This REU Site award to Michigan State University (MSU), in East Lansing, MI, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2015-2017. REU interns will engage in faculty mentored research focused on genomics of plants and photosynthetic microbes that will be suitable for students interested in molecular genetics, biochemistry, chemistry and computational biology. Participants will be selected from a pool of junior and senior applicants with an emphasis on individuals from minority serving and primarily undergraduate institutions. This REU provides interns with experiences designed to help prepare them for graduate school. Interns will be immersed within an active research group and will interact with faculty, postdoctoral associates and graduate students to acquire research skills and an in depth understanding of their project. The program will be augmented through weekly presentations describing MSU research programs and faculty career paths, together with seminars addressing scientific ethics, presentation skills, and career and graduate school opportunities. These activities will be structured to increase each intern's ability to think critically and conduct biological research with the goal of maximizing their future impact on STEM disciplines. Program assessment will be accomplished through a combination of custom surveys and the REU common assessment tool.

This three year REU will train 30 students in cutting edge research in plant genomics. The program will seek to attract students from under-represented groups and smaller institutions where research opportunities are often limited. Experiences will focus on the formulation and testing of hypotheses and the scientific method together with graduate school and career opportunities in the biological sciences. Formal and social interactions with faculty members and their research groups are an integral part of the program and collectively these experiences are intended to provide interns with the experience and confidence to pursue graduate school and scientific careers in the biological sciences.

Students are required to be tracked after the program and must respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information is available at, or by contacting the PI (Dr. Cornelius Barry at or the co-PI (Dr. Robert Last at

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Program Officer
Sally E. O'Connor
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Michigan State University
East Lansing
United States
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