How to Apply


Who should apply?



If you enjoy the laboratory environment and are curious about careers in research, you should apply.  Previous research experience is not required. Ideally, students will have completed one year of college, and have successfully completed one biology and one chemistry class.  Members of underrepresented minority groups, students who are differently abled, first generation college students, and students who can contribute to diversity in other ways are encouraged to apply.  Students from community colleges or small liberal arts colleges with limited opportunities for research are also encouraged to apply.  Students who will have completed a bachelor's degree by August 2024 are not eligible to participate.


  • Reviewing applicaitons for Summer 2024. Selections may not be completed before April 30.


  • 26 FEBRUARY 2024 MON

  • Thank you for your interest in our program! Your application is a vote for science!


  • May 20 -- July 26, 2024


How to apply

The following documents and information should be collected before starting the online application:

  1. Current transcripts
  2. A list of four preferred faculty mentors
  3. Contact information, including email address, for at least one Letter of Recommendation writer
  4. Personal demographic information
  5. A written Statement of Purpose (see below)

Specific application instructions and recommendations

Buttons to open the online application portal are located on each page of this website.  After gathering  the required documents and information, simply follow the instructions.

  1. A current college transcript.  Unofficial transcripts can be submitted in the application, but students who are accepted into the program will be expected to provide updated, official transcripts.  If you changed institutions and have only spent one semester at your current institution, you might consider providing transcripts from previous institutions.
  2. Click on the Faculty Mentors and Projects link and read over the project summaries. Make an ordered list of at least three projects that you find the most appealing.  Student success is dependent on making a good match.  Matching students to a research project and mentor is required in order to participate in the program.
  3. Approach a faculty member at your current institution, preferably one you know well and who is familiar with your work and interests, and ask them whether they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation (LOR) for the REU program on your behalf. You will enter the name, address, and email address of the LOR writer into the application portal.  The LOR writer will then receive an automated email with specific instructions.  While only one LOR is required, you may suggest more than one faculty who may write a letter.  Be sure to notify your references well in advance of the application due date.
  4. Because this is a federally funded program, personal demographic information will be collected and provided to the National Science Foundation in tabular format.  No student names will be attached to this information.  (Information related to program products, such as posters or publications, will also be reported to the NSF, along with the names of students attached to the projects.)
  5. The Statement of Purpose should be written solely by the applicant and should be a page/page and a half in length.  The Statement of Purpose is an important part of the REU application. Students who apply to multiple REU programs should not use the same Statement of Purpose in each application; these documents should be tailored to the program.  These paragraphs are not easy to write, especially for first-year undergraduates.  In your Statement of Purpose,  include personal statements and reflections along the following:
    • your current thoughts regarding your choice of major and future career, if known
    • the steps, if any, you have taken to prepare yourself for your future career (educational test preparation other programs or volunteer activities, awards or honors, etc)
    • your motivation for applying to the KU REU program--why you want to participate in research at KU, why you want to particiate in a summer research program, and what value this experience will bring to you and what you might add to the experience
    • the reasoning behind your selection of potential faculty mentors
    • how you might contribute to diversity in the program or contribute to its success
  6. The DUE DATE is FEBRUARY 26