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Undergraduate Summer Research Program Expanded

National Science Foundation Funds Two Additional Undergraduate Summer Research Projects at UCR

Students from across the nation get a chance to do bioanalytical and nanoscience research.

(March 9, 2006)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — The National Science Foundation will spend $525,000 to pay for 20 undergraduate students from across the nation to do research this summer in bioanalytical sciences or nanomaterials and devices at the University of California, Riverside.

The latest grants include $225,000 in support of bioanalytical sciences research at the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS) and $300,000 for nanomaterials and devices research at the Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE).

Both grants are for three years and will team researchers from both colleges under the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at NSF, according to UCR officials. The campus has offered an REU site in plant cell biology for four years, which last year received an extension to 2010.

“Our two new NSF sponsored REU sites in bioanalytic science and nanomaterials and devices will demonstrate to students nationwide UCR's excellent research base in science and engineering and its strong support of undergraduate research,” said Christian Foster, director of undergraduate research at BCOE.

Professor of Chemistry Cynthia Larive is the principal investigator of the Bioanalytical Sciences REU Site. Bioanalytical science is the development of new measurement approaches in biology.

“We will host eight undergraduate students, pairing them with faculty in analytical chemistry, physics or chemical engineering to develop new technology leading to important breakthroughs in our understanding of complex biological processes,” Larive said.

Professor of Electrical Engineering Alexander Balandin is the principal investigator of the Nanomaterials and Devices REU Site. Nanoscience involves structures and devices at a scale of 100,000 times smaller than a human hair.

“We will offer 12 participating undergraduate students a wide variety of cutting-edge nanotechnology-related projects ranging from synthesis and characterization of nanostructures to design and fabrication of novel electronic and spintronic devices,” Balandin said.

“I am sure this NSF REU site will become a center of excellence in undergraduate research and will improve UCR’s visibility among undergraduate students nationwide,” he added.

The selected research topics give the students an opportunity to carry out hands-on experimental work as well as theoretical and computer simulation research.

The nanoscience team includes professors from two colleges and seven departments — electrical engineering, chemical and environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, biology, chemistry, physics and neuroscience.

Applications for the two new programs are due by March 31. Selected students will work at UCR from June 19 through Aug. 25, 2006. UCR will provide each participating student housing at the university’s International Village apartments, a food allowance and a $4,000 stipend. For students from outside the Southern California region, funds are available to offset travel costs.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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