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NSF Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
Biological Research in Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology BREED

Please check back here for updates on our Summer 2021 plans. Please do not submit an application at this time for Summer 2021.

Program Highlights

  • Individual research projects in one of ~20 faculty laboratories in the Departments of Biology at San Francisco State University and the Estuary & Ocean Science Center, SFSU's marine lab
  • Integrated program of academic and professional development
  • 9 week program; one-week lab/lecture course and 8-weeks independent research
  • Weekly career development workshop
  • Mentoring from research faculty, graduate students, and peers
  • $5500 stipend
  • Assistance with living expenses and travel costs
  • Excursions and social programs highlighting attractions of the Bay Area
  • 3-day camping trip

Students in our REU program will have the opportunity to work with many terrific researchers. To learn about their research and about specific REU projects  please click here.

Application Deadline: TBD 

Please do not submit your application at this time for 2021--NSF REU APPLICATION 2020

Questions - Email:

Faculty Mentor: Professor Sarah Cohen

(415) 338-3750


Letters of recommendation: Once you have completed your on-line application, please make sure to download the SFSU REU Recommendation Form (link below). Please have your recommenders (2 total) send your recommendation as a PDF to the following email:

To obtain the SFSU REU Recommendation Form please

click here (MS Word Version


Who should apply?

  • Rising sophomores or juniors (must be a returning student in Fall 2020)
  • Highly motivated students interested in biological research
  • Students interested in the possibility of graduate school (Ph.D.) not an M.D.
  • Have completed at least one course in biology, one in chemistry, and one in math before applying
  • United States citizens or permanent residents (required by NSF guidelines)
  • Able to show proof of health insurance for duration of the program
  • Applicants are not required to have previous research experience.

This program is designed to expose participating students to core concepts in Ecology, Evolution and Developmental Biology. The participating faculty provide a broad range of research options in these areas. They also share a strong commitment to working with undergraduates and promoting diversity in the biosciences.

REU students will learn about patterns and processes of molecular evolution and the role of phenotypic and environmental variation in the evolution of diversity and complexity. REU students will engage in independent research activities in laboratories at SFSU and at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center. They will also will participate in weekly professional development meetings in which they will learn strategies for successfully pursuing a career in science. The summer’s activities will conclude with a campus-wide research symposium at which our REU students will have the opportunity to present their findings to the campus community. The program incorporates social interactions and networking designed to foster the development of an ongoing community of learners, giving students opportunities to make connections that will endure beyond the end of the summer and that will support them in their academic paths.

We expect that the students selected to participate in this program will be present for the full nine weeks of its duration and will participate in all the scheduled activities associated with the program. The majority of time will be spent in the lab, but equally important are the seminars and professional development aspects of the program.

To learn about past REU activities please visit this link:

SFSUREURecform2020_FINAL.doc25 KB