Emerging and Established Model Systems

Two biology departments at the University of Kansas, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Molecular Biosciences, will host a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program during the Summer of 2019.  We invite biology, mathematics, and computer science majors to apply to our program.  As an REU student, you will engage in mentored research in a modern laboratory setting and will network with REU students from other states and territories, with students from other summer research programs on campus, and with the larger scientific community.  Students will acquire knowledge regarding the research process and career progression through weekly program meetings and discussion sessions.  Our program participants have achieved success in graduate school and in science-related positions in the public sector. Join us on Facebook to learn more about our previous program.

Our REU students will work with established and emerging model systems, and learn computational skills, toward understanding the rich complexity of biological questions that can be addressed with modern laboratory techniques.  Models underlie all of science and describe circumstances that are supported by general principles.  Through testing and development of hypotheses, models are confirmed, modified, or discarded, but remain the conceptual framework on which we base our scientific endeavors.  Similarly, well-controlled experiments in genetically tractable model organisms have provided insights into genetics, developmental biology, cell biology, neurobiology and evolution, to name just a few of the fields impacted by their usage.  In the past, many scientific advances have required the availability of genetic resources, which has limited the exploration of phenotypes to species such as Drosophila melanogaster, Arabidopsis thaliana, Caenorhabditis elegans, Escherichia coli, yeast and mice.  With the advent of genomic technologies, additional species are now tractable for genetic exploration of more diverse phenotypes.   In our REU program, we will emphasize the relationship between math and biology; some students will build and simulate models mathematically while others will test models empirically.  In all cases, students will work to understand the theory underlying their research, whether they are developing theory, testing models, or studying conserved mechanisms using model systems.  

NOTE: Our ability to implement the program in Summer 2019 is contingent on continued funding from the NSF.  Prospective students are encouraged to apply to our program.  This site will be updated with any change in plans.

General Program Information

Our program is a ten week, intensive laboratory research immersion experience for undergraduates. As part of the REU program, you will receive training in research and career development.  In addition, you will receive a stipend, housing and meals.  Travel to and from the University of Kansas to attend the program will also be covered, up to a specified amount.  You will also receive one research course credit hour from the University of Kansas.  Social activities and networking opportunitites are an important component of our program as well.

Additional Information

A major public research university, the University of Kansas (KU) has a long and distinguished tradition of supporting undergraduate research.  Our REU students will receive additional support through the Center for Undergraduate Research.  The CUR also hosts the university-wide Summer Undergraduate Research Poster session in which our REU students participate.

The faculty of the Department of Molecular Biosciences (MB) and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) includes distinguished scientists whose research falls into several major themes: Biochemistry and Biophysics, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Mechanisms, Ecology and Global Change Biology and Biodiversity, Genetics and Development, and Macroevolution.  Our faculty are dedicated to undergraduate research.  Faculty in the department may hold joint appointments with the Kansas Biological Survey or the KU Biodiversity Institute, thereby expanding the opportunities for interactions through this program.

KU is located in Lawrence, Kansas. Hailed as one of the top 10 college towns in the US, Lawrence boasts a thriving downtown with an active music scene. Situated about 45 miles from Kansas City, KU is within the transition zone between the Eastern Deciduous Forest and Tallgrass Prairie biome. Available outdoor activity sites include Clinton Lake State Park at the edge of town and other state parks within an hour drive. At KU itself are several museums on a campus that is bustling throughout the summer.


Emerging & Established Model Systems REU
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