This REU Site award to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, located in Charlotte, NC, will support the training of 10 students in a 10-week program during the summers of 2015-2017. The REU program is open to all undergraduate students who are citizens, nationals or permanent residents of the United States. Students trained in the program will gain skills in lab research, develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, understand the process of science, and be able to communicate their research results to their peers and the general public. Students will have an opportunity to present their results at a national conference. The REU program provides an experience to students that is typically not available to them at their home institutions. Students from schools with limited opportunities for research and from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

This REU Site program will focus on research in biology and biotechnology in a traditional research experience while conveying how basic biotechnology research leads to business creation and industrial development. Example projects include bioinformatics and whole genome analyses to understand drought resistance of potato crops, generation and study of transgenic soybeans for agricultural use, study of microbial populations for biofuel development or water treatment, use of nanoparticles in bioavailability or environmental impact studies. During the 10-week program, students will participate in activities including workshops on Research Ethics, Applying to Graduate School, Career Opportunities, Biotechnology Innovation and Start-Ups, and a program at NC Research Campus and David Murdock Research Institute featuring research and employment opportunities. At the end of the program, students will present their research in a poster and/or oral presentation at the UNC Charlotte Summer Research Symposium.

A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (Directorate for Biological Sciences) will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. 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 by contacting the PI (Dr. Christine Richardson at or co-PI (Dr. Sharon Bullock at

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Sally O'Connor
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University of North Carolina at Charlotte
United States
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