Plastic Recycling and Advanced Chemical-physical Transformations for Improved Circular Economy (PRACTICE)

Plastic materials piled up - any caps, bags, etc.

May 29 - August 2, 2024

The PRACTICE-REU program offers participants a unique interdisciplinary research experience to address global plastic pollution, one of the most pressing environmental, wildlife, human health and societal issues.

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The Plastic Recycling and Advanced Chemical-physical Transformations for Improved Circular Economy (PRACTICE-REU) is a 10-week summer program at the University at Buffalo. The PRACTICE-REU program will engage undergraduate participants in plastic pollution research within three laboratory-focused themed areas:

  • Plastic Waste Identification
  • Plastic Recycling and Upcycling
  • Environment and Health Impacts of Plastic Waste

Participants are paired with a faculty mentor to conduct transformative research on plastic recycling. The program is highly interdisciplinary, with faculty mentors from six academic departments in three different schools. Weekly group meetings of the REU cohort foster student-student communication in conjunction with training workshops and professional and social networking opportunities. A culminating Research Symposium, as well as support for post-REU conference presentations and publications, will help students hone their communication skills.

Program Highlights

  • A $6,000 research stipend for participation in the full 10-week summer program
  • Summer housing in a LEED-Certified UB Dormitory, paid by the program
  • An authentic full-time research experience with hands-on training
  • Scientific poster and oral presentation training throughout the summer. Participation in a concluding Summer Research Symposium
  • Professional development activities and career mentoring
  • Opportunity to participate in professional research conferences
  • Networking with UB faculty, leading researchers and educators, and student participants from throughout the U.S.
  • Social events and technical field trips


  • All applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States
  • Applicants must be enrolled as undergraduate students in a college program through Fall 2024
  • Participants should be interested in pursuing a career in research
  • Students from underrepresented minority groups and students from institutions that offer limited or no research opportunities are strongly encouraged to apply

How to Apply

  1. Complete the online application form.
  2. Submit copies of CV or resume (2-page limit).
  3. Submit a copy of your transcripts (unofficial)
  4. Write a personal statement (2-page limit). The personal statement should describe academic and research goals and long-term career objectives.
  5. Provide 1 letter of recommendation

CV or resume, transcripts and personal statement should be uploaded to your online applications. 

Apply to the 2024 program


This REU site is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site Program under Award No. EEC-2150424.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.