MDI Biological Laboratory

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Fellowship Program

The MDI Biological Laboratory’s REU program aims to engage students in scientific explorations in the Laboratory’s research focus area, Comparative Regenerative Biology and Aging, while providing them with opportunities to build skills important to successful careers in the biological sciences. Research opportunities focus on uncovering basic cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regenerative and aging processes in various animal model systems, including zebrafish, African turquoise killifish, nematodes and axolotls. Students will have access to state-of-the-art research laboratories and core facilities, support staff, and our inspirational coastal setting. Students will join in MDI Biological Laboratory’s active scientific community, which includes other undergraduate research fellows, visiting scientists, graduate students, and post-docs as well as research assistants.

About this program

  • Open to US citizen undergraduates anywhere in the United States and U.S. Territories who do not have prior undergraduate degrees and are eligible for fellowships.
  • Students from underserved populations are encouraged to apply.
  • All REU Fellows will carry out their research onsite at the MDI Biological Laboratory.
  • Students must be aiming for careers that involve research.
  • Students enrolled in non-research-intensive colleges, universities, and community colleges are encouraged to apply.
  • All REU fellows participate in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and ethics training.
  • REU Fellows receive some travel assistance, housing, meal plans, and stipends.
  • Competitive applicants will have a minimum of a 3.0-grade point average.

During the 10-week REU fellowship, all students will participate in a scientific communication course and hone their technical writing, oral, and poster presentation skills. In addition, students will participate in Innovation Week activities aimed at building an innovation mindset. Depending on their research focus, students will also receive advanced training in microscopy and bioinformatics. At the end of the fellowship, students will present their findings at our annual Summer Science Symposium. Families, friends, and colleagues are invited to attend.

Other Funding Sources

Other private funding sources are available, with various eligibility requirements and award amounts. Outstanding applicants for summer REU fellowships may be selected for other available funding awards.


REU Fellowship students work on projects in an MDI Biological Laboratory research laboratory, with the mentorship of residential or visiting faculty and their laboratory staff.

Application Procedure

Online applications require the uploading of student-copy transcripts with fall semester grades, a resume/CV, and answers to several essay questions. Two faculty references are required, which are requested through the online application form. MDIBL REU applicants must also apply through the NSF ETAP portal (here). You must submit both your ETAP and LabCentral applications to be considered for the MDIBL REU Program.

Applications for 2025 will open in late fall.


Decision notification letters are sent to applicants in late March/early April.