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Summer Undergraduate Research


Please note: We have not set dates for the Summer 2021 Program.  When we set those dates, we will update this page. 

 REU 2018 final pic.jpg


Our Center offers undergraduate students outside of UT, Knoxville the chance to perform in-depth research with faculty at CURENT's world-class facilities. Students will work on various research topics. More specifically, these projects will investigate:

  • power systems
  • power electronics and drives
  • alternative energy sources
  • cyber security & smart grid
  • energy storage
  • control and communication
  • power transmission
  • large data analytics and visualization
  • distributed and collaborative visualization
  • power market structures
  • fault resiliency through robust collaboration among local controllers

Each student will customize their own research based on personal interests by working closely with faculty and graduate students throughout an eight week summer program.

The program will culminate with a poster presentation to faculty, graduate students and fellow researchers to highlight each individual's work.

To view past REU projects, visit the CURENT Education website http://education.curent.utk.edu/undergrad/reu-projects/

Program Details:

Our REU program runs eight weeks from early June to late July.  Each student earns approximately $4,160 for 8 weeks of research, and campus housing is provided at no cost. We will also cover travel expenses up to $500.

Meals will be the responsibility of the student, but UT's campus is conveniently located less than 1 mile from a large variety of restaurants and on-campus dining (not meal plan).  There is also a kitchen in the housing suite. 

To apply to the Summer REU Program, you must:

1) Be a sophomore, junior or non-graduating senior student at an accredited college or university in the United States.

2) Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

3) Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.

4) Be able to devote 35-40 hours per week to the program from 9am through 5pm M-F.

5) Not take classes or hold other employment during the REU period.

6) Attend all required programs, seminars, lectures, etc. each week.


The Center is committed to promoting diversity within science and engineering. We especially encourage women, students from underrepresented groups (African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino, Pacific Islander), and students with disabilities.

Application Requirements:

To apply for CURENT's Summer REU program, you will need to submit:

  • Online application
  • Unofficial college transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty advisers. 
    • While we would prefer individuals who know your academic potential, we recognize that internship supervisors have insight into your abilities (please do not submit both letters from supervisors). Letters must be on official letterhead.
  • 2-page personal statement explaining background, research interests & career goals as they are related to CURENT's research areas.

Note: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents enrolled in full-time accredited undergraduate institutions.  We are sorry that we cannot accept foreign applicants at this time.

Why Come to CURENT?

  • One of the Largest and Top Power Engineering Programs in the Country
  • Learn about the roles that an Engineering Research Center has with National Research Labs, Industry Associations, Private Industry Research, and Research Universities.
  • Introduce yourself to a graduate school styled research program that encourages all REU students to apply for CURENT and DOE Fellowships for graduate study.
  • Specialized labs for each research area in the Min Kao Building.
  • High quality, Large Apartment style housing with individual bedrooms for each person and a commons area with full living room and kitchen - all within walking distance of the Min Kao Building.

Why Come to Knoxville?

This 8 week program will greatly aid you in exploring the opportunities of power research, graduate studies, and living in a very active city environment that is close to all the outdoor wonders of the Smoky Mountains.

Link to the online application

Upload Form

Feel free to upload the following:

  • Letters of Recommendation

Documents can also be attached to the Application or emailed to education@curent.utk.edu

We ask that you upload personal statements and transcripts while you complete the online application form.

For Letters of Recommendation: Please make sure that the letterhead of the institution (school, business, etc) is on the letter.  Please do not send Word or PDF files without an official letterhead.

The Process

  1. Complete Online Application
  2. Submit Letters of Recommendations, Personal Statement, and Transcripts on the Application or Submit via Upload Link or Email to education@curent.utk.edu. Letters of Recommendation must be on official letterhead.
  3. All documentation must be received by March 1, 2020 so please submit as early as possible.
  4. Acceptance letters will be sent out in mid-March and student decisions will be needed within a few days of an offer. Our goal is to let everyone know their application status by the end of March.
  5. As soon as you accept our offer, travel instructions will be sent and plane tickets (if needed) can be purchased.
  6. On the first day of employment, Proof of Identity and Residency documentation must be provided.
  7. Travel reimbursement will be dispersed as described in the employment instructions and the first pay period should occur two to three weeks after the first day of employment.


Questions? Comments? Email us at education@curent.utk.edu.