Physics & Astronomy
REU Information


Bucknell is located on about 300 acres overlooking the small town of Lewisburg and the west branch of the Susquehanna river, approximately 70 miles north of the city of Harrisburg. The Bucknell campus is conveniently located within a three to four hour drive of several major cities including New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Bucknell is a predominately undergraduate liberal arts institution with about 3500 students pursuing B.S. and B.A. degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Over 250 faculty members teach and carry on research from within 76 buildings on campus. Bucknell maintains library facilities containing over 475,000 volumes including an excellent selection of research journals in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

The Physics Department occupies just under 19,000 sq. ft. of total space in the recently renovated Olin Science building. Faculty members performing experimental research each have their own research laboratory space which is also used by research students. This combined faculty/student research space includes over 630 sq. ft. per experimentalist. The Department currently has 13 faculty members, all holding the Ph.D., plus occasional sabbatical replacements. Active research encompasses a broad range of fields, in both theory and experiment, including gravitational physics, astrophysics, ultracold atom physics, quantum optics, positron physics, nonlinear dynamics and pattern formation, elementary particles, computer simulation, and theoretical statistical mechanics.


The Summer Research Program in Physics will run for ten weeks from May 26 to August 1, 2015.


Participants in the Summer Research Program will be paid a stipend of $4,800 for the ten weeks of the program. In addition, on-campus apartment-style housing will be provided at no cost (see below).


Funds are available to support travel to and from Lewisburg. Airline travel is available to either Harrisburg International Airport or Williamsport Regional Airport with ground transportation to Bucknell. Bus and train service is available from nearby major cities.


Participants must be enrolled in a program leading to the bachelor's degree. High school graduates who have not yet entered a bachelor's program and college seniors graduating before the summer program begins are not eligible. Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or its possessions. (Persons holding F-1 student visas are not eligible.)


Students in the summer program will be housed on campus in university apartments. Students in other on-campus summer research programs will be housed in the same apartments. Students may prepare meals in their living quarters or take advantage of campus meal plans.

Women and Minorities

An important goal of the REU program is to provide access to supervised research for undergraduates who normally would not have such opportunities. This access is especially critical to students who are members of currently underrepresented groups in physics: women, minorities and the disabled. We particularly encourage applications from students in these groups.

Participant Selection

Your completed application should be returned no later than February 15, 2015 in order to guarantee full consideration. Please note that we require two letters of recommendation to be sent separately. In most cases letters from an academic adviser and/or a research adviser would be most useful.

Many of the projects in the Bucknell Summer Research Program are intended for freshman, sophomores, or juniors, although some have more specific requirements that are listed in the project descriptions. The common requirement for any of these projects is a calculus-based introductory college physics course. Other specific requirements are so noted in the individual project descriptions. Most projects can be tailored to the level of the student.

Student participants will be selected primarily on the basis of their academic record and letters of recommendation. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is expected, although lower GPA's will be considered on the basis of academic preparation and strong letters of recommendation. Selection will also be based by some degree on the applicant's academic and career interests, access to research at their home institution, reasons for wanting to do summer research and being able to fit research projects to a student's preparation.

Applicants are asked to review the project descriptions web page and indicate preferences for three different projects on the application form.

The Summer Research Program

An important aspect of the Summer Research Program is to provide an environment of collective learning in addition to individual research projects. The Program is centered around the idea of students working closely with faculty mentors and sharing their research with all the summer program participants. Students participating in the summer research program will be assigned directly to an individual faculty mentor who is responsible for their research project. Students will be assigned office space in student offices and/or their mentor's laboratory. The students will have access to a large meeting room which serves as lounge, library and study within the physics department. Summer research students will have the opportunity on a weekly basis to meet and discuss their research progress with the other students and faculty in the program at an informal group meeting. Students will also be requested to give a more formal talk upon the completion of the program and also participate in a poster session sponsored by Sigma Xi on campus. Drawing on the varied interests of the members of our department and other departments on campus, we intend to sponsor a series of colloquia on a weekly basis to offer our research students some breadth to their research experience and expose them to current research areas in physics and other sciences. In the first week of the program we will offer an introduction to campus computing resources, and we will continue instruction in the basics of scientific computing as the summer progresses to support the ongoing research projects.

Since housing for all summer research students is located on campus, summer research students from different departments will be able to interact and socialize, thus expanding their research experience beyond their individual project area. In support of Bucknell's active campus-wide summer programs, the University provides many opportunities for social interaction including a summer film series, concerts and recitals by resident and visiting performing artists, and trips to the local farmers' market.

Students are encouraged to present the results of their research at regional or national meetings even after the completion of the summer program. To support this activity, some funding is available for reimbursing students who do present talks at meetings on the regional and national level.

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This page maintained by Martin Ligare,
Last updated January 23, 2014

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