Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Microbiology

Goals of the Program
REU 2017

The REU in Microbiology at The University of Iowa seeks to foster the careers of the next generation of microbiologists. We do this by providing an intensive 10-week research experience for bright and ambitious undergraduates who are considering a PhD in microbiology or an allied discipline. In 2019, we expect to support 8-10 participants. We hope that this experience will encourage students to pursue a career in basic science and give them the skills they need to succeed in that career path. The focus of the program is a hands-on research project conducted under the guidance of faculty and graduate student mentors. A range of research projects will be available, including basic mechanisms of bacterial and viral gene expression, virus structure and assembly, biofilm formation, microbial development, and prokaryotic cell biology. Students will also attend lectures to broaden their understanding of microbiology and educate them about graduate school and career options. 

Overview of the Program

  • Participants conduct full-time, hands-on research in microbiology, microbial genetics, or molecular biology.
  • Access the department research projects and a list of recent summer REU projects can be found here.
  • Enrichment activities include weekly seminars and workshops on graduate school and career opportunities. PDF icon_REU 2018 Schedule of Events.pdf
  • At the end of the summer students present their findings in a campus-wide poster session.
  • Program lasts for 10 weeks (May 20-July 26, 2019).
  • Participants receive a $5,750 stipend plus a $630 supplement for incidental expenses.
  • On-campus housing is provided at no cost to the participants.
  • Travel costs are paid by the program.


NFS logoThe program is intended for undergraduates who:

  • Will be returning to their home institution for at least one semester of undergraduate study before graduation.
  • Are interested in pursuing graduate school and a career in biological research.
  • Are United States citizens or permanent residents (hold a green card).
  • Have limited access to research opportunities at their home institution.
  • Prior research experience is NOT a requirement.

This program seeks to improve diversity in the biological sciences. Disabled students, minority students, and disadvantaged students (economically or first in family to attend college) are especially encouraged to apply.

Questions? Try our FAQ. You can also send an email to us at or call us at 319-335-7807.

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in the REU in Microbiology at The University of Iowa. As part of the application process, you must register with the NSF program at The website will ask you to create a user account and assign you a unique REU ID. Be sure to take note of the REU ID assigned to you because you will need to provide it on your application to the REU in Microbiology at The University of Iowa. After you have registered, please complete your application here.

Your complete application includes:

  • Our online application. Please note that the application must be completed in one sitting, and you must enter your REU ID as part of the application process. Access our application here.
  • A copy of your transcript, which should be uploaded to your online application (3 MB file size limit). An official transcript is not necessary at this time. If you have problems uploading an electronic copy, you may send a PDF of your transcript to
  • Two letters of recommendation. Recommenders should address the applicant’s intellectual abilities, level of motivation, ability to work with others, and career interests (e.g., research, teaching, medical school, etc.). Please ask your recommenders to send their letters via email to

If transcripts and letters of recommendation cannot be submitted electronically, they may be faxed to 319-335-9006 (ATTN: REU in Microbiology) or mailed to the address below.

Summer REU in Microbiology
The University of Iowa
3-403 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Rd
Iowa City IA 52242

Our application deadline is February 15, 2019.

If you encounter any difficulties with electronic submission, please contact us via email and include a screenshot of any error message you receive.