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Spend a summer in Paris with all travel, lodging, and meals covered and also get a $6000.00 stipend

The Program - Summer 2024
Applications for Summer 2024 are now Closed

Participants will arrive in Ann Arbor on May 20th, Fly to Paris on Friday evening May 24th, Arrive in Paris on Saturday morning May 25th. Participants will travel home on July 22nd.

The Optics in the City of Light REU program is funded by Physics Division of NSF through the Summer of 2025

One of the founders of the Optics in the City of Light REU, Gérard Mourou, just hearing that he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2018!!!

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2024 Schedule

January 28, 2024
Application Deadline
May 20 - May 24, 2024
Ann Arbor
May 25 - July 22, 2024

This year the Optics in the City of Light Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) will offer 8 undergraduate junior level students the opportunity to spend 2 months in a variety of laboratories in Paris performing research with a wide range of ultrafast lasers. Optics, especially the new discoveries in Extreme Light, is one of the most exciting areas of science. Students in this program will experience strong collaborative science that is currently taking place between University of Michigan (UM) Gérard Mourou Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (GM-CUOS), University Paris-Saclay, Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Nationale de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA), Université Paris-Sud 11 Orsay, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, and l’Institut d' Optique Graduate School. Teams of faculty (one from Ann Arbor and one from Paris) will each direct an REU student on a collaborative project.

Students will spend one week in Ann Arbor at GM-CUOS for orientation, safety training, preparation for living in France, and immersion into the Ann Arbor laboratories of the REU faculty. Students will also learn basic lab skills as well as basic reporting skills. Students will begin the weekly reporting process that involves preparing a summary and analysis of the previous week’s work. Each student will also prepare a short presentation describing what they think they will be doing for their research in France. These presentations will be sent to the faculty involved in each project. In addition, each student will maintain an electronic notebook (a blog) that all team members will be able to access.

GM-CUOS, University Paris-Saclay, ENSTA, Université Paris-Sud 11 Orsay, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, Ecole Polytechnique, and l’Institut d’Optique are among the premier ultrafast optics laboratories in the world and are equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation. For its first 13 years GM-CUOS was funded in part by an NSF STC. The director of that center was Professor Gérard Mourou. Gérard and the members of the original center (half of our senior personnel) have had long-standing collaborations with LOA, the Louvre, and Ecole Polytechnique. Much of the research that has been developed at GM-CUOS is also conducted at the institutions at Palaiseau. The world’s highest intensity focused laser is currently at GM-CUOS but will be surpassed by the laser that is currently under construction at LOA. Both institutions have a large number of ultrafast lasers and diagnostic tools. The students will have access to all of the facilities in the French institutions as well as libraries associated with each institution and University of Michigan.

Requirements of the program:

  1. You must be a junior about to enter your senior year at the end of the summer.
  2. You must be a US citizen or a green card holder.
  3. You must have your valid passport one week after the applications are due.

We seek to identify students who are passionate about science and discovery and who are eager to explore other societies and their cultures

Preference is given to students who attend institutions where research is not the primary focus. Under-represented minority students are strongly encouraged to apply.
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