This award to East Tennessee State University (ETSU) will provide research training to six undergraduate students for 10 weeks, during the summers of 2012-2014. Students can select from a variety of projects focused on the development of vertebrate animals. Students will work individually as well as in groups with faculty members from four basic science disciplines, including the College of Arts and Sciences (Biological Sciences) and the College of Medicine (Anatomy & Cell Biology, Pharmacology, and Physiology). All projects emphasize important techniques to collect and analyze data at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization in order to understand developmental processes. Students will have access to modern laboratories and equipment that support protein biochemistry; molecular biology; cell/tissue culture; histology; and diverse types of microscopy and digital imaging. The program includes sessions focusing on scientific research skills; responsible conduct of research; communication skills; and postgraduate studies and application procedures. An important feature of the program is the opportunity to interact with other undergraduate researchers on campus, including participation in an annual ETSU Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium. Student experience is enhanced by field trips to local science museums, parks and industry. Recruitment of students will include the program website; direct contacts with colleges; and site visits to target institutions. Student selection will be based on academic record, expressed interests in biological research and postgraduate studies, and recommendation by their faculty. Program success will be assessed by various means, including an assessment tool common across REU programs and the tailored use of a framework that defines and assesses progress in development of research skills. Students interested in an opportunity for an intensive summer research experience are encouraged to visit www.etsu.edu/honors/reu, and to contact the PI (Dr. Rebecca Pyles, firstname.lastname@example.org).