Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Physics & Astronomy

Undergraduate Program

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Admissions for Summer 2019 (Our summer 2019 program will run May 20 - July 27, subject to renewal of NSF funding.)


We host a summer REU program in Physics & Astronomy. The 10-week program introduces students to the nature of research-oriented careers in physics & astronomy, and fosters development of research-related skills and knowledge. Participants are matched with faculty mentors based on student interests. Weekly seminars, field trips and workshops provide students with additional skills development, professional development topics such as ethics and patents/intellectual property, and an introduction to common research resources. Many events occur in conjunction with concurrent LSU summer undergraduate science programs in space science, computational science, and biomedical sciences.

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Research Information

Sample Project Descriptions

Prospective Mentors*

Ivan Agullo (quantum gravity)

Jeff Blackmon (experimental nuclear physics)

Tabetha Boyajian (observational astronomy)

Dana Browne (statistical mechanics, condensed matter theory)

Manos Chatzopoulos (theoretical astrophysics)

Michael Cherry (High Energy Astrophysics)

Thomas Corbitt (experimental general relativity)

Catherine Deibel (experimental nuclear physics)

Joyoni Dey (medical physics)

Peter Diener (computational physics, numerical relativity)

John DiTusa (experimental condensed matter)

Jon Dowling (quantum science and technology)

Jerry Draayer (theoretical nuclear physics)

Gabriela Gonzalez (gravitation, LIGO)


*Not all faculty may be available each summer

Greg Guzik (balloon-based experimental astrophysics)

Robert Hynes (astronomy)

Rongying Jin (experimental condensed matter)

Thomas Kutter (neutrino physics)

Kristina Launey (nuclear physics theory)

Scott Marley (Experimental Nuclear Physics)

Omar Magana-Loaiza (optical physics, quantum optics, and quantum information)

Kip Matthews (medical physics)

Juana Moreno (computational, condensed matter theory)

Dan Sheehy (theoretical condensed matter and atomic physics)

Parampreet Singh (quantum gravity)

Wei-Hsung Wang (applied health physics)

David Young (experimental condensed matter)



Areas of Research Available in the Department


Local and Regional Resources


  • You must be an undergraduate student in any academic year (freshman through senior) at the time of the summer program.
  • You don't need to have a declared major, but you must have already completed the introductory physics sequence at your school.
  • Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to be supported by our NSF funding.

To Apply

  • Your application comprises:
    • A completed online application
    • A Self-statement, up to 1 page in length:
      The 1-page Self-statement should describe 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 topic. If applicable, you are welcome to describe prior undergraduate research experience, as well as any other information that you feel may be useful to our assessment. Finally, please indicate if you have a preferred mentor or topic area. (Note, however, that final mentor assignment occurs after selection of participants.)
    • Your current college transcript(s):
      Unofficial transcripts are acceptable, for instance a scanned copy of an official transcript,  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 registrar. A handwritten list of courses, or a copied transcript modified by hand/typewriter/computer, will not be accepted.
    • Letters of reference from 2-3 professors. The information file can be downloaded and given to your professors.
  • All application materials must be sent to the REU program director. Please send all materials by e-mail to ( We will try to acknowledge receipt of all materials received by email. If an item cannot be sent electronically, please mail it to:  REU Program Director, Louisiana State University, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, 202 Nicholson Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001

Stipends - Lodging - Traveling Expenses

  • You are paid a program stipend of $5,000 to cover the cost of groceries, on- or off-campus dining, and other personal expenses.
  • You are 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 will be participants in the Physics REU and other summer science programs.
  • Up to $700 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

  • February 1  →  complete applications are due by this date (late applications will be accepted as space permits).
  • February 23  →  acceptance notifications will be sent around this date.
  • May 1  →  matching of participants to mentors will be finalized; travel arrangements should be completed.
  • May 20  →  first day of Summer 2019 Program (Arrive in Baton Rouge)
  • July 26 →  Summer Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF), poster presentations from all students in the LSU's STEM summer research programs.
  • July 27→  last day of Summer 2019 Program (Depart Baton Rouge)

*The Physics REU sites will utilize a common deadline of March 2, 2019, for students to accept or decline first round offers at domestic (non-international) sites. Sites may send offers to students at any time before this, but students will not be required to decide before this common date. Because of necessary organizational lead time, international REU sites may require earlier acceptance dates.


Dr. Rob Hynes - (225) 578 -7459  
Dr. Rongying Jin - (225) 578 - 0028

Mailing Address:

REU Program Director, Louisiana State University

Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, 202 Nicholson Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001

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