How to Apply
The EEB REU program is designed to support students in their pursuit of a career in science. Admission will be offered to qualified students who can demonstrate that the program will substantially benefit their education. The essay is the most important part of the application. We are looking for students who can tell us how the program will benefit their career, and who can choose a project with their science career goals in mind.
Minimum requirements for admission are:
- USA citizenship or permanent residence status.
- A 2.5 GPA.
- At least one term of college-level coursework completed before enrolling in the program.
- Continued college-level enrollment after the program. Students who graduate before the start of the program are ineligible.
- Majoring in a biology related discipline, mathematics or computer science.
Steps for applying:
- The relationship between the mentor and the student is essential for the success of the student, so choice of mentor and project are important. First review the projects listed on the project page. Choose 1-3 projects that interest you, and be prepared to explain how your choices will aid your scientific development. (A passion for an organism since childhood, although helpful, is not grounds enough for choosing a project). You can learn more about projects from the background papers provided, and you can learn more about the mentors through the mentor page (click on the links with the mentor’s name). Check carefully for prerequisites because not all projects are suitable for all students.
- Write your essay. Please see the instructions below.
- Ask a professor who knows you well to write a letter of recommendation for you. Tell him/her about the program, show them your essay and request that he/she send a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 15. Letters written on letterhead and attached as a pdf to the email are preferred, but the text of the letter within an email is also acceptable. Choose someone who knows you well enough to comment on your work ethic and the benefit you may receive from the experience. The letter writer must be a faculty member; letters from graduate teaching assistants will not be accepted.
- Fill in the application form. Read it carefully before starting so that you prepare all necessary information before you start; you will not be able to go back and change your answers. Attach your essay when instructed to do so.
- Send a copy of your transcript(s) to email@example.com. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient.
Complete all of the above by February 15. Review will start on February 16 and late applications, although accepted, may not receive full consideration.
The essay is an essential piece of your application. Your ability to convey your thoughts coherently is very important. Have at least one person critique your essay before you submit it. Although we do not have a word limit, try to be concise.
The essay has three parts that should be treated separately; label each of the three parts with the number and header below:
- Why I want to participate in research this summer.
In this section, explain why you are interested in research. Possible questions for you to address are:
- Do you have a passion for science?
- Do you wish to experience research to determine if it is a possible career for you?
- Do you want to try a different field of research than you have experienced before to see how it fits with you?
- Why is now the time for you to do research?
- What are your career goals, and how will the program help you attain them?
- What I can contribute to the program.
Diversity in all dimensions is necessary to make scientific progress. What can you bring to this program that is different from other students? For example:
- This is a biology program, if you are math or computer science student what can you contribute?
- If you are a biology major, how might you contribute differently to a math/computer science project?
- Have you had life experiences that might influence your participation?
- Does the type of institution you attend makes you different from many REU students?
- Tell us what makes you unique or unusual in science.
- Why I wish to work on the projects that I have chosen
Pick 1-3 projects and rank them by your preference (1 = most preferred). Please be aware that competition for admission is affected by how many other students choose the same project(s). Students are admitted to work directly with a particular mentor, and each mentor will have only one REU student researcher. Thus, it is to your advantage to select three potential mentors. In this part of the essay address the following questions for each project selected:
- What is your intellectual reason for choosing this project? For this question looking at the background paper and the webpage of the mentor may help.
- How will this project benefit your development as a scientist?