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2020 MBG REU Molecular Biology and Genetics of Cell Signaling

Please visit to apply between December 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020.

Due to the devastating earthquakes in Puerto Rico, students from all UPR campuses will have until February 9th to complete their applications.

Who should APPLY?

Students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior years, and majoring in the life sciences with an overall GPA of at least 3.3 preferred, but minimally 3.0. Preference will be given to students with strong interest in gaining research experience in preparation for graduate study. Members of underrepresented or underserved minority groups; students with disabilities; first generation college students; women; and students who would contribute to diversity in other ways, are encouraged to apply. Students from smaller undergraduate institutions with limited opportunities for research are also encouraged to apply. Participants in the REU program must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students who will have completed their bachelor's degree by August 2020 are not eligible for REU programs, but are invited to apply to the University's graduate programs (see


1. Assemble Your Application Materials
 You should have the following materials ready before you begin your application

  • Current GPA
  • Academic Transcript(s): We need transcripts from all undergraduate institutions you have attended.  Official or unofficial versions will be accepted. Upload a scanned version of your transcripts through the application form. DO NOT SEND ANY PASSWORD PROTECTED PDFs OR ANY LOCKED OR PROTECTED TRANSCRIPTS.
  • Personal Statements: You will be asked to submit two or three essays (each 500 words maximum) responding to the following prompts:

      1.  Why would you like to participate in this internship; how does it relate to your interests and your career goals?

2.  Although prior research experience is not a requirement, if you listed prior research experience above, please describe it here. Include the aim of the project, what you did, and what you learned.

3.  Please explain how you would contribute to enhancing diversity at Cornell.

  • Resume: You have the option to upload a resume through the application form, but this is not required.

2. Research Participating Faculty
Visit the Participating Mentors page to become familiar with the participating faculty and their research areas. On the application form, you will be asked to select three faculty in whose lab you would like to conduct summer research.

3. Register in the System and Create an Account
Login to the application system (The application is hosted on a third-party site). Create an applicant account AND complete the contact information section. Use your current email address as your username and choose a password that you will remember.

4. Request letters of recommendation

You should ask for letters of recommendation as soon as possible.  It is not necessary to complete the application before doing this. This will help to ensure that your recommenders submit their letters before the application deadline. Applications without letters of recommendation are considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Scroll to the bottom of the application form to the Recommendation Letters section. Enter the name and email address of both of your recommenders. Be sure to press the “Send Email” button to send your letter of recommendation request immediately. Faculty are often the best recommenders, but anyone who can speak to your abilities and potential can submit a letter. We advise you to speak with your proposed recommenders to let them know you are seeking their support BEFORE you put their contact information into the system.

5. Complete and Submit Your Application
Complete and review your application. Once you have submitted your application, you will only be able to update your contact and faculty preference information. You will also be able to review the status of your recommendation letters.

IMPORTANT: Your application is not complete until you have signed the attestation at the end. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Be sure to add to your email contacts to ensure that you receive all our email communications regarding your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email shortly after creating an account and/or submitting your complete application, check your spam folder. Please remember to ask your recommenders to do the same.

Cornell University Contact:

REU Program Molecular Biology and Genetics of Cell Signaling
c/o Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
107 Biotechnology Building
526 Campus Road
Ithaca, NY 14853-2703
Attn: Program Manager

Current Program Directors: Dr. Kelly Liu, Dr. Tim Huffaker, and Dr. Volker Vogt