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Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Munich

Students can apply for international research experience, all expenses paid

Northwestern Engineering has received a National Science Foundation grant that will send five undergraduates to Germany each summer for the next three years.

Nanomaterials Undergraduate Research in Germany (NanoRING) is a 10-week intensive program that provides research experience in nanomaterials, including nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, and nanobiomaterials, at the Technical University of Munich. Students will also learn basic German language skills and participate in science and technology workshops and cultural and social outings.

Matthew Grayson, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science and co-director of Global McCormick, wrote the Matthew Graysongrant and will serve as faculty director of the program. Before joining Northwestern, Grayson spent six years conducting semiconductor physics research at the Technical University of Munich, where he continues to maintain close ties.

“It is the top technical university in Germany and already actively collaborates more than a dozen Northwestern professors,” Grayson said. “So it is a natural international partner for Northwestern Engineering. On top of that, Munich is a beautiful historical city and cultural landmark.”

Interested undergraduates must complete an online application by February 1, 2016 for this summer’s session. Students should be majors in engineering, physical sciences, or life sciences and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The program is intended for students who are completing their junior year or students who are completing their senior year and plan to continue on to a master’s or PhD program in the United States.

In a partnership between Northwestern and the University of Texas at San Antonio, the grant provides selected students with weekly living stipends, a lump sum for international travel, public transportation tickets, and housing. The partner at the Technical University of Munich is the International Graduate School for Science and Engineering, which has a mission to work with visiting international student researchers.

Although these types of NSF grants are more typically geared toward graduate students, Grayson designed the program solely for undergraduates.

“The sooner our top young scientists join the international research community, the sooner they will understand the excitement of a research career and make an educated decision to choose that path for themselves,” he said.