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Structural and Computational Biology & Biophysics


Our Program

The power of structural biology techniques and biophysical methods used to characterize the structure and function of biomolecules is unparalleled in the scientific community. Textbooks and journal articles are filled with images of the 3D structures of molecules ranging in size from ATP to DNA to proteins to viruses. Yet, while structure determination methods such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM have become common methods for those seeking advanced degrees and training in the life sciences, such as graduate programs and postdoctoral fellowships, it is rare to find undergraduates with significant knowledge or training in any of the structural biology methods including X-ray crystallography, high-resolution cryo-EM, NMR spectroscopy, AFM, small-angle X-ray scattering, micro-electron diffraction or computational biology.

This 10-week summer undergraduate research program will bridge this education gap by establishing a framework that integrates research projects aimed at studying the structure and function of macromolecules with in-depth workshops designed to provide theoretical and practical training in contemporary structural biology techniques and biophysical methods.  The goal is that each trainee will leave the program with a solid foundation and understanding of the various structural biology methods regardless of the expertise within their host lab.

Included in the #REUinSCBB:

Weekly team-building and networking activities

Weekly half-day workshops in SCBB methods (cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography, etc)

Weekly career and professional workshops

Important Dates:

Application OPEN | December 1, 2024

Early consideration | February 15, 2024

Application DEADLINE | April 15, 2024

Decision Notifications START | within 1 week of Zoom interview

Program Dates | May 20 - July 26, 2024

Applicant Eligibility:

Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, the applicants must have at least one semester of undergraduate study remaining after completing the summer program and fulfill the NSF citizenship requirements. Students who have received their bachelor's degree and no longer enrolled in an undergraduate study program are generally not eligible.

Program Support:

Weekly stipend + meals ($800 per week)

FREE Housing provided (large single room)

Travel allowance to/from Purdue ($500)

The Application:

Eligible students are expected to be able to demonstrate an interest in research within the life sciences, particularly in structural and computational biology and biophysics, with preferred prerequisites in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and mathematics; although not required. Each application will be assessed on an individual basis which will also include previous research experience and letters of recommendation from faculty or instructors.


The application consists of (1) a brief questionnaire, (2) a statement of career goals and reasons for participating in the program, and (3) at least two faculty recommendation letters. Applicants must also provide a transcript of their grades and a resume/CV.

(active ONLY when applications are being accepted)

The Selection Process:

Each application will be reviewed and scored by the REU in SCBB selection committee using a set rubric. Top applicants will then undergo Zoom interviews to assist in identifying students that are most suited to participate in our intense program. Applicants will ideally be notified of a decision within one week after the interview. Admission into the program will be on a rolling basis starting Feb 15th, 2024 and continue until all available slots are filled. All decisions are expected by April 15th, 2023.

Our Research Faculty and Projects

These are the faculty participating in the REU in SCBB program. Their research interests span many fields of science and STEM topics with a shared them around structural and computational biology and biophysics. Explore the faculty and their research programs using the info and links below (listed alphabetical by last name).

Resources @ Purdue

The Department of Biological Sciences, in partnership with local centers, cores, and facilities, is fully equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation and equipment. In additional to the generous lab and office spaces assigned in their home labs, the research of the faculty is supported by many facilities on the campus of Purdue University and at neighboring institutions such as the Argonne National Laboratory.

REU Resources

Want to learn more about REU programs besides ours? Want to increase your chances of getting accepted into an REU program? Check out some of the resources below to gain valuable advice and tips about preparing your application and making it stand out to reviewers.



Hockmeyer Hall of Structural Biology

240 S. Martin Jischke Dr.

West Lafayette, IN 47907


Becky Harding |

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