Research Experiences for Undergraduates

A great internship for the summer!

For those of you interested in summer internships, I would like you to consider one of the many Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) positions that are available at various University research departments, centers and institutes across the country. Many universities have support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and are part of this exciting program where undergraduate students work on exciting research projects at these regional sites.

NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted salaries (stipends) and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.

The NSF has established a web page for these sites at:

By using the web page, search for an REU Site, you may examine opportunities in the subject areas supported by various NSF units. Also, you may search by keywords to identify sites in particular research areas or with certain features, such as a particular location. As you can see when you go to the "search for REU site" link it will take you to a page of disciplines, then hit the ENGINEERING key and you will see numerous universities, in the region and across the country where you can apply.

Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.

This is a great opportunity to learn about new fields and at the same time see other parts of the country and meet other chemical engineering students. In addition to this very thorough site, I will forward materials that I personally receive from universities to you by e-mail, but I strongly encourage you to go to this NSF web site and apply to a few programs. Several of our students have taken advantage of these programs in the past and have benefited immensely.

Guidance for Finding Summer Internships

The following will help give chemical engineering students some guidance on searching for an internship. To help you along this arduous path you should refer to the linked web page giving websites of possible internships for chemical engineers (This internship page can only be viewed from a Rowan computer connection). The job search is difficult and requires a lot of time. In the book What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Nelson Bolles (Paperback ISBN:1580086152$12.56) the author states that for every 1,470 resumes sent floating around 'out there' by various job-hunters, only one job offer is made and accepted. 

Getting an engineering internship is becoming increasingly important to obtain fulltime employment upon graduation. Remember that it is more important for you to get an internship, than making a large salary at a non-engineering job. So if the internship requires that you rent an apartment for the summer which results in a zero net profit at the end - this is still a very good option. So my advice is to look for internships outside of the county in which your parents reside!

There are many strategies for finding internships but most involve applying to a large number of companies.

A good way to start looking for an internship-

NETWORKING: One way to get an internship is to find a company near your hometown. Then seek out either a family member or friend of your family that knows someone currently working at this company. As you pass through your years in chemical engineering you will begin to meet more professionals by attending the student AIChE chapter as well as the local section of the AIChE (Delaware Valley Section)

Resumes sent directly to the company:

I would also encourage you to apply to companies through the companies online job search services. To help you in this process I have attached a partial list of chemical companies, many of which have sites in New Jersey and surrounding states. Many of these are worldwide companies and in addition to opportunities in this region, there are jobs through out the world.

Job Search Services

· AIChE is the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. This site offers information for all aspects of the field of engineering.

· - nationwide jobs list for engineering.

· this site lists engineering positions available in the US, with an emphasis on the Great Lakes area. There is no cost for jobseekers to view jobs or post a resume. This site offers detailed job descriptions and links to other engineering and technical sites. This is one of the more popular and resourceful sites related to engineering jobs, and is working to expand it's services nationwide. click here to search entry-level jobs, internships and build your resume.Top job search site. This website was mentioned specifically at the 2006 AIChE meeting by a major CEO of a chemical company More local jobs than any other jobsite. Find your dream job now.
www.hotjobs.comFind Job Listings & Openings by Location, Industry or Keyword.

Rowan Outreach office:

Engineering Outreach Office:

As specific internship and employment opportunities come to me I will send you an email. So keep checking your email and let me know if I can be of further help in your internship and full time employment searches.