The STEM AP REU opportunity is designed to provide active research opportunities for students who have completed at least one year of their undergraduate studies in a STEM major, and who are active STEM AP students in good standing. Each summer, STEM AP funds up to five REU positions. We strongly encourage STEM AP rising second-year students to apply.
The STEM AP REU is a 10-week program from late May to early August on the UMass Amherst campus. Students work 25 to 40 hours per week in close mentoring interaction with faculty PIs and graduate students. Students submit their interest through an online application process which allows STEM AP faculty to assess their experiences, interests, and attitudes, and to determine if they may be suitable candidates. STEM AP is interested in candidates who are prepared to fully commit to the Summer REU program.
STEM AP offers course-based undergraduate experiences (CUREs) for first and second year students who are enrolled in STEM majors. The courses are designed to support students’ skills development in STEM research, communication and academics. Instructors use general biology topics to focus students’ efforts to 1) sharpen their skills in reading and understanding the relevant popular and scientific literature, 2) learn how to design and carry out an original team-based research project, 3) develop the analytical skills required to analyze data, and 4) improve their skills in communicating complex scientific concepts to science and non-science audiences.
Mentored Research Lab Experience
Second-year STEM Ambassadors spend between six and nine hours per week in research labs with STEM faculty/PIs and graduate students. STEM AP staff and faculty work with students individually to locate and prepare for research labs that closely align with their majors and interests. While a close matching is not always possible, STEM Ambassadors understand that a lab experience of any kind is by far more valuable than no lab experience at all. As such, second-year Ambassadors are flexible in research lab placements and find their research opportunities of huge benefit. For many STEM Ambassadors, it is the moment they walk into their research labs and put on their lab coats that they describe as first feeling "like a scientist."
STEM AP students are immersed in research experiences from their first semester as STEM majors. Through partnerships with STEM graduate student mentors and faculty/PIs, STEM AP engages students in rich, authentic research experiences in myriad ways.
STEM AP connects small groups of first-year students with graduate mentors in research teams to begin learning how to dissect and understand research literature and research protocols.