REU Program at SFSU's EOS Center & SFSU's Main Campus


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NSF Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

We are no longer accepting applications for Summer 2022

reu cohort

Biological Research in Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental-Biology (BREED)

Application portal for Summer 2022 is now closed

Program Highlights

  • Individual research projects in one of ~20 faculty laboratories in the Departments of Biology at San Francisco State University and the Estuary & Ocean Science Center, SFSU's marine lab
  • $5500 stipend with some assistance on living and travel costs
  • Integrated program of academic and professional development
  • Summer-long full time program; June 5th, 2022 - August 6th, 2022; one-week lab/lecture course followed by full-time independent research
  • Weekly career development workshop 
  • Mentoring from research faculty, graduate students, and peers
  • Excursions and social programs that allow us to visit field sites around central CA to discuss biodiversity and environmental concerns with experts!
  • Students from community colleges are encouraged to apply. We welcome local Bay area students and SFSU undergrads, too.

Students in our REU program will have the opportunity to work with many terrific researchers. To learn about some of our great mentors in previous years and their REU research projects please click here.

Contact Us! 

For general questions email or Program Director Dr. Sarah Cohen at

Application Instructions

Applications are no longer being accepted for Summer 2022


1. Review application questions: Before you submit an application please take some time to review the application questions to prepare your responses.  Click here to download the REU sample application questions. Do not submit this downloaded form, just use it to review and prepare your answers. Then, go to the portal below and answer in the portal.


2. Submit an application: Once you've prepared your answers to the application questions, you may submit an application online. To make sure you are using the most recent version of the application, clearing your browser history before accessing the application portal link below for the final time. To submit an application to the REU BREED Summer 2022 program please access the application portal by clicking here:

*Note: if you need to re-start your application from scratch, please be sure to clear your browser history


3. Contact 2 recommenders: Ask two people to provide letters of recommendation using the "SFSU REU Recommendation Form" that you provide to them. Click here to download it. Next, send each of them both the "SFSU REU Recommendation Form" and let them know that they should upload this form themselves and should not be sending it back to you. Below are instructions you should give them on how they can upload their letters themselves. Please contact these two people as soon as possible to allow them enough time to fill out and submit the "SFSU REU Recommendation Form". Deadline for submitting the "SFSU REU Recommendation Form" is Monday March 14th, 2022.


4. Submiting letters of recommendation:  Please make sure your recommenders (2 total) upload their "SFSU REU Recommendation Form" as a PDF (saving it using the file name of "candidate's last name - candidate's first name - recommender's last name") to the following upload link:

 Letter writers should upload their "SFSU REU Recommendation Form" to this link by Monday March 14th, 2022.


Who should apply?

  • Rising sophomores or juniors (must be a returning student in Fall 2022) 
  • Highly motivated students interested in biological research
  • Students interested in the possibility of graduate school (Ph.D.) not an M.D.
  • Have completed or be enrolled in at least one course in biology, one in chemistry, and one in math before applying
  • United States citizens or permanent residents (required by NSF guidelines)
  • Able to show proof of health insurance for duration of the program
  • Applicants are not required to have previous research experience.

This program is designed to expose participating students to core concepts in Ecology, Evolution and Developmental Biology. The participating faculty provide a broad range of research options in these areas. They also share a strong commitment to working with undergraduates and promoting diversity in the biosciences. 

REU students will learn about the role of phenotypic and environmental variation in the evolution of diversity and complexity. They may learn about patterns and processes of molecular evolution and they may engage in the SCIP coding workshop as part of the internship. All REU students will engage in independent research activities in laboratories at SFSU or at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center. They will also will participate in weekly professional development meetings in which they will learn strategies for successfully pursuing a career in science. The summer’s activities will conclude with a campus-wide research symposium at which our REU students will have the opportunity to present their findings to the campus community. The program incorporates social interactions and networking designed to foster the development of an ongoing community of learners, giving students opportunities to make connections that will endure beyond the end of the summer and that will support them in their academic paths.

We expect that the students selected to participate in this program will be present for the full Summer-long duration and will participate in all the scheduled activities associated with the program. The majority of time will be spent in the lab, but equally important are the seminars and professional development aspects of the program.