SUST majors @RooseveltU, particularly those who have had some biology and/or environmental science classes, are in a good position to apply for a Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) summer fellowships, offered through generous funding by the National Science Foundation. These fellowships are excellent opportunities to work directly with scientific researchers on lab- and field-based topics, gain hands-on research experience, and network with fellow undergrads from other schools. Plus they’re well compensated with a fellowship stipend of several thousand dollars. (Yes — you read that correctly.)
Here in the Chicago region there are several notable REU programs that offer multiple paid fellowships, including those based in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Biology and Conservation Program (2/5 application deadline) and Northeastern IL University‘s water quality study in the Yucatan Peninsula (2/15 deadline).
Further afield, there are many other opportunities available in Illinois, in the Midwest, and across the US. Two excellent ones, for example, are the Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region program at the University of Michigan Biological Station (2/15 deadline) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Summer Student Fellowship program (2/5 deadline). Both have very generous stipends and are phenomenal places to spend a summer doing field-based environmental research! (Coincidentally, SUST prof Mike Bryson worked at both of these sites back in his college days in the late 1980s, when the REU program was a new thing.)
Interested applicants should also check out the NSF’s REU Students website for access to dozens of fellowships opportunities across across the US. Consult individual program sites for 2020 application materials and deadlines, which are usually in late January or throughout February/March.
Back in summer 2012, SUST alum Allison Breeding (BA ’13) won a REU fellowship at SIU’s Center for Ecology and studied agroecology in beautiful Southern Illinois. She blogged about her experiences here and presented an overview of her research at the October 2013 Sustainability Studies Student Symposium.
Want to learn more? Check out the links above! And remember: you can’t get one of these awesome fellowships unless you apply . . .
From the NSF Website (REU For Students):
NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location.
By using the web page, Search for an REU Site, you may examine opportunities in the subject areas supported by various NSF units. Also, you may search by keywords to identify sites in particular research areas or with certain features, such as a particular location.
Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site.