Researchers in the University of New Orleans Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI) have been awarded a three-year, $404,828 grant from the National Science Foundation to re-establish a summer research program aimed at undergraduate students.
The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is a 10-week summer program that will allow students to work in research laboratories in the departments of chemistry, physics, biology and mechanical engineering, said John Wiley, professor of chemistry and director of UNO’s AMRI, a multidisciplinary materials institute that combines the interests of academic, government and industrial scientists.
Wiley, along with chemistry professor Viktor Poltavets, authored the grant.
“The overall goal of our REU program is to give the students a positive research and professional development experience while introducing them to both academic and industrial environments,” Wiley said. “Though independent research in academic labs will be the major REU focus, students will be allotted a unique experience where they get to shadow industrial researchers within a startup company, exposing them to business and research in an industrial setting.”
The students will get to observe researchers at Advano, InnoGenomics, Obatala and TMS Bioscience, which are housed on UNO’s campus and at Scale Innovations in New Orleans, Wiley said.
The grant, which ends Aug. 31, 2024, allows AMRI to restart the research initiative, which ended in 2018 because of lack of funding.