Undergraduate working in the lab.


• In accordance with NSF guidelines, all applicants must be United States citizens or a permanent resident of the United States.

• Applicants should have a strong interest in pursuing a research career in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) discipline.

• Must have successfully completed at least one academic year of an undergraduate program and be classified as an undergraduate student prior to and during program participation. REU Students from 2021 cohort observing waterfall in yellowstone.

• Participants must be available full-time for the duration of the program from start to finish. Any vacations, summer coursework, or other summer employment needs to take place outside the program time frame.

• Students majoring in microbiology, engineering, environmental sciences, ecology, biochemistry, biology, computer science, mathematics, or a related STEM discipline. No minimum GPA requirement.

• All students will live on the MSU campus, grouped together as a research cohort, in housing provided by the EB-REU program.

We especially welcome applications from:

  • Students from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or from non-research-intensive universities, tribal colleges, and community colleges.
  • Students who are first-generation college attenders, non-traditional, veterans, and disabled students.
  • Students from groups who are historically underrepresented STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) including students who are Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Pacific Islander, and/or LGBTQIA+ are strongly encouraged to apply.        


Undergraduate in the lab.

Instructions to Apply:

You can access the application using the Extreme Biofilm Research Experience for Undergraduates Form.

The 2022 applications are now closed. Please watch this space for when 2023 applications are being accepted, thanks!

Once you complete the Extreme Biofilm REU Form, please be sure to upload the following required documents to our portal: 

  • Resume (maximum of 2 pages) REU 2021 Cohort on extremophile scavenger hunt
  • Unofficial Transcript 
  • Two-page personal statement, answering:

    1. Why are you interested in the Extreme Biofilms research program? As part of your response, please also include a short-term (for the summer research experience) and long-term (broader educational and career) goal you have. 

2. What unique qualities and characteristics will you bring to the summer research experience, and how are they shaped by your educational and life experiences? 

3. Our lives have all been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places, or experiences. How will you contribute to creating a campus environment that is welcoming and inclusive? How do you communicate with people who are different from you? 

You will be also need to submit:

  • One letter of recommendation from an academic reference (from someone who knows your STEM background and can discuss how the EB-REU program will help you reach your goals).


Please arrange to have your recommendation letter uploaded to our portal using the following format for the filename: Last Name.First Name of Applicant_Last Name.First Name of Recommender (e.g. Smith.Pat_Williams.Aaron).

National Science Foundation Demographic Data:

To measure whether our REU is reaching and benefiting everyone, regardless of demographic category, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requests that we collect demographic information. Doing so allows us to identify gaps in our advertising. Providing this information is entirely optional. 

If you have any questions at all about this process, please email tbi@montana.edu. We are here to help and are happy to answer any questions that may come up!

Martina Du, an undergraduate, presenting her poster to Al Parker. Oscar, a 2021 REU student, working by a thermal spring in Yellowstone National Park.