Is a city of about a 200,000 inhabitants and situated on the Isere river in southeastern France, Grenoble is surrounded by the Alps. Its compact size, distinguished history (the diocese of Grenoble was founded in 377 AD), public transportation, and outstanding arts and culture facilities make it a particularly safe and pedestrian-friendly city. Its 60,000+ student population (16% international) and 21,000+ researchers make it the top city per capita in France in both categories. Its proximity to mountains, the Mediterranean, Italy, and Switzerland all contribute to make it a desirable location for REU participants.
At the heart of all these facilities and within walking distance of many is the CEA-Grenoble and the University Grenoble Alpes. This University is a top 150 Shanghai Ranking institution. Its offerings include the sciences: Physics and Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science, Biology, Medicine and Pharmacy, Engineering and Technology, Earth Science and Astronomy/Astrophysics, Environmental Studies, Geography and Territorial Sciences, as well as kinesiology. Grenoble also has a full complement of chemistry-related infrastructure. For instance, the INAC institute (Institut Nanosciences et Cryogenie), is well equipped in the area of materials/biomaterials synthesis and characterization. INAC research areas vary from nanoscale chemistry to physics and technology to the frontier of biology, encompassing photonics, spintronics, and chemtronics. As noted in the text, from 2005-09, INAC had 192 papers published in high impact factor journals (IF>6.5) and the proportion of papers ranked among the 10% most cited worldwide fluctuates between 20 and 24%. The labs have outstanding electron microscopy - including z-STEM, scanning probe instruments - including high performance magnetic scanning instruments, evanescent spectroscopies, ultra-cold facilities, x-ray diffraction, NMR, Mass spectroscopy, protein sequencing, and extensive synthesis rounds out the equipment. Beyond INAC, and important for REU students, Grenoble is also surrounded by one of the most outstanding science and technology complexes in Europe, serving as home to the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and dozens of high-tech companies, such as STMicroelectronics, Hewlett Packard, Siemens and others. Of direct relevance to REU students are chemistry, biotechnology, materials fabrication, (and in Grenoble) synchrotron and neutron lines that are in daily use by scientists from around the world. These are set up for small angle scattering, EXAFS and related techniques using insertion devices, microbeam operation and the like. ILL is noteworthy because of the high quality cold neutrons produced. Both facilities host numerous world class set-ups for in-situ and real-time scattering/diffraction coupled with processes like flow, catalysis, fuel cell operation, magnetic fields, and the like and offer regular short courses which REU participants can attend. MINATEC® is an innovation campus, launched in 2002, that has a goal of facilitating translational research. MINATEC® as its own 50 acre campus containing an impressive 100,000 square feet of clean room space. Within the MINATEC® complex, REU participants will participate in collaborative efforts that link CEA and other fundamental scientists with dozens of large and small companies. As an example of its scale, each year, the 2,400 researchers, 1,200 students, and 600 technology transfer experts involved in this structure file nearly 300 patents and publish more than 1,600 scholarly articles at MINATEC®. In addition, CLINATEC®, a new 50,000 square foot translational science center, opened in 2011 to link basic science with health sciences around the theme of brain-machine interfaces using nanochemistry, nanotechnology and microelectronics. In this center, chemists and materials scientists are involved in translating basic research discoveries in chemical biomarkers, targetting, and electroporation to emerging ares such as neuroprostheses. The Grenoble labs are distinctive in their links involving national laboratories, world-class user facilities and an outstanding business school.