Undergraduate Education and Outreach

We aim to build a more diverse science community and create new opportunities for talent generation. UD CHARM’s undergraduate programs include:

Research Experience for Undergrads (REU)

UD CHARM offers a comprehensive Research Experience for Undergraduates. We specifically aim to improve the capabilities of undergraduate students who have interests in materials science-related research, especially among underrepresented groups. The activities designed to meet this objective include:

  • Creating a cohort of sophomore and junior undergraduate students from Delaware State University, Claflin University, UD, and other universities with diverse representation involved in 10 weeks of summer research
  • Hands-on experience in a related laboratory (chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, or physics) under the mentorship of a faculty member and graduate student
  • Workshops dedicated to fundamental laboratory skills, effective mentor relationships, safety, human subjects training, innovation & entrepreneurship, applying to graduate school, and available university resources
  • Journal club focused on understanding research generated through the peer-review process
  • Research lab and industry site visits to broaden the scope of learning
  • Social events to promote communication among interdisciplinary students and mentors
  • Research symposium where students synthesize results for diverse audience
  • Systematically administered surveys and professional evaluations of program outcomes

The REU site will leverage CHARM’s expertise and spirit of cross-cutting materials innovation. The REU students will be part of a layered student engagement program in which they are mentored by graduate students and, at the same time, interface with a HighRise high school student ‘buddy’ to share their undergraduate experiences.

Please keep in mind that although we are planning for an in-person research and professional development experience in 2021, we may need to switch to a virtual program pending the status of the pandemic. We will be following campus and State of Delaware recommendations to prioritize the health and safety of our participants and local community. If applicants have any questions about the 2021 CHARM REU program or application process, please contact Dr. Kim Bothi at kbothi@udel.edu.


  • Sophomore or junior in STEM program
  • Cumulative GPA > 3.0
  • US citizen, US national, or permanent resident of the US
  • Preference will be given to those candidates who have demonstrated an interest in soft and hard materials through their curriculum choices or extracurricular activities

Application Materials

  • your updated resume
  • copy of your current transcript
  • application form including preferred research areas
  • a short essay (250 words) describing how undergraduate research with UD CHARM is important to your career goals
  • a letter of recommendation (a research or teaching faculty member is preferred, if possible)
  • all materials for external applicants must be submitted by 11:59 pm on February 28th, 2021 (due March 5th for internal applicants)

After Admission 

Notifications will begin by March 29th if they have been accepted to the 2021 CHARM REU cohort, and will work with our faculty team on advisor and project assignments closer to the start date. Our 2021 program runs from June 7th through August 13th.



MRSEC Fellows

We’re providing immersive research, educational, and mentorship experience for undergraduates at Delaware State (DESU) and Claflin (CU) universities through a “Pathways to Graduate School” program. Our MRSEC Fellows program enhances exposure of HBCU undergraduates to materials science, expands their academic networks, and facilitates their transition to an R1 environment. This new pilot program is intended to become a fully functioning ‘pathway/bridge’ program in science and engineering that provides:

  • Fellowships to support HBCU student research and coursework at UD
  • Co-mentorship by UD and DESU/CU faculty members
  • Fellow Seed grant opportunities to fund DESU/CU mentors to conduct research at UD (UD providing facility access with mentee) 
  • A joint seminar series between UD, Delaware State, and Claflin faculty and students
  • REU summer programming participation for increased networking
  • Planned certificate program development between UD-DESU-CU