UVA's NSF REU in Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering and Biomedical Data Sciences

Each summer, UVA trains undergraduates from a variety of STEM backgrounds in the skills, confidence, and mentorship necessary for successful careers in the exciting field of systems bioengineering.

About UVA's REU for Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering

The objective of the program is to train undergraduates from a variety of STEM backgrounds and provide them with the skills, confidence, and mentorship necessary for successful careers in the exciting field of systems bioengineering. Students will be matched with world-class faculty mentors for a 10-week research project, culminating in a paper and public symposium at the end of the summer.

List of Mentors

Summer 2022 Plan is for an "In-Person" REU!

With students back on grounds and in the labs, we are planning for a residential, in-person tradtional REU in Summer 2022.  Should the pandemic prevent make this impossible, then we will offer either a 10-week hybrid REU (virtual for a few weeks, transitioning to in-person) or a 10-week fully virtual REU. But as of January 1, 2022, all our planning is for a residential, in-person REU!

Research Immersion

All students will participate in collaborative, hands-on, and closely mentored research ranging in scale from molecular dynamics and bioinformatics to subcellular networks to whole-cell models to tissue, organ, and population-level models. Each project will have strong clinical relevance and immersion in a combination of experimentation and computational analyses.

Boot Camp

A series of "boot-camp" workshops in systems modeling and analysis gives participants the foundational knowledge needed to thrive in the program.

Professional Development

Weekly workshops and seminars will cover topics including biomedical research ethics, communication skills, career advising, scientific communication, and professional development, all of which are necessary to be productive in advanced graduate study and be successfully employed in the modern biotechnology industry.

Tight-Knit Lab Culture

Students in the REU, regardless of mentor, will be fully integrated into their respective labs: listed on lab websites, invited to lab lunches and social events, and expected to attend and participate in lab meetings and journal clubs.

BMES Fall Meeting

Participants will submit their work to the REU track at the national Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) conference and will be earn a travel award to attend the conference, if their poster or talk is selected.

Alumni

We're invested in our students' success and provide REU alumni with ongoing mentorship after they complete the program.

Charlottesville, Virginia

Your dorm suite for the summer is a 5-minute walk to the UVA Academical Village, the Medical Center, the Aquatic Fitness Center, the Corner, and a free ride to the Downtown Mall. There's music, mountains, localvore food and drink, Monticello and Montpelier, and the Shenandoah National Park. Running and cycling groups are welcoming. Our REU students are active on the weekends! 

Why ’Hoos Love to Call Charlottesville Home

"The cultural scene here is way bigger than something a town of this size should have."

Ramon Castellanos, REU Class of 2018

"I fell in love with the institution and the City of Charlottesville. The energy that I felt surrounding almost all the principal investigators towards research was really contagious. I got the impression that there is a fantastic environment encircling the BME department, the school of medicine and the health system, which is fundamental for any successful summer research program. Working every day in the lab for the entire summer exposed me the down time of investigation, the challenges and feelings of incompetence that all investigators feel at some point that leads to growth. It also showed me how to move forward, look for alternative view points and a new focus to solve a problem. "

Ramon Castellanos, REU Class of 2018 "Agent Based Model of Intramuscular Fat Infiltration"
  • Eligibility and Application (Summer 2022)

    In order to participate in the Summer 2022 REU Program, applicants must be:

    • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
    • Full-time undergraduate students returning Fall 2022
    • Priority consideration will be given to rising seniors (graduating by summer 2023)
    • Available for the duration of the 10-week program (May 30 - August 5, 2022)

     

    Additional Information

    Students must be enrolled in a science, mathematics, or engineering-based curriculum that includes introductory biology, chemistry, and calculus are especially.  Rising seniors are generally given priority consideration, yet as our Alumni section shows, juniors and sophomores also are very competitive in securing spots in our REU!  Experience in programming is recommended, but not required.  Women, underrepresented minorities, and military veterans are especially encouraged to apply.

    Applicants must complete an online application form that includes: basic information about you, a resume, an unofficial transcript, some short essays that address the motivation for the program and what you hope to get out of the experience, and two references (preferably academic or supervisory, rather than “community” letters), all to be submitted electronically. We use the NSF’s REU ETAP application. This is a common application portal for many NSF-sponsored REU programs across the country.

    The website will ask you to create a user account. When your account is created, follow the steps provided on the website to complete the common application. Make sure to select UVA's "Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering" when selecting the Site to which you want to apply. 

     

    Dates and Deadlines

    • Priority Admissions Review for applications reviewed before February 15, 2022 (completed).
    • Rolling Admissions Review begins March 15, 2022
    • The program dates are May 30 - August 5, 2022.

     

    Further Detail

    • $6000 stipend for 10-week research program
    • Reimbursement of travel costs up to $400
    • Free on-campus housing and dining plan
    • Introductory “boot camp” short course on systems bioengineering modeling basics and weekly workshops on ethics and professional development
    • Presentation at our Summer Research Symposium - many students earn an additional travel award to present at the fall BMES annual meeting.

     

    Also see our FAQs below.  If you have any questions, please contact:

    Kitter Bishop
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    University of Virginia
    Box 800759, Health System
    Charlottesville, VA 22908
    SystemsBioengREU@virginia.edu

    The UVA Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering REU is funded by NSF Grant #1560282

    NSF REU etap Application
  • Letters of Support

    The NSF Education and Training Application Portal (ETAP) system will automatically prompt the letter writers you designate, once you submit your application. As a courtesy, please let your letter writers know that you have applied and should expect this prompt. We strongly recommend that your letters should be from a faculty member, research advisor, or other professional mentor within your discipline who can address your potential, abilities, and motivation for engaging in research. If you have already applied to other REUs, your letters (and your transcripts) should still be in the system.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    2022 Program FAQs

    Is there a 2022 contingency plan, given COVID-19? With students back on grounds and in the labs, we are planning for a residential, in-person tradtional REU in Summer 2022.  Should the pandemic prevent make this impossible, then we will offer either a hybrid REU (virtual for a few weeks, transitioning to in-person) or a fully virtual REU. But as of January 1, 2022, all our planning is for a residential, in-person REU!

    Are UVA students encouraged to apply?  UVA students are not discouraged to apply.  That said, generally, REU Program Directors are eager to offer opportunities to students outside their home institutions.  Why? Because these students' schools may not be major research institutions or they may not have systems bioengineering and biomedical data science as a research thrust.

    Am I matched to a specific lab or mentor when I get my offer?  Sometimes!  It really depends on how the summer cohort comes together.  Sometimes there are clear matches to labs for most of the students, Other times, Dr. Allen must balance students' stated interests/prior experiences and goals with available labs and mentors. 

  • Other REUs at UVA that May Interest You

    UVA SRIP

    The Summer Research Internship Program provides an outstanding environment to learn first hand about a career in biomedical research while preparing to succeed in gaining admission to graduate school. Many of our former SRIP participants have matriculated into M.D./Ph.D. and Ph.D. programs, including at UVA. The program hosts approximately 35 students each year. The program targets, but is not limited to, racially and ethnically diverse students in their junior and senior years. 

    NIH Diabetes Summer Research Program (UVA Students Encouraged to Apply)

    The objectives of the program are to train the next generation of scientists and engineers to build an interdisciplinary research pipeline in the field of diabetes research and treatment through participating in challenging diabetes- related projects supervised by research mentors from UVA. It includes seminar- based lectures, individual student-tailored research projects, and clinical immersion. Specific emphasis is given to students from traditionally underrepresented racial, gender, and ethnic groups in the STEM and biomedical research fields.  Each year the program hosts around 12 students.

    Applied Materials Sysnthesis NSF REU Site

    This REU site offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students in the mid-Atlantic region to engage in research in advanced materials synthesis in a 10-week program from May 31 through August 5, 2022. Participants will join an interdisciplinary research team on UVA Grounds for training in materials science and engineering, state-of-the-art research methods, the research culture and science communication. Participants will also benefit from mentorship activities, workshops and seminars to prepare for their next steps and successful careers in industry, national laboratories and academia