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STEM Research for Social Change

Research Experience for Undergraduates:  STEM Research for Social Change


Applications are now closed for the 2024 cycle. Chosen students will be notified in the next few weeks.

Do you want to use your skills and talents as an emerging STEM professional to help make the world a more just and equitable place?  If so, we invite you to apply to the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates STEM Research for Social Change program. This program is a collaborative effort among the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

This ten-week program will give you a chance to explore and gain knowledge in engineering, chemistry and physics research through participation in cutting edge, faculty mentored research that has a meaningful and positive impact on society and that promotes social change for equitable communities as defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Additionally, you will participate in professional development, professional and peer networking, and social activities designed to help you succeed in your future career.


Each REU participant will receive:

  • A stipend in the amount of $6,000.
  • Housing and meals. Each participant will be housed in a single room at the host university residence halls and will be provided with a meal allowance. REU participants will be housed as a cohort in a single residence hall on the host campus. These intentional learning and living environments will provide you with diverse and identity-affirming experiences that create a sense of belonging and self-efficacy.
  • Travel support to REU host campus and/or to conferences or professional meetings.  
  • Weekly professional development workshops covering topics such as laboratory safety, research ethics, creating your resume, applying to graduate school, effective scientific communication, research skills, inclusive teams and community engagement. 
  • Focused mentorship from a trained faculty mentor and social change partner, and engagement with shared identity mentors.  
  • Social activities designed to build community, expand your professional and personal networks, and provide you with the opportunity to explore the local region.  
  • Each REU project will be designed with the individual participant’s background and goals in mind. 
  • Must be a first through third year full time student majoring in a STEM discipline; or enrolled in undeclared science or engineering curricula in those institutions that only allow major declaration after the second year or that have a 2+2 program with another institution.
  • National Science Foundation funding is only for U.S. citizens.
  • Must be available to participate in the entire ten week program running from June-August 2024.
  • No minimum GPA to apply.
  • No knowledge or experience in research is necessary.
  • We welcome all students to apply and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including, but not limited to, individuals from historically underserved and underrepresented populations, female, racial and ethnic groups (African-American/ Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American and Native Alaskan) historically underrepresented in STEM fields, veterans, LGBTQ+ and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

This REU program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation Award #2244437 |  #2244438 | #2244439.

Principal Investigator, University of Dayton

Dr. Kenya Crosson

Principal Investigator, Central State University

Dr. Leanne Petry 

Principal Investigator, St. Mary’s University

Dr. Melissa Karlin

Co-Principal Investigator, University of Dayton

Dr. Margaret Pinnell

Program Evaluator, Wright State University

Ms. Elizabeth Generas