REU Site: BioSensor Materials for Advanced Research and Technology (BioSMART) at the Environment/Biotechnology Nexus

Project: Research project

Project Details


This REU Site award to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ, will support the training of 10 students for ten weeks during the summers of 2022-2024. It is anticipated that a total of 30 students, primarily from schools with limited research opportunities or from an under-represented group, will be trained in the program. The program will establish an interdisciplinary biosensor research opportunity for undergraduates. The transformative opportunity for sensor research lies in discovering and applying novel materials. A significant development is needed to enable performance in the complex environments where sensors will be deployed. This REU will enhance students' ability to conceptualize and think through research problems in a collaborative setting. Participants will learn how to conduct independent scientific research, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences. The program will broaden the participation of women, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+, underrepresented minorities, and non-traditional students. Assessment of the program will be carried out through the online SALG URSSA tool. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine their career paths.

This REU Site for BioSensor Materials for Advanced Research & Technology (BioSMART) at the environment/biotechnology nexus will provide a unique learning experience for undergraduates interested in biosensors. This REU takes advantage of the biosensor research opportunities at NJIT in the Departments of Biological Sciences (Federated with Rutgers), Chemistry & Environmental Science, Chemical Engineering and Material Science. The intellectual focus emphasizes:(i) biosensor materials, (ii) biorecognition and protein engineering, (iii) sensor designs and characterization, and (iv) field applications. Planned activities include one week of science boot camp, career development workshops with interactive workshops on equity and inclusion awareness, team building, science communication, extracurricular events, and responsible conduct of scientific research. The PIs will organize broad-based recruitment efforts, targeting students at the local, regional, and national levels. Two or more mentees will be co-mentored by an interdisciplinary faculty team. More information about the program is available by visiting, or by contacting the PI (Dr. Omowunmi Sadik at or the co-PI (Dr. Kevin Belfield at

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date3/1/222/28/25


  • National Science Foundation: $403,732.00


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