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NSF Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program
Microbiology: From Atoms to Ecosystems at the University of Minnesota

Microbiology has never been more important or exciting than it is today. Microorganisms live everywhere life is possible and are more numerous than any other kind of organism. It has been estimated that 5 x 1031 microbial cells exist on earth, weighing more that 50 quadrillion metric tons. The earth’s oceans teem with over 100 million viruses per teaspoon. Microbes are indispensable components of our ecosystem: no other life forms are as important for the maintenance of life on earth. Microbes carry out more photosynthesis than green plants, and are responsible for recycling critical elements for life, including carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. Despite their obvious benefits, microbes also are the major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and new microbial diseases are identified each year.

This National Science Foundation supported program provides intensive, mentored research experiences in microbiology and is intended for students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. after graduation. Participants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, must be enrolled at a 4-year accredited college or university, and must be in their sophomore or junior year at the time of application. All applicants must have successfully completed (or be currently enrolled in) at least one biological sciences course. We welcome all applications and particularly encourage students from schools that do not have extensive research programs and students from groups underrepresented in the sciences. Participants will receive a stipend, a meal allowance, university dormitory housing, and reimbursement for travel costs.

Program Highlights

The program will engage students in a variety of interactive, cooperative learning, research-related, professional development and social activities including: (i) an orientation weekend retreat at...