The REU program will not be held the summer of 2016.

Overview of the Program

This intensive ten-week program serves up to 12 undergraduates who are considering future research and graduate work in the behavioral and cognitive sciences. This University of Minnesota program offers students an ideal opportunity to explore their future options in an intellectually challenging and socially rewarding context. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Minnesota. Note: The following information is from 2014.

Program Goals

  • To give qualified undergraduates the opportunity to preview some of the experiences of a first year graduate student and to engage in advanced research in cognitive and behavioral sciences.
  • To become acquainted with the collaborative, and networking components of research and graduate studies.
  • To provide the opportunity for students to identify their focal interests through direct experience with and exposure to the many areas of research in these disciplines.
  • To increase the overall numbers and diversity of students entering research careers.
  • To persuade participants that a career in these scientific areas offers an exciting challenge.
  • To demonstrate to participants that they are fully capable of such careers and that such careers offer many personal and intellectual rewards.


Students will be involved in three types of research related activities under the direction of University of Minnesota faculty.

  • They will join a faculty mentor's research team for active research involvement.
  • They will participate in multi-disciplinary seminars and workshops held three to four times a week.
  • They will participate in scholarly, cultural, and social activities together with the participants in this program and the participants in other undergraduate summer research programs on campus.

Program Description


Participants work as active members of a faculty mentor's research team, working with their mentor, graduate students, and other lab members. Typically, participants will work most closely with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and lab coordinators. The extent to which research time is spent with the different members of the research team varies from lab to lab. This activity alone may involve 30-40 hours per week, including some evenings and weekends. The exact scheduling is dependent upon the varying demands of the research projects.


Seminars and Workshops

Seminars are held three days per week. University faculty and others give presentations on their research interests and activities. During the last weeks, program participants report on their research projects in a format simulating paper sessions at scientific conferences. Two to three sessions will be devoted to student-led seminars.


Workshops are held on the topics of research integrity and ethics, essentials for good writing, the preparation of oral and written research reports and posters, and information on applying to graduate school including discussions with current graduate students.


All-Program Activities

Several educational and social activities are planned that include participants from other summer undergraduate research programs. Also, participants have the opportunity to attend seminars and related activities offered by other summer research programs. An all-programs poster symposium is held during the last week of the program


Other Activities

Arrangements are made to visit research facilities within and outside of the University. Group activities such as excursions to cultural and social events are planned for the participants in this and other programs.


All participants are expected to reside in a University of Minnesota dormitory. One dormitory (17th Avenue Residence Hall) is dedicated to housing participants in undergraduate summer research programs and other academic groups. This arrangement facilitates exchange, discussion and sharing of research experiences.


Preference is given to students who will have completed their third year of college by the beginning of the program. Students who will have completed their first year and those who will graduate by Fall 2014 are not eligible for this program. An effort will be made to include participants from different colleges and universities, with a variety of research interests, and levels of experience. This program accepts U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. International students are not eligible for admission to the program.

Financial information

Stipends: Participants receive a stipend of $5000 for the ten-week program. Details on sources of funding will be included in the information sent to those accepted into the program.
Room and board: Costs in University dormitory housing are covered by program funding. The dormitory rooms set aside for the research programs are doubles. Detailed information on housing will be included in the information sent to those accepted into the program.
Tuition and fees: A three credit course is associated with the thrice weekly seminar and workshops. The cost is covered by program funds.
Travel expenses: Limited funds are available to defray some costs for long distance travel. Details will be included in the information sent to those accepted into the program.

Participating faculty mentors

Participating faculty mentors (PFM) are drawn from a wide variety of research areas such as Child Development; Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Decision Science, Human Factors; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Educational Psychology, Kinesiology, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Behavioral Pharmacology, Psychology, Linguistics, Speech/Language/Hearing Science (Communication Disorders), and related areas. Please refer to the list of PFM where you will find a brief description of their research activities and some relevant references. On your REU Application, you will have an opportunity to indicate your first, second and third PFM choices. Your PFM assignment will reflect a match with the mentor's research area and is subject to the mentor's availability.

Application materials

The REU program will not be held the summer of 2015.

Selection Criteria

Participants will be selected on the basis of their responses to the questions on the application form, faculty recommendations, transcripts, and the match of the applicants' research interests with those of participating faculty.