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When is the application due?

The application must be submitted electronically by Friday January 24, 2020 midnight.

Am I eligible to apply if I am not a U.S. citizen?

To be eligible for NSF/REU grant support, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Am I eligible to apply if I am not an undergraduate student?

No. To be eligible for NSF/REU grant support you must still be enrolled as an undergraduate during the summer of 2020. This excludes students who will be starting the undergraduate work in the fall of 2020, and those who received their undergraduate degree in spring of 2020. However, second semester seniors who will be completing their undergraduate degree in December 2020 or January 2021 are eligible.

Am I eligible if I cannot be at the Cary Institute by the start date of the program?

All Cary REU program participants are expected to be at the Cary Institute by the morning of May 19, 2020. However, students whose school runs on a quarter system may be eligible to participate with approval by the mentor and program staff before being accepted into the program. All potential scheduling conflicts should be brought to the attention of the Cary REU staff so that special arrangements can be made.

Students who arrive late are encouraged to stay late, thus completing the full 12-week experience. If their participation is less than 12 weeks, the stipend is pro-rated accordingly.

What is GPA max?

We are asking for your institution's maximum GPA. Some schools run on a 4.0 scale, some on a 4.3 scale and others use a different scale. We use this to determine where your GPA falls within your institution's scale.

Some schools do not use a GPA scale. If this is the case please indicate this and have your written evaluations or other source of information about your performance available upon request.

How important is the essay portion of the application?

We are looking for thoughtful answers to our essay questions. Since most of the students that apply to our program are highly qualified, the essays are a very important aspect in our final decision-making process. Therefore, it is in your best interest to put time, effort, and careful thought into writing these essays.

Do I need letters of recommendation?

You do NOT need to provide letters of recommendation with your application. However, you are asked to provide the names of three references and their contact information. It is a good idea to ask permission from your references to use their names before listing them.

How do I rank my project interest?

It is essential that you indicate which projects you are interested in. You will only be considered for projects that you rank, and the order of preference will be taken into account when considering your application. Many students end up being considered only for their top choice project, so do the best you can to identify the project that most interests you.

When will I be notified if I have been accepted?

Students will be contacted by the end of March.

Can I take a course or have a side job while attending the Cary REU program?

The Cary REU program is a full time-commitment and will demand your complete attention during the 12 weeks. 

Diversity statement:

The program is committed to increase diversity in the field of ecology. We especially encourage students from underrepresented minority groups and first-generation college students to apply.

I have additional questions...

Contact Dr. Kevin Burgio at