Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

Please refer to the tutorial at the bottom of the page to help you through the online application system. If you have a problem that is not addressed in the tutorial, please email Stephanie Ware.  You will need an e-mail account to register for the on-line application. After you register, an authentication e-mail will be sent to your e-mail acoount. If you do not receive this authentication message, check the SPAM filter of your e-mail account.


CURRENT STATUS: The FMNH 2014 REU Program application period is closed. Announcements were emailed to all applicants 11-Mar-14. The eight 2014 REU interns have accepted their positions. Thank you so much to all of you who applied to the program. We received over 400 applications this year and the quality of all of the applicants was extraordinary.

Field Museum's REU Program 2014: The Field Museum of Natural History is offering eight paid REU summer internships for the summer of 2014 (funded through the National Science Foundation). All REU applications must be made via this web site.

The summer internship program will begin June 9. If a university or college schedule conflicts with this start date, interns may ask to start on June 16. The 6th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held Friday, August 15 at the Field Museum. This symposium will be a joint symposium hosted by the Field Museum REU program and the Chicago Botanic Garden REU program. Interns from both programs will be required to give a 10 minute presentation about their research at the symposium.

Please note: Undergraduate student participants in the REU program must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions and must be a freshman, sophomore or junior at the time of application. Seniors cannot apply for an REU internship.

REU student participants receive a stipend of $4,500 for the 10-week program and additional $2,500 subsistence and $250 travel allowance.

Relevant dates:

  • Projects posted on website: mid-Dec, 2013
  • Applications open: 20-Dec-13, 12:01am CST
  • Application deadline: 10-Feb-14, 11:59pm CST
  • Letters of reference deadline: 14-Feb-14
  • Awards announced (by email): 14-March-14
  • Awardee accept / decline deadline: 21-March-14
  • REU internship period: 9-June-14 to 15-Aug-14
  • Phylogenetic workshop series (weekly) and introductory lectures: 18-June-14 to 23-July-14  (evening class, participation mandatory)
  • Research Symposium: 15-Aug-14 (participation mandatory)

2014 REU Projects

What's in a name? That's what we call a species - addressing species delimitation in lichenized fungi
Advisor: Dr. Thorsten Lumbsch (Curator, Botany and Associate Director, Integrative Research Center)

ATM meets MET - Assembling a Taxonomic Monograph using Modern Electronic Tools
Advisors: Dr. Robert Lücking (Adjunct Curator and Collections Manager, Botany) and Dr. Thorsten Lumbsch (Curator, Botany and Associate Director, Integrative Research Center)

Morphological Integration in the Mandibles of Living Reptiles and Fossil Synapsids
Advisor: Dr. Kenneth D. Angielczyk (Curator, Geology)

Morphological evolution of carnivoran milk teeth
Advisors: Dr. Kenneth Angielczyk (Curator, Geology) and Dr. Susumu Tomiya (Postdoctoral Researcher, Geology)

What can we learn from 30+ years of bird migration data?
Advisors: Dr. David Willard (Adjunct Curator, Birds), Dr. Ben Marks (Collection Manager, Birds) and Dr. Douglas Stotz (Research Ecologist, Action Center)

One leg at a time: The morphology of millipedes
Advisor: Dr. Petra Sierwald (Curator, Arachnida and Myriapoda)

Hairy legs in the Nursery
Advisors: Dr. Petra Sierwald (Curator, Arachnida and Myriapoda) and Dr. Estevam da Silva (Postdoctoral Researcher, Arachnida and Myriapoda)

Speciation and Diversification of Mammals on Islands
Advisors:  Dr. John Bates (Curator, Birds) and Dr. Lawrence Heaney (Curator, Mammals)

We have posted pictures, project descriptions and REU intern symposium abstracts from 2009-2013 on our past REU projects page. Also, you can browse through the program and abstracts of our 2009, 20102011, and 2012 Undergraduate Research Symposia. Field Museum's 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in 2013 was a joint event with the REU program of the Chicago Botanic Garden. REU interns from both institutions, but also numerous affiliated  interns presented their research in oral presenations and as posters.  We are looking forward to the 6th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, which will be held on Friday, August 15, 2014.

You can download a booklet at the bottom of this page that profiles the 2012 Scholarship Committee interns, including the REU participants.

The Field Museum houses one of the world’s foremost scientific collections of biological diversity (>25 million specimens), and supports active biodiversity research around the globe. Despite the urgency of the current biodiversity crisis, few educational opportunities exist for students in the biological sciences to interact with scientists and institutions dedicated to the study of organic diversity. The Field Museum REU program will train a cohort of at least eight students in biodiversity-related research in a 10-week summer program. Each participant will undertake an independent research project supervised by a museum scientist in a discipline such as taxonomy and systematics, phylo/ biogeography, paleontology, molecular phylogenetics, or conservation. Students will experience biological diversity through the use of the museum’s collections in their research, and will be trained in project-relevant techniques and equipment such as the scanning electron microscope, various light microscopy set-ups, and equipment in the Pritzker DNA lab. A six-week course in phylogenetic systematics run concurrently with intern projects will provide a common theoretical framework for their research. At the conclusion of the summer students will present their research results to their peers and museum scientists at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Providing equal opportunity in biodiversity-related research is an important goal of the program.

The current REU program is funded through an REU-Site grant of the National Science Foundation, DBI 11-56594 fo Drs. Petra Sierwald (Zoology) and Kenneth Angielczyk (Geology). The 2009- 2011 REU program was funded through an REU-Site grant of the National Science Foundation DBI: 08-49958 (PIs Petra Sierwald and Peter Makovicky).