BREED REU Program at SF State in SF and the North Bay

SF State's Department of Biology hosts a yearly summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Biological Research in Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental-Biology (BREED), funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

This program is currently accepting applications on the NSF ETAP portal at the link below. Please apply before the deadline.

Program Highlights

  • Summer-long full time program in SF Bay Area; June 3rd, 2023 - August 9th, 2024; full-time independent research
  • $6,000 stipend with some assistance on living and travel costs
  • Individual research projects in one of many faculty laboratories in the Department of Biology in San Francisco or the Estuary & Ocean Science Center of SF State in Marin County or Point Blue Conservation Science in Sonoma County.
  • Integrated program of academic and professional development
  • 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.

Students in our REU program will have the opportunity to work with many terrific researchers. To review mentors available this year, Summer 2024, please click the button above or click here.

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 Biology Department laboratories at SFSU main campus in SF or at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center, Romberg Tiburon Campus of SFSU in Marin, CA or at Point Blue Conservation Science in Sonoma, CA. They will also 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 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.  

Who should apply? 

Students from community colleges are encouraged to apply. Our goal is to foster the next generation of diverse scientists in Biology.

  • Rising sophomores or juniors (must be a returning undergraduate student (at any accredited college or university) in Fall 2023) 
  • Highly motivated students interested in biological research
  • Students interested in the possibility of graduate school
  • Preferably, have completed or 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

Application Instructions

Admissions are now open for Summer 2024! Do not wait for the deadline to apply.

To apply for the BREED REU Summer 2024 program, please follow the directions and submit your application on the National Science Foundation (NSF) Education & Training Application (ETAP) portal.  Be sure you are applying for the "SFSU REU: Biological Research in Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology"

Here is the link to paste into your browser at the NSF ETAP portal where you can find the SFSU REU Opportunity (#1659175):


Interested in the SFSU BREED REU? Have questions? Contact Us!

Email Program Director Dr. Sarah Cohen ( or send your inquiry to