This REU Site award to the University of Nevada Las Vegas will support the training of ten undergraduates for 10 weeks during the summers of 2018-20. The goal of the program is to provide students with research opportunities that investigate evolutionary change using prokaryotic, eukaryotic and viral models. The REU program takes a holistic approach towards training undergraduates and the co-curricular program integrates three modules: Working like a Scientist, Science Communication, and Career Exploration. Working like a Scientist asks the participants to take ownership of their project by formulating hypotheses, planning experiments, analyzing data, and reading primary literature. The Science Communication module provides the participants with the opportunity to speak at group meetings, receive mentoring on preparing an abstract, and present at the Summer Research Symposium. The Career Exploration module consists of presentations by REU mentors on possible career trajectories, and the participants initiating Individual Development Plans. Participants will use an online IDP program to reflect upon and identify milestones required to achieve potential careers.
It is anticipated that a total of 30 students will be trained over the 3 year period. Students from underrepresented groups, first generation to attend college, and those from colleges with limited research opportunities are encouraged to apply. An underlying goal is for participants to gain the required technical, communication, and goal setting skills that allow them to transition from trainee to apprentice scientist. Students will learn how research is conducted, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences. Applications are accepted online.
A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU Site programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine their career paths. Students will be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information about the program is available by visiting https://faculty.unlv.edu/microreu/ or by contacting the PI, Dr. Kurt Regner at email@example.com or the co-PI, Dr. Eduardo Robleto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.