Research Experience for Undergraduates

IMPRESS: IMPlanting the ResEarch Seed in Students

This project aims to provide an experience to transform the perception of undergraduates from that of students to that of active researchers. To accomplish this, REU students in our program will perform research in a project linked to Materials with Targeted Functions: from fundamentals to applications. The selected areas allow exposing participants to a broad research experience across disciplines and to take advantage of the concept of cluster mentoring. Here, students will spend most of the time working in one project (with one graduate student and one faculty member) but remain engaged in the broad area guided by faculty members with complementary expertise. We hypothesize that this approach will provide students a unique experience and the possibility to connect fundamentals to applications, increasing their enthusiasm and chances to continue engaged in the research project after returning to their home institutions. As a new element, also steaming from comments from past participants, the program will target social competencies. These activities have the goal to improve their ability to interact in professional settings, highlight the relevance of their research experience, networking, and becoming advocates for diversity as a driving force for inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in chemistry.

The research experience will be supplemented by ethics training as well as an introduction to state-of-the-art instrumentation linked to their projects. The program will also offer a number of workshops to enhance the experience of the participants, their professional development, and their research-related social competencies. These activities have the goal to improve their ability to interact in professional settings, highlight the relevance of their research experience, networking, and to become advocates for diversity and inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in chemistry. Non-traditional/high potential students, minority students from the State of SC and surrounding MSI, students in military schools, and students from distant geographic areas are strongly encouraged to apply.

Students will be required to form teams with existing students enabling a closer interaction between peers, as well as training experience to the junior mentor. Participants are expected to work 40 hours/week and submit a mid-term report describing the performed activities as well as plans for the remaining of the visit. Students will be expected to remain engaged in research activities and to present the results of the program in a scientific meeting.

Leadership and Support offered

This program is directed by Drs. Carlos D. Garcia, Bill Pennington, and Tania I. Houjeiry (Coordinator). The REU program will provide financial support to cover travel expenses (flight to GSP and ground transportation to Clemson), on-campus housing, meals, and a $5,500 scholarship. The REU grant will not pay for any other expense outside the scope of the sponsored activity. This program is financed by the NSF – Division of Chemistry, award CHE-2050042 (2021-2024). Participation of students from the SC Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (during the summer of 2022) was supported by NSF – Division of Chemistry, award CHE-2227374.

Through a collaborative effort at Clemson, the 2023 cohort will integrate one student supported by DBI Award #1757658, five students supported by DMR Award #1950557, three students supported by Clemson’s SPRI Program, and several students supported by grants.

Eligibility / Application Materials
  • REU participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Students interested in our program are encouraged to first learn about the available mentors and projects
  • Completed application form (including demographic survey)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (official transcript to be provided by selected applicants)
  • Strong background in Chemistry (or equivalent training obtained through work or research experience)
  • Two letters of reference (sent to Tania I Houjeiry (
  • Statement of research interests and career goals (< 500 words)
  • Registration in LinkedIn (to allow tracking progress after the program)
  • To receive priority consideration, applications should be complete by Feb 15, 2023. Late applications will still be considered but subject to availability.


  • Local students will only considered under exceptional circumstances and are strongly encouraged to consider other REU programs.

mex unison

Clemson University-University of Sonora: This exchange program is aimed at providing students from the University of Sonora the opportunity to join our REU students and offers a unique research training and professional development through an intensive ten-week summer program in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson University. In line with the strategic goals of the university, research opportunities will fall within two broad focus areas: Advanced Materials and Chemical Biology. UniSon students interested in this opportunity should submit an application and secure funding for their visit.