2016 REU class

How is the program funded?
Major funding is provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Supplemental funds come from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

How many students participate?
We plan to have NSF funding for 10 students.

Do I have to be a United States citizen or permanent resident?
Yes. To be eligible for NSF funding, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (hold a green card). DACA students are not eligible.

How do I apply?
Our application deadline is generally February 15. The deadline for Summer 2024 has passed. Please check back in December for information about Summer 2025.

Click here to apply to our REU.

In addition to the application, we require the following documents, which will be uploaded at the application portal:

  • Your personal statement. Your personal statement should address the following questions:
    • What are your career goals and research interests?
    • How will participating in our summer research program further your ambitions?
    • Is there anything else we should know about you?
  • Your transcript. An official transcript is not necessary
  • 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.).

How should my letters of recommendation be submitted?
In the application portal, you will enter the email addresses of your recommenders. Upon submission of your application your recommenders will receive an email with instructions for uploading their letter. Be sure to communicate with your recommenders and confirm that they are able to write a letter that discusses your intellectual abilities, level of motivation, ability to work with others, and career interests. If you intend to submit your application close to the deadline, let your recommenders know so that they can work on your letter prior to receiving the email request from the application portal.

Will my application be considered if it is late?
Applications that are complete (including letters of recommendation) by our deadline receive first priority. Applications with late letters of recommendation will be considered until the program is full.

When will I be notified if I am admitted?
We generally start admitting students in late February, but the process of filling all of our openings can extend into April. Why does it take so long? We like to give students time to consider our offer before making a commitment to join us. A few inevitably turn us down, at which point we make further offers. As a result, most of our slots are filled by mid-March, but it is not uncommon for us to still have an opening or two in April. We do not send out rejection letters until all of our positions have been filled.

What are my chances of getting admitted?
We typically get around 250 applications. But don't let that number discourage you! Getting admitted to our program is not all about having the highest GPA. We also consider lots of other criteria, such as your commitment to a career in science, how well your interests match those of our faculty, and whether this would be an opportunity you could not get at your home institution.

Do you ever accept students from large universities?
Yes, but not very often. We consider a variety of criteria when selecting students for our program.

Do I have to participate for the full ten weeks of the program?
Yes. Late starts or early departures are not options.

Where will I be living?
We arrange (and pay for) on-campus housing.

Can I take classes while I am participating in the program?
No. The program is a full-time commitment. 

I am a student at The University of Iowa. Am I eligible for this program?
Yes, provided you meet the other selection criteria. But please note that we do not usually accept UI students. This is because one of our goals is to serve students from small colleges where research opportunities are limited. The Department of Microbiology and Immunology strongly encourages our microbiology majors to get some research experience. To facilitate this, we offer courses (MICR:4161 and MICR:4171) that allow students to conduct a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Talk to your faculty advisor to learn more about this wonderful opportunity.

I am interested in graduate school at The University of Iowa, but I did not get into your summer program. Does this mean I won't get into your graduate program either?
Absolutely not! Please apply to our graduate program (to find information on applying, click here). The criteria for selecting graduate students are different than for selecting REU participants. One of the biggest differences is that when it comes time for graduate school, we will not count it against you if you are from a large, research-oriented university.

How much is the stipend?
The stipend for 2024 will be $6,500, plus a $1,000 supplement for food and other living expenses. In addition, we pay for housing.

What about travel?
We will pay for your flight or, if you are driving, we will reimburse you for mileage up to the cost of a round trip flight from your nearest airport. Once you are accepted to the program, we will contact you to help with travel arrangements.

What if I still have questions or comments?
Contact us by email at or by phone at 319-335-7807.