REU Program | LSU Chemical Engineering

REU Program

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Chemical Engineering REU Program
Developing entrepreneurs in energy storage, catalysis, and biofuels


Now accepting applications for the 2020 program!


The Cain Department of Chemical Engineering hosts a summer REU program. The 10-week program introduces students to the nature of research-oriented careers in chemical engineering with a special emphasis on entrepreneurship and how advances in basic science can be transitioned to practice. Participants are matched with faculty mentors based on student interest. Weekly seminars, field trips, and workshops provide students with research skill development and professional development topics such as ethics, patents, and intellectual property. Students will also receive direct mentoring on entrepreneurship from faculty who have successfully launched start-up companies and mentors from the LSU Innovation Park. Many events occur in conjunction with concurrent LSU summer undergraduate programs in physics, computational science, and biomedical science.


  • You must be an undergraduate student in any academic year (freshman through senior) at the time of the summer program.
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

To Apply

  • The application form
  • A one-page personal statement. This should include your academic background, your interests, and your tentative career plans. The statement should indicate why you feel REU participation would benefit you and your future plans; also, describe how you believe you can contribute to your mentor’s research. If applicable, you are welcome to describe prior undergraduate research experience, as well as any other information that you feel may be useful in our assessment. Finally, please indicate if you have a preferred topic area (energy storage, catalysis, or biofuels).
  • Current college transcript(s). A scanned copy of an official transcript is acceptable; please scan with at least 200 dpi resolution and format as a pdf file. If your school provides you with online access to your transcript or degree audit, a PDF printout of this may also be acceptable. In either case, the electronic copy of your transcript must be directly traceable to your school register. A handwritten list of courses, or a copied transcript modified by hand/typewriter/computer will not be accepted.
  • Letters of support from 2-3 professors (see instructions for letter writers below).

All application materials (except the letters of support) should be submitted as a single pdf document by email to We will try to send an acknowledge receipt for all materials received by email. The application can also be sent by mail to:

REU Program Director
LSU Chemical Engineering
3307 Patrick F. Taylor Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Instructions for Letter of Support Writers

A substantial part of our evaluation will be based on your written letter. Please use this letter to describe the student’s qualifications for participating in an REU program. Items of particular interest include:

  • Scholastic aptitude;
  • Work ethic and maturity;
  • Motivation and aptitude for research;
  • Particular strengths or weaknesses;
  • Ability to flourish in group or semi-independent situations;
  • Whether you would choose to work with this student as a research mentor;
  • How well you know the applicant; and
  • Relative ranking of applicant among his/her peers.

Please submit a letter of support (preferably on departmental letter head) as a pdf document by email to In the subject line of the email please indicate the name of the student whom you are writing a letter on behalf of. Email submission is preferred, but we will also accept letters by mail at:

REU Program Director
LSU Chemical Engineering
3307 Patrick F. Taylor Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Confidentiality: Reference letters will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act. Students are asked on their application to waive the right to review reference letters, and are instructed to notify you if they do not waive this right. Only the REU program director, department faculty assisting with applicant evaluations, and the REU student’s faculty mentor will view the reference letters.

Stipends – Lodging – Travel Expenses

  • This is a paid program with a stipend of $4800 to cover the cost of groceries, on- or off-campus dining, and other personal expenses.
  • REU participants will be lodged in university housing at no direct expense to you. The housing is apartment style, with individual bedrooms and a common living area and kitchen. The apartments include utilities, internet, washer/dryer, and basic cable. Your roommates with be other participants in the CHE REU and other summer science programs.
  • Up to $450 per student is available to assist with travel expenses to get to LSU at the beginning of the program and to return to your home or school at the end of the summer.

Program Calendar – Summer 2020

March 16 → complete applications are due by this date (late applications will be accepted as space permits)

April 1 → acceptance notifications will be sent around this date

May 1 → matching of participants with mentors will be finalized; travel arrangements should be completed

May 18 → first day of summer 2020 program

July 24 → last day of summer 2020 program

REU Program Director

For all questions, please contact

Dr. Michael Benton – (225) 578-3056
Dr. Adam Melvin – (225) 578-3062

Mailing Address
REU Program Director
LSU Chemical Engineering
3307 Patrick F. Taylor Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Program Funding

Our REU Program is funded by two awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) EEC 1852544 and EEC 1560305. We thank the NSF for their support.

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