The highly competitive REU will accept 10 students each summer for 10-week, $5,000 positions from May through July, housing the students in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments off the Glassboro campus.
The REU introduces underrepresented populations in STEM, first-generation college students and undergraduates who don’t have research opportunities at their own institutions not only to participate in cutting-edge research but also to open them to such possibilities as earning Ph.D. degrees. The program’s goal is to train the next generation of scientists and engineers in areas highly relevant to healthcare and mentor them toward obtaining doctoral degrees.
Byrne said, “It’s about exciting that talent pool to ignite their passion for scientific discovery. They’re going to see real science being done, and they’re going to contribute to it.”
Among the research they will conduct with Rowan professors and physicians will be creating materials for new medical devices that mimic biology, finding safer means to deliver medicines more effectively and lessen their neurological impact, developing artificial blood vessels to study and potentially treat Alzheimer’s disease and other brain and cardiovascular maladies, and other projects. In addition to conducting hands-on research, students also will participate in professional development, mentoring and social opportunities. They also will mentor youth attending Rowan Engineering’s summer programs for high school students.
“The REU students will receive a holistic experience with training in a number of areas,” Staehle said. “We are really preparing them to become world-class researchers.”
While the REU experience expands horizons for students, the REU also benefits Rowan. “It brings in a number of talented students. It provides exposure of our cutting-edge research to other universities when the students return to their campuses and it increases applications for our graduate and professional programs,” Byrne said.
He added, “We have a mission to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers. This type of program will do precisely that, and we have a great team of faculty who are best in their fields to train them.”