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
Application OPEN | December 1, 2022
Early consideration | March 15, 2023
Application DEADLINE | April 15, 2023
Decision Notifications START | ASAP
Program Dates | May 22 - July 28, 2023
Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States and must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at a U.S. college or university 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.
Housing provided ($210/week)
Meals allowance ($175/week)
Travel to/from Purdue provided ($500 allowance)
Laptops provided during program
Weekly stipend of $625 per week
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. A short list of top applicants will then undergo Zoom interviews to assist in identifying students that are eager to participate in our intense program. Applicants will ideally be notified of a decision within two weeks after the interviews. 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.
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.