A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site award has been made to Boston University (BU) that will provide research training for ten students, for ten weeks during the summers of 2013-2016. The program is coordinated by the BU Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), and approximately 35 faculty from the Biology Department and related programs serve as research mentors. Molecular, cellular, ecological, genomics, evolutionary, and computational research methods are used by students and mentors to address biological problems, primarily as they relate to the effects of environmental influences on gene expression or function. Students perform full-time intensive research as part of a research team consisting of a faculty member and a graduate student or post-doctoral mentor. In addition to research, students attend weekly summer workshops on topics including scientific publication, professional presentations, career opportunities in science, graduate school admissions, and scientific ethics. Students give several oral presentations during the summer and return to BU in the fall semester to present at the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Social events designed to integrate students into the research environment are included. After completion of the program, students will be tracked to determine continued interest in research and career paths. Research stipends, housing and travel are provided. Students are selected based on academic record, letters of recommendation, potential for outstanding research in the program?s research area, and matching interests with research mentor, with special focus on students from underrepresented minority groups or smaller colleges. The program?s recruitment efforts consist of traditional "hard copy" formats, on-line advertising, and networking activities with previous students and at national research conferences. Information about the program outcome will be assessed by various means, including use of an REU common assessment tool. More information is available by visiting www.bu.edu/surf/program/, or by contacting the PI (Dr. Tom Gilmore, gilmore@bu.edu) or the Program Manager (Ms. Tina Fresta, urop@bu.edu).

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
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Charles Sullivan
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Boston University
United States
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