What is an REU program? 

In an effort to provide undergraduate researchers more opportunities, the Plant Science Research Network reached out Research Experience for Undergraduate or REU program coordinators to learn more about their summer internship programs. On this page we've highlighted programs that provide plant science research opportunities. 

Why did the we collect this information? 

We have gathered this information and provided it as a resource to students interested in learning more about all of the types of plant science opportunities available to them. 

We are looking to grow this list!

The programs listed below are just the tip of the iceberg. Please comment below or contact Natalie to add additional programs to the list! 

Learn more about summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates 

The programs below are displayed alphabetically by institution name. Please feel free to reach out to the program coordinators directly if you have any questions. 

Boyce Thompson Institute Plant Genome Research Program REU

Coordinator contact information:

Delanie Sickler (pgrp-outreach@cornell.edu, 607-254-6732)

Our students work in labs alongside mentors and faulty studying cell biology, stress response, biotic interactions, genomics and systems in plants.

Testimonial

“I have grown drastically as a plant scientist. I have gained indispensable knowledge and have met wonderful people that are humble and always willing to help. This internship solidified my aspirations to pursue a career in the life sciences.” - 2016 BTI Intern Carina Sandoval, California State University

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Research Experiences for Undergraduates on Translational Ecology

Coordinator contact information:

Aude Lochet (locheta@caryinstitute.org, 845-677-7600)

The Cary Institute focuses on forest ecology, nutrient cycling, invasive species which relate directly or indirectly to plant science

Testimonial

"This program helped me grow not only as a professional but as a person... This opportunity helped me build up my confidence, now I feel more than capable to be successful in the field of ecology. I made so many great friendships and learned so much, I will never forget it."

Cornell University Geneva Summer Research Scholars Program

Coordinator contact information:

Larry Smart (lbs33@cornell.edu, 315-787-2490)

Projects in Horticulture, Plant Breeding, Plant Pathology, and Entomology focused on fruit and vegetable crops

Testimonial

"Prior to this I planned to go to graduate school to study more medical microbiology, which most of my previous research was centered around, but over the course of this program I have gotten to really, really enjoy plant pathology and a lot of the opportunities here have opened my eyes to different perspectives and this whole new world of microbiology which I haven't been able to explore previously" - Katrin Ayer (Past program participant)

Department of Plant Pathology-University of Arkansas Adair-Bollenbacher undergraduate internship

Coordinator contact information:

Clemencia Rojas (cr022@uark.edu, 479-575-3214)

Focus on plant diseases caused by diverse groups of pathogens

Michigan State University Plant Genomics @ MSU

Coordinator contact information:

Krystle Wiegert-Rininger (plantgen@msu.edu, 517-884-6959)

Plant Genomics @ MSU provides a 10-week mentored research experience utilizing wet-lab or computational-based approaches to address fundamental questions to the biology of plants or photosynthetic micro-organisms.

North Carolina State University Integrative Molecular Plant Systems Research Experience (IMPS)

Coordinator contact information:

Susan  Carson (sdcarson@ncsu.edu, 919-515-3803)

NCSU has a strong core of plant biologists who are working in the areas of sustainable foods, fuels, and developing model systems for studying fundamental biological mechanisms. During the 10-week summer program, students will actively engage in a research project under the mentorship of a participating faculty member. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Rutgers University - Camden REU: Computational Biology Summer Program

Coordinator contact information:

Karen Taylor (kdt41@camden.rutgers.edu, 856-225-6492)

We have one project that is directly related to plant science, and several others related to bio-fuel production.

Testimonial

“The program has given me a whole new perspective and an experience I’ve never had before.  I can apply the skills I learn here to my undergraduate experience and, eventually, to grad school.”  

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center SERC Summer REU Program

Coordinator contact information:

Dan Gustafson (gustafsond@si.edu, 443-482-2217)

plant ecology

Testimonial

"My research experience at SERC was phenomenal. I loved the lab I worked in and really felt like a part of the research team. I gained valuable skills and relationships through this internship and had a fantastic experience overall."

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Global Change Ecology at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Coordinator contact information:

Alison Cawood (cawooda@si.edu, 443-482-2271)

Many of SERC's 20 research labs conduct research on topics related to plant science. In recent years, interns have participated in projects to measure methane emissions from different tree species, determine below-ground biomass of wetland plants under different sea level rise scenarios, conducted surveys of native orchids, and studied impacts of soil moisture on forest development.

Testimonial

"My research experience was PHENOMENAL. SERC will by far be one of my most memorable research experiences and the guidance and mentorship I received was constructive and supportive. I will undoubtedly be a much better researcher because of this experience. Before I participated in my SERC internship, I was unsure about whether I would enroll in a Masters or PhD program. With my experiences at SERC, I am now confidently applying to Masters and PhD programs. I am now more confident and feel more prepared when applying to Masters and PhD programs. I got invaluable experience learning about genetic research in a productive and supportive environment. It is so rare to have such a great relationship with everyone around you while conducting meaningful and rigorous research, but SERC provided me with all of the tools I needed to succeed and more with supportive mentors. Response from an anonymous student to an end-of-program survey"

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute STRI Internship Program

Coordinator contact information:

Paola Gomez Garcia (gomezp@si.edu, 507-212-8281)

Open field in tropical sciences

Stone Laboratory, Ohio State University REU Program

Coordinator contact information:

Justin Chaffin (chaffin.46@osu.edu, 419-285-1845)

Some of our students study algae. More specifically, toxicity and environmental drivers of harmful cyanobacterial blooms.

Testimonial

“I discovered that I really like being on boats,” Maddy Lambrix said. “So when we were out sampling on a nice day, it was pretty great to be doing something I enjoy and also protecting people’s drinking water.”

The Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Biology & Conservation Research Experiences for Undergraduates - From Genes to Ecosystems

Coordinator contact information:

Jeremie Fant (info@cbgreu.org, 8478358346)

The CBG REU program offers undergraduate participants an opportunity to explore a diverse array of scientific fields related to plant biology and conservation. Participants will gain lab and field experience working with scientists at the CBG and partner institutions. For more information visit cbgreu.org.

Testimonial

“CBG [Chicago Botanic Garden] does a great job of making sure... you get that complete  experience and also that you walk away with something that you can present at your school,  at different conferences, you can look back on as a complete project.” Elizabeth Donaldson CBG REU 2017 Winner of Best Presentation at CBG REU Symposium 

“It [REU program at CBG] gives people a chance to learn how to do research and see if research is something that they want to do long term.” Jalen Holloway CBG REU 2017

“The highlight has been, for sure, the mentors and investigators and the support they provided in helping me do my experiments and do this job overall well.” Ana Flores CBG REU 2017 Winner of Best Poster at CBG REU Symposium

The Ohio State University, Department of Plant Pathology Summer Research Internship in Plant Pathology

Coordinator contact information:

Monica Lewandowski (lewandowski.52@osu.edu, 614-247-6876)

The study of plant diseases, plant-microbe interactions, and plant health management.


The Washington Center Naval Research Laboratory HBCU/MI Internship Program

Coordinator contact information:

Dustin Harris (nrl@twc.edu, 202-238-7734)

This 10-week internship program provides undergraduate or graduate students with a wide range of laboratory research opportunities, some of which have featured plant science.

Testimonial

"Recent participants have regularly stated that this hands-on program has helped them to develop better research skills, to become more organized, and to become more confident."

University of Wisconsin-Madison Biological SIGNALS Summer Research Program

Coordinator contact information:

Amber Smith (amber.smith@wisc.edu, 608-469-2956)

Students in the Biological SIGNALs program will explore research questions related to understanding the many forms of information and signals in biological systems (e.g. pheromones, electrical signals, DNA), how information moves within and across biological scales, and how signals from the environment can impact cellular processes and therefore organismal and population activity. We have many plant scientists as mentors and because our theme is broad there are opportunities to match students with a mentor with similar research interests. We offer research opportunities at the molecular, organismal, and ecosystem scales.

Testimonial

"Being a participant of the Biological SIGNALS Program was the best experience I have had in my academic career. As someone with little research experience beforehand, I had the opportunity to work full-time on a project related to my interests, create my first poster, polish my scientific writing skills, and share findings with fellow participants. Additionally, I was able to take advantage of seminars and development workshops, which helped me explore the possibility of graduate school in the future. Thanks to SIGNALS, I now have a clearer picture of how to pursue and attain my goals." - Luisángely Soto Torres (Past program participant)

WK Kellogg Biological Station - Michigan State University "Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics in a Changing World" Summer REU Program

Coordinator contact information:

Danielle Zoellner (zoellne8@msu.edu, 269-671-2171)

Ecological and evolutionary dynamics of plants and plant communities

Testimonial

"Working at KBS has reminded me that I am capable of pursuing a career in science and there is no specific amount of time that it should take to get there. By being part of this program, I was able to experience the different sides of research. I got to work in the field, chemistry lab, attend lab meetings, and present my own work. I’m happy I decided to spend my summer at KBS and now I feel more confident and prepared to start at the University of California San Diego this fall." JB, Community College Transfer Student, 2016 KBS REU

Coastal Research in Environmental Science and Technology (CREST) REU

Coordinator contact information:

Alan Christian (alan.christian@umb.edu, 617-287-6639)

Coastal Ecology

REU Summer Internship Program in Plant Biology

Coordinator contact information:

Cathy Kromer (internship@danforthcenter.org, 314-587-1424)

We are a plant biology research institution

Testimonial

"This internship not only provided me with excellent laboratory experience and solidified my career aspirations to be a research scientist, but it also provided me with research findings on which I could present and include in applications for years to come. I also found a great mentor in my PI (Dr. Pandey), who has been an invaluable resource in providing guidance, application critiques, and recommendations. This internship experience was very pivotal to my later success as an undergrad and has allowed me to pursue a PhD at a top university." -Jenny Wilson, 2014 REU intern

Harvard Forest Summer Research Program

Coordinator contact information:

Manisha Patel (manishapatel@fas.harvard.edu, 978-756-6148)

The program is focused around ecology and plant play a major role in a lot of the research.

Testimonial

"This REU program was fundamental to helping me gain research experience, becoming part of a scientific community, and experiencing life at a research station." - Margaurete Romero (Past program participant)

Summer REU Biology Biotechnology Program

Coordinator contact information:

Christine Ughetta (C.Richardson@uncc.edu, 704-687-8683)

The program projects provide experience in biotechnology research including transgenic soy bean plants for vaccines and agriculture as well as plant genomics for understanding tolerance, traits, and evolution

Testimonial

“I thank the REU program at UNC Charlotte for giving me the tools, the experience, and the vision to chase my dream of becoming a researcher.” 

REU Site: Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Next Generation Plant Biology

Coordinator contact information:

Thomas Eulgem (thomas.eulgem@ucr.edu, 951 827 7740)

This REU Site program is administered by the  Center for Plant Cell Biology (CEPCEB) of University of California at Riverside (UCR) and supports the training of 12 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2015 to 2019. The CEPCEB-REU program provides authentic research experiences in “next-generation” cell biology of plants and plant pathogens. Program participants get exposed to innovative experimental techniques and benefit from state-of-the-art genomics, bioinformatics, microscopy and proteomics facilities. CEPCEB supports mostly plant-related interdisciplinary studies and encompasses 45 faculty from 12 UCR departments. 

More information 

Research and Funding Opportunities