The University of Alabama IRES Site: Innovative Macromolecular and Polymer Research Experience in San Sebastian (IMPRESS) is housed in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. This program spans 8 weeks and offers opportunities for up to 7 students from UA to work in research laboratories at the POLYMAT institute on the campus of the University of the Basque Country in Spain.

Research projects focus on both focus on both traditional and biological aspects of polymer materials using experimental and computational techniques. This exciting research opportunity begins in June and is available for up to seven motivated STEM undergraduates with a minimum 3.0 GPA.  The weekly stipend is $500 with an additional $50/week provided for food.  Housing and travel will be arranged by the program at no cost to the students.

Faculty from Chemical & Biological Engineering and Chemistry & Biochemistry are organizing the program while the students will work directly for the research groups at POLYMAT.

Important Dates

  • Application Opens: September 13, 2021
  • Final Application Deadline: October 4, 2021
  • Tentative Program Dates: June 1 – July 31, 2022


For more information about this program, contact the following program managers:


Submit the following material to the Project Director (Dr. Jason Bara):

  • Copy of transcripts
    • Unofficial transcripts are acceptable and can be uploaded with your application.

All applications will be reviewed soon after October 4, 2021 and students who are selected in the initial round of screening will be asked to schedule an interview with the program directors prior to final decisions on offers.

Apply Today!

Eligibility Criteria

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • UA undergraduate majoring in STEM discipline with preference given to Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, and Materials Engineering students
  • Minimum 3.0 overall GPA
  • Must have taken CHE 412 / MTE 412 before program start


During the program, students will

  • participate in hands-on, supervised research in the field of polymer science & engineering
  • attend seminars on graduate school and career preparation, with an emphasis on opportunities in Spain and the EU
  • attend workshops to improve technical writing and oral presentations
  • tour regional research/industrial facilities and visit other regional attractions
  • present research results at a summer-end symposium
  • present research results at the SERMACS Conference

Financial Support

  • The 8-week stipend is $4,000, along with $50/week for food
  • Travel expenses to/from San Sebastian, Spain are fully covered by the program
  • Housing is provided at no cost to the student
  • Travel insurance will be provided to all students at no cost