Microbiology

  • Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Microbiology

    Frequently Asked Questions

    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.

    How many students participate?
    We expect to have NSF funding for 8 students. We usually accept 1-2 additional students on departmental funds.

    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). Similar restrictions apply to departmental funds.

    To what address should my recommendation letters be sent?
    We prefer that your recommenders send their letters via email to undergrad-micro-info@uiowa.edu or fax to 319-335-9006. If necessary, they can be sent via regular mail to:

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

    Will my application be considered if it is late?
    Applications that are complete (including letters of recommendation) by February 15 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 300 applicants. 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. 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.

    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. The only exception is that you have the option of earning two semester hours of academic credit from The University of Iowa for your research experience. We will pay your tuition if you choose this option. These credits are often transferrable, so check with your home institution about whether they will count toward your degree.

    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 applications from UI (and other major research institutions) are given somewhat lower priority because one of our goals is to serve students from small colleges where research opportunities are limited. The Department of Microbiology strongly encourages our microbiology majors to get some research experience. To facilitate this, we offer courses (MICR:4161 [061:161] and MICR:4171 [061:171]) 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 2015 is $5,250, plus a $530 food allowance. 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 undergrad-micro-info@uiowa.edu or by phone at 319-335-7980.