First call for LSAMP iREU nominations – France/Belgium – Review of faculty mentor nominations starts January 16




This REU is very much about enhancing publication-quality international research success for US undergraduates by also involving US Mentors….important features:

A route for students to get equivalence of a European Master’s degree with a six month research stay

  • $5,000 Collaborative Research Initiation Awards for selected US mentors each year
  • An international seminar speaker clearinghouse, to bring European mentors to LSAMP sites
  • AAAS Individual Development Plan


Mentor Nominations: This program operates exclusively by mentor nominations – these are simple half page emails to start – no more – click here for more information. There is no student application form in the traditional sense, LSAMP students can and should help inform their faculty mentor, but rather, faculty mentors who know well the research skills of their LSAMP student nominate via a short email that speaks in compelling terms of their nominee’s specific capabilities to succeed in any STEM research area at one of the four locations.


The $5000 faculty award and identifying the best group in Europe (LSAMP faculty mentors  with students in chemistry and chemistry-related, engineering, physics, etc. somewhat less biology please) select from the several dozen predefined “world-class” research groups in Grenoble click here, Bordeaux click here, Toulouse click here (France), and Leuven click here (Belgium). Note, mentor nominations should also speak to how the research abroad connects to ongoing activities in their groups and in this way most REU participants return with added skills that enhance their multi-semester undergraduate research track and also their home mentor’s ongoing research – see template nomination email here.  We send students for 12 week minimum and particularly encourage students that have the academic flexibility to extend their stay to six months and to this point about 25% of students extended. In turn, the most compelling faculty nominators will receive $5000 Collaborative Research Initiation Awards to strengthen the international connection, at least four this year.


Multiple semester previous research experience required: Our iREU seeks participants able to obtain publication-quality results from the beginning of their research abroad – some will have already published, most will have presented research at an off-campus scientific meeting. Thus a requirement is multiple semesters of research experience on their own campus, and most have excelled at a research experience off-campus.  The program is well suited to seniors who intend to continue with graduate school and have the ability to extend their time abroad. In its first three years about 10 of the first 25 participants are headed towards being co-authors on a peer-reviewed publication with the French/Belgian (and in an increasing number of cases also their US Co-mentor), click here for a few examples of what students did abroad and “where they are now” from 20+ years of this kind of program.


As a student, if you’ve gotten this far and can say “I am an LSAMP student with an outstanding research track record. I have the required research skills.   I am absolutely not a “premed”. I am a US citizen. This aligns with the research activity of my mentor at my school”…… it’s a great sign. ……… Help your mentor by carefully checking out mentor options, look up and print out the best publications, and be ready to convince your mentor “we talked about that publication in group meeting” or “look what I could bring back to the group after 3-6 months in this international lab.”

Sites and Mentors for 2017:  Below are links to four tables with a few dozen choices – we recommend that LSAMP mentors and student nominees view this list to seek good fits that benefit your LSAMP program or the research group of one of your faculty – collaborators and potential collaborators are ideal!  Selected recent publications for the mentors appear in the list of publications at the bottom and of course great LSAMP students are welcome to suggest other (chemistry-related) options in these cities.

Bordeaux  mentors and students click here (note, many other Bordeaux mentors in chemistry/materials may also be feasible – we will work with mentors and/or experienced LSAMP students to identify optimal mentors for this location).   “UBx is the third largest university in France, with over 52,000 students, including 2,000 PhD students, 8,000 foreign students, and nearly 3,000 academic and research staff. Fifteen LIA (International Associated Laboratories) participations have been identified and eight are underway including one with the University of Kyoto in Chemistry/Material Science. Bordeaux is a region of its own, world-renowned for wine, food, and the influence of the Atlantic and nearby England…..”

Leuven mentors and students click here (only these 9 mentors for 2017)  “ Few towns in Belgium appeal to the imagination more than this historic walled city and college town. Leuven is a haven for students, where history, culture, architecture, gastronomy and modern science intermingle to form a compelling cocktail….”

Toulouse mentors and students click here  (other mentors in the chemistry/materials areas may be feasible as well in Toulouse ). “The university in Toulouse is one of the largest French universities, located in the fourth largest French city (~ 800,000) is culturally dominated by is position in the South, near the Mediterranean and Spain.  Toulouse is above all, a center of attraction for high tech industries. Among the 22 French regions, Midi-Pyrénées is n°1 in the world for aeronautics, n°2 in Europe for spatial studies, n°1 in France for region for the % of Gross Domestic Product devoted to research….”

Grenoble mentors and students click here  (a new strategic partnership in place with Grenoble means that for 2016 many other mentors in the chemistry/materials/engineering/physics areas may be feasible as well in Grenoble ) “Grenoble’s 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…”


The Nomination Process, What is needed asap, the faculty award, and more about the REU:  It is likely that some of the best suited students plan to stay with mentors in your own AMP, those that will be most likely to merit being an eventual co-author on a publication.  Please consider nominating a “purposeful” (typically life-changing) international summer in which the LSAMP faculty mentor as well as the student benefits – indeed the faculty member may be funded, and in any case is welcome to visit the student.   Please also note that the community of scientists in all four locations is extremely deep and for this reason any group at Bordeaux, Toulouse, and a large number within the entire scientific community in Grenoble (spanning something related to chemistry/materials) may be possible.

We are requesting applications as a “nomination” email by LSAMP faculty mentors and/or LSAMP directors who know the student well and as soon as possible, before our target date of July 1, 2016  (OK to send “Randy,   I have the perfect student – s/he is XXXXXX – I’ll be back in touch with more asap”.  Nominations should be simple email by the mentor who speaks to the detailed research skills of the student, why the given top choice European lab is a good fit for the student’s skills.  Please include a CV of the student being nominated that highlights research success, skills, and if possible publications/presentations. For those faculty who wish to be considered for the $5,000 Collaborative Research Initiation Awards, please also address tie/connection/interest and how the top choice European mentor is a good fit for your research group and how you would use the funds if you were given complete flexibility – please keep overall nomination statement to a page or less within the body of your email.

We follow-up nominations in the order they are received; with you and with the student by phone asap. Acceptances will be made on the spot for students who are strong until the overall REU slots are filled and/or you help us fund more. These participants exemplify characteristics we seek: ability to generate publication-quality results almost immediately in a (very) new environment, inquisitive spirit and openness to full international impact and extend their stays if all goes well, responsive/reliable/adaptable; direct benefit of their research abroad to a mentor at home.   As we follow up, we will compile other information to complete dossiers.

About the summer:   All REU students will receive a generous stipend, funding towards airfare, and funded housing.   They will join significant numbers of other students in Grenoble/Toulouse/Bordeaux/Leuven from all over Europe, as well as groups from Univ Tokyo, MIT, UPENN, Johns Hopkins, and other institutions.