with interests different from yours, you may wish to bring this list to their attention: Note that participants in RISE (like participants in the physics and astronomy REU program) are eligible for support from a SUPER-Grad (Summer Pipeline to Excellence at Rutgers Graduate) Fellowship in their first year of graduate school if they apply to and are admitted to Rutgers.

Living in central New Jersey

New Jersey's nickname of the "Garden State" is more appropriate than you might think from its popular reputation, and from the central part of the state, you can get to the beach or to the Appalachian Trail in a relatively short drive. For those with more urban tastes, New York is less than an hour away from New Brunswick by train, and Philadelphia is not much farther (albeit requiring a change in Trenton). Newark Liberty is the closest major airport and is conveniently on the same train line that connects New Brunswick and New York.

Last edited December 1, 2020.