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TREND Program

A Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) Program sponsored by National Science Foundation


June 1 through August 7, 2020

Applications for TREND 2020 are now open.

Apply here by February 14, 2020.

We will begin sending first-round offers on February 24, 2020.


TREND Application Forms and Submission Instructions

Introduction | Purpose | Research Projects 2020

Important Dates | Eligibility | How to Apply

Media Projects | Fairs and Publications


The University of Maryland's Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, with support from the National Science Foundation, is offering exciting research opportunities for undergraduate students in the broad area of nonlinear dynamics. Students from a variety of universities and backgrounds typically work in teams of two or three for 10 weeks during the summer and are supervised jointly by faculty members and graduate students. The program begins June 1 and ends August 7, 2020.

Research projects will be theoretical, experimental, or both. Examples of research topics are: experimental studies of nonlinear systems - turbulence and flows; theoretical and computational studies of magnetic reconnection and the dynamics of energetic particles; nonlinear dynamics in charged particle beam systems; synchronization patterns in optoelectronic networks; the dynamics of soft matter, granular matter, and biomaterials; theoretical and computational studies of emergence in nonlinear dynamics; optical nonlinearity in topological systems; motion guidance for underwater vehicles using autonomous control and oceanographic models with forecast uncertainty; and dynamics of living cells.

A number of events will be sponsored during the summer to enhance the learning experience, including a weekly seminar series on a wide range of topics, the production of a multimedia communication piece for a general audience, and a research fair at the end of the summer where the students will present the results of their investigations.


  • Involve talented students in a diverse research program
  • Introduce undergraduates to team-based and cross-disciplinary research
  • Provide the opportunity to sharpen oral and written communication skills
  • Help students prepare for graduate school and define career goals
  • Help students prepare for research and teaching positions throughout industry and academia

During the program, students develop their research projects, attend technical seminars, produce a multimedia piece, visit local industry and government organizations, and meet with leaders in the field. The summer program culminates in the TREND Research Fair, a half-day program during which student teams demonstrate their accomplishments and are evaluated by a panel of experts. The top prize for the best paper competition will normally be travel expenses to a suitable conference where the students can present their research results.

TREND students receive up to $5,400 for the 10-week period. This includes a $4,800 stipend for their work in the summer, as well as $600 for incidental daily expenses. In addition to the stipend, on-campus housing in designated UMCP-owned and operated facilities is covered by the program (if the student resides outside the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area). Married student housing is not available.

Research Projects 2020

The TREND projects that will be offered during the summer 2020 session are listed below. Project names are linked to their respective descriptions. Faculty members and project directors' names are linked to their home pages where available. You are encouraged to contact the project directors directly, or Program Coordinator Daniel Serrano (, if you would like more information about a particular project.

Important Dates

February 14, 2020: Deadline for entire application package to be received (online application, two letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcript). Applications received after the deadline will be considered only on a space-available basis.

February 24, 2020: First-round offers will be sent out (note that applicants may still receive offers after this date as first-round offers are finalized).

March 6, 2020: Deadline to accept or decline a first-round offer

After March 6, 2020 (rolling basis): Second-round offers may be sent out


The TREND Program is open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.

Students must be currently enrolled in a college or university and have an anticipated graduation date of December 2020 or later.

The minimum preferred GPA is 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. Motivated students without the recommended GPA may apply, but such applications will only be considered if special mitigating circumstances exist.

How to Apply

The following items must be submitted to the TREND Program:

  • Application form and essay: The online application and essay link is here and may also be found on the TREND application page. The application form and essay must be submitted through the Google form.
  • An unofficial transcript: Unofficial transcripts can be sent to
  • Two letters of recommendation: Letters of recommendation may be submitted electronically to or mailed to Prof. Roy at the address below (note that TREND will not send out requests for letters of recommendation; this is the applicant's responsibility).

These materials may arrive separately.

Regardless of the method chosen, the deadline for receipt of the completed application, essay, unofficial transcript, and letters of recommendation is February 14, 2020. Applications received after the deadline will be considered only on a space-available basis.

The Physics REU sites directors will utilize a common deadline of March 6, 2020, for students to accept or decline first round offers at domestic (non-international) sites. Sites may send offers to students at any time before this, but students will not be required to decide before March 6. Because of necessary organizational lead time, international REU sites may require earlier acceptance dates.

For further information about the TREND Program, please contact Program Coordinator Daniel Serrano at 301-405-6565 or

Daniel Serrano
Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics
Bldg. 223, 8279 Paint Branch Drive
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland 20742-3511

TREND Media Projects

During the second week of the TREND program, students identify a topic related to their research project to be the subject of a media product on nonlinear dynamics. Students design and produce a new-media presentation of their choice (podcast, video, interactive piece, “infographic”, cartoon/comic, mock journal cover, etc.) with the goal of communicating their research project to a general audience.

Check out previous projects here.

TREND Fairs and Publications

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 20142013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | Media Projects | Publications

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