The long term goals of the Triangle MRSEC REU program are to maximize opportunities for undergraduate involvement MRSEC research, recruit diverse undergraduate students from across the country, and encourage and support future careers in materials science and engineering. Our 2012 class of REU students represented a diverse group of undergraduates with 50% females and 75% underrepresented minorities.
After the 2012 REU program, informal conversations founds that the students were satisfied with their research experience overall and were more likely to pursue a degree in materials science.
We have maintained ongoing interactions with these REU students to assess student outcomes. One REU enrolled in the PhD program at Duke in Spring 2013. Three additional REUs are applying to graduate school at Duke for Fall 2013. One excellent REU is reapplying to the MRSEC REU program for Summer 2013. One REU has co-authored a manuscript (Anal. Chem.) and another will be a co-author on a future manuscript. Two REUs, one from Duke and one from NCSU, presented posters at the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) REU conference in Arlington, VA (Oct. 21-22nd, 2012). These outcomes confirm that the Triangle MRSEC REU program serves as an influential stepping stone for supporting future graduate school and professional careers in STEM fields, particularly materials science and engineering.