Program Overview

The Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Kansas hosts a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.  The REU Program provides an intensive 10-week summer research experience for curious and motivated undergraduates who would like an opportunity to apply their knowledge toward solving modern-day problems in biology or bioinformatics. The program will provide students with exciting and doable scientific projects as well as experiences that build self-confidence and encourage critical and independent thinking. Faculty mentors from the Department of Molecular Biosciences have strong records of undergraduate mentoring and conduct state-of-the-art, hypothesis-driven research in a variety of different areas of the biomedical sciences, from Molecules, to Cells and Organisms. Areas of research interests in the Department of Molecular Biosciences are varied and include investigations of protein folding and protein design mechanisms of cell-cell communication, cell division and cell migration, the genetics of complex traits, development of multicellular organisms, cancer and stem cell biology, and host-parasite interactions. In addition to conducting research, REU participants will attend seminars and workshops designed to provide mentoring and enrichment in career development, the graduate school applications/admissions process, and effective scientific communication skills. The program will include several opportunities for student participants to present research findings and will conclude with a campus-wide mini symposium and a written final report.  Undergraduates studying biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, or bioinformatics are invited to apply.  Students from groups underrepresented in the sciences and students currently enrolled in Primarily Undergraduate Institutions are particularly encouraged to apply.

Participating Faculty

  • REU participants receive personalized mentoring  in experimental design and implementation from faculty and laboratory members in the Department of Molecular Biosciences
  • A list of mentoring faculty and a general description of research programs can be found under the Research Areas link above.

Program Activities and Stipends

  • Participants are actively involved in the process of scientific inquiry for 10 weeks (May 25–July 31, 2015).
  • Enrichment activities include weekly seminars and workshops on graduate school, career opportunities and development, mastering oral and written scientific communication skills. Students will present their findings in a campus-wide poster session at the end of the summer.
  • Participants receive a $5500 stipend. 
  • Room and board is also provided, with housing arranged by KU Student Housing
  • Travel costs up to $500 per student are paid by the program.
  • Planned social activities will allow for group cohesiveness and help establish relationships between REU participants and the community of scientists within the Department of Molecular Biosciences


The program is intended for undergraduates who:

  • Have completed at least two years of college
  • Will be returning for at least one year of undergraduate study before graduation
  • Would like to explore the possibility of  graduate study in the biomedical sciences
  • Are United States citizens or permanent residents
  • Have limited opportunities to participate in biomedical laboratory research and development

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