Tuesday, January 24, 2012

REU Virginia Tech Water and Engineering


National Science Foundation
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site


Virginia Tech – Application Deadline February 24, 2012 (Friday)

Program Description: Applications are invited from qualified and motivated undergraduate students (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors – engineering and science majors) from all U.S. colleges/universities to participate in a 10-week summer research in interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering at Virginia Tech. U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents are eligible to apply. The research program is funded through the National Science Foundation – Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) program. This NSF REU site has successfully hosted a total of 36 undergraduate researchers in summers of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

YouTube videos from 2011 REU Site work:


Successful applicants (hereafter referred to as REU fellows) will join one of the ongoing research projects in water sciences and engineering and conduct research under the supervision of Virginia Tech faculty and graduate students. Research projects address issues related to sustainable management of water resources and water infrastructure, and facilitate opportunities of field research, laboratory work and testing of theoretical concepts. See Appendices 1 and 2 for list of faculty advisors and typical 2012 summer research projects, respectively.

The summer research program is complemented by other professional activities. For example, REU fellows will attend weekly forums and participate in field trips. Speakers at these forums will include VT faculty members, graduate students and experts from water industry and government. These weekly forums provide an excellent opportunity to REU fellows to learn about commonalities between their various research projects, interact with each other and with research mentors. REU fellows will make frequent presentations to their peers about their research progress and ultimately prepare a research report in collaboration with their research mentors suitable for conference presentation and/or publishing in a refereed journal or other appropriate publications.

Social interaction and networking is a major goal of the program. Several social activities are organized to encourage informal personal interaction between REU Fellows and the research team and the larger university community. See Appendix 3 for possible recreational activities.

Financial Support: The 10-week internship will begin on June 03, 2012 (arrival day) at Virginia Tech and end on August 10, 2012 (departure day: Aug. 10 or 11). The research internship includes a stipend of $450/week, subsistence costs (dormitory and most of the meals) and round trip travel expenses, limited to a maximum of $500 per person, to Virginia Tech.

Application: The deadline to receive all application materials is February 24, 2012. Submit via surface mail or email the following documents:

  1. Application form (see Application form below).
  2. A 300-word essay about your interest in water/environment research and professional goals, and indicate top two choices of summer research project and include a brief justification (see Appendix 2 below). The justification should be part of your essay.
  3. Two letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes. Letters should address candidate’s motivation, enthusiasm, reliability, teamwork and personality. Letters can be emailed directly to Dr. Lohani. See email address below.
  4. College transcripts in a sealed envelope from the university registrar’s office.

Successful applicants will be announced by March 12, 2012. For questions, please contact:

Dr. Vinod K. Lohani, NSF REU Program Director, e-mail: vlohani@vt.edu; phone: 540/231-9545; fax: 540/231-6903