University of California, San Diego, Center for Energy Research

General Info

Summer cups
The Constellation Undergraduate Summer Program (CUSP) is an REU program that provides undergraduate research opportunities to work in High Energy Density Physics (HEDP). The Constellation Fellows are paired with host mentors that are some of the world’s pioneers and leaders in HEDP that comprise a nationwide network including UC San Diego, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Chicago, and Florida A&M University. Research projects are related to the experimental, theoretical and computational study of material properties and energy transport of matter under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. This research provides a unique blend of Fusion Energy Sciences, Computational & Experimental Plasma Physics, Nuclear Physics, Planetary Science and Astrophysics and employs some of the nation’s fastest supercomputers and cutting-edge facilities related to understanding matter under extreme conditions.

The deadline for applications has passed. Please sign in to see existing application status.

Program Highlights

  • Participants received a competitive $4,000 stipend ($500/week)
  • Tour of San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)
  • Tutorials on high performance computing, numerical modeling, scientific visualization, and high performance computing
  • Travel support to orientation week in La Jolla, CA and accommodation provided
  • Travel support to host institution and an allowance for 8 weeks of housing
  • Travel support to home or home institution after completing 8 weeks of research
  • Assistance securing housing at the host institution

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be US citizen or permanent resident
  • Women and members from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply
  • Completed junior year with major in physical science or engineering (or equivalent) with a 3.0 GPA
  • Some exceptional sophomores will be considered
  • Background in astrophysics, plasma physics, or energy science is not required
  • Computer programming experience (Matlab, Python, C, Fortran, C++, etc) recommended but not essential

Application Information

  • Major components of the online application include: personal and academic information, a personal statement, a copy of your unofficial school transcript (as a pdf), and contact information for one reference
  • The person writing your letter of recommendation will be contacted via e-mail and will submit their letter online.
  • Once you begin an application, you can check the status of it any time by logging into this website.
  • All components of the application must be submitted before the deadline to be considered complete. Only complete applications will be reviewed.