Will the summer 2021 REU program be in-person or virtual?
The program is waiting for the University to provide guidelines for on-campus housing and in-person research and mentorship activities in the continuing pandemic. As soon as we know what the health and safety guidelines are for summer 2021, updates will be announced here on the website later in the fall 2020 semester. Thank you for your patience with us in this extraordinary time.
When does the summer 2021 REU application open?
The online application will open later in the Fall 2020 semester. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scholars for summer 2020 were offered to defer their program to summer 2021. Once we know how many seats in 2021 will be available, and confirmation from the University that summer 2021 can be in-person and on-campus (or if it must be virtual), this information will be updated and the application will be opened. Thank you for your patience with us in this extraordinary time.
What is the 2021 application deadline?
The Interfolio online application (to be opened) will close automatically at 11:59 PM Eastern Time on February 1, 2021. We recommend that applicants click SUBMIT well before the last hour, so that any technical difficulties do not delay your submission. Please do not submit at the last minute, as we have no control over technical difficulties that may happen in the last few hours prior to the deadline. Late applications cannot be accepted.
Do my letters of recommendation need to be uploaded before I submit my application?
You may submit your application before your letters are uploaded. The letters can be uploaded after you submit. Once all of your other application materials are uploaded, please submit your application even if you are still waiting on letters. Letters must be uploaded by your letter writers by February 15, 2021.
Do I need to send in an official transcript?
Uploading an unofficial PDF copy of your transcript through Fall/Winter term 2020 is adequate.
Who should I ask to write my letters of recommendation?
You may ask anyone to write you a letter, however the strongest letters for this program will be from college professors in science, math, physics, and engineering disciplines.
I tried to submit and got an error from Interfolio. How can I get help?
If you got an error and the February 1 deadline has not yet passed, please contact Interfolio Support for help. If you got an error and February 1 deadline has passed, we will not be able to accept your application late if it wasn’t successfully submitted on time. Please do not submit at the last minute, we have no control over technical difficulties that may happen in the last few hours prior to the deadline. Technical difficulties in the last hour are unpredictable and do not entitle applicants to a deadline extension.
I missed the deadline. Can I still apply?
No, the application must be completed and submitted by February 1, 2021. This is a competitive application, so please plan ahead and do not submit in the last hour.
My application is complete and submitted on time. When will I hear if I am admitted?
All applicants will receive an email notification of the admission decision on or around April 1, 2021.
I uploaded the wrong document and already submitted the application. Can I email you a corrected version?
No, all application materials are received through the online application. No materials will be accepted by email or mail. You can make changes and corrections to your application through Interfolio until the deadline passes.
I need to make a change to my application after submitting. Can I update my application?
After the deadline passes, a submitted application can no longer be changed. You may change your submitted application through Interfolio through the application deadline.
When do the letters of recommendation need to be uploaded?
Letters must be uploaded by writers no later than February 15, 2020. They must be uploaded by the deadline in order for your application to be considered complete. Please be sure to communicate this to your letter writers. You can resend a request for a letter of recommendation through Interfolio.
Can my letter writers email or mail their letter?
Letters must be uploaded confidentially through Interfolio; this service does provide letter writers an option to provide them with a written letter which they will then upload and apply to your application. Writers will receive an email with instructions from Interfolio for uploading their letter once you enter their information into the application; you do not need to click submit for them to be notified. You can resend a request for a letter of recommendation through Interfolio.
I am a student at The University of Texas at Austin. Am I eligible?
The National Science Foundation grant supporting this program requires that all participants are from universities external to the REU site. UT Austin students interested in participating in an NSF REU program can search for an REU site here.
I am not a US Citizen, am I eligible?
I have more questions. Who do I contact?
Please contact Margo Cousins if you have further questions.
Help for Interfolio
Summer REU Program
When is the BME CUReS Cancer REU program in summer 2021?
The tentative program dates are May 31 to August 7, 2021. If on-campus housing will be permitted by the University for health and safety reasons, participants will be required to arrive in Austin and check-in to campus housing on May 31, and check-out on August 7. Students whose home institution schedule is on the quarter system may request to have a final exam proctored their first week in the UT Austin Department of Biomedical Engineering if approved by their instructor(s).
I have no research experience. Am I eligible?
Yes! Past research experience is not a requirement for this program. The program faculty select cancer research projects appropriate for undergraduate students with no prior research experience for 10 weeks of work, including training.
What majors are eligible?
All engineering disciplines and quantitative science majors are eligible. Any science major that requires higher-level mathematical and statistical methods for undergraduates can be considered quantitative science.
I am a junior (rising senior). Can I apply?
Yes. Keep in mind the offers for this program are prioritized for rising sophomores (first-year students completing their first year), and the program focuses research and professional development activities targeted for rising sophomores, so your application may not be as competitive for this program as a rising junior or senior.
I haven’t taken any biology or biomedical classes yet. Can I still do biomedical engineering research?
Yes! Biomedical engineering is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to solve problems to improve medicine. This summer program focuses on cancer-related research, but no previous knowledge of cancer biology is required. See the key research challenges for more information.
Where will Scholars live and work during the program?
Scholars will live in Campus Housing on The University of Texas at Austin main campus. Scholars may share a room with another visiting Scholar in the same program. Most program activities will be based in the Biomedical Engineering Building.
I have to travel in summer. Is it okay if I leave the program for a few days?
You are required to be in Austin and participating in the program 100% of the time for the whole duration of the 10-weeks. Students whose home institution schedule is on the quarter system may request to have a final exam proctored their first week in the UT Austin Department of Biomedical Engineering if approved by their instructor(s).
How many hours a week are Scholars expected to be on campus during the program?
Weekly activities and research requirements will vary. Scholars should expect to be on campus the equivalent of a full-time job, or about 30-40 hours per week.
I understand that Scholars must submit an abstract for the BMES Annual Meeting in October 2021. If I participate in this program, am I required to attend the meeting?
Yes, and Scholars will be provided funds to support their travel to the 2021 BMES Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. Additionally, the REU directors, graduate student mentors, and faculty mentors who attend the BMES meeting will arrange a BME CURes Cancer reunion each year at BMES.
What is Austin like?
Austin is the capitol of the state of Texas. Located in Central Texas, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million residents. The city has been nicknamed the “Live Music Capitol of the World” because of its prolific live music scene, and “Silicon Hills” due to the large and growing number of technology companies in Austin. In addition to having a lot to do, in 2017, 2018, and 2019 Austin was ranked #1 Best Place to Live in the US by the US News and World Report, including a strong and growing biotechnology industry.
What is the weather like in Austin from May to August?
Average high temperatures are 84-91F in May, and 91-96F in August. Average low temperatures are 63-69F in May, and 71-73F in August. High temperatures can reach or exceed 100F in July and August.