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Frontiers in Science

Frontiers in Science 

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduate Students

Program, June - August 2023

Univ. of Houston – Rice Univ. – Northeastern Univ.

Frontiers in Science (FIS) Program

The Frontiers In Science Program is intended to introduce students from all STEM disciplines and academic levels to the beauty and fun of scholarly pursuits in natural and physical science research, and to engage faculty in interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research activities. To maintain the excellence of our student cohorts, the Frontiers in Science Program seeks to recruit and select a diverse student group to illustrate our commitment to equity, inclusion, and social justice. In so doing, we offer our students not only the opportunity to learn about varied disciplines but to engage with diverse perspectives and ways of knowing and learning. Students selected for the program will participate in cutting-edge scientific research in the field of theoretical biological physics during a 10-week program with the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (, housed at either Rice University in Houston TX or at Northeastern University in Boston MA. The application deadline is Friday March 24, 2023, please see below for how to apply.

Prospective Research Faculty Mentors (representative faculty): 

Dr. José Onuchic, PhD, Department of Physics, Rice University

Dr. Peter Wolynes, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Rice University

Dr. Greg Morrison, PhD, Department of Physics, University of Houston

Dr. Herbie Levine, PhD, Department of Physics, Northeastern University

Dr. Paul Whitford, PhD, Department of Physics, Northeastern University

Dr. Elebeoba May, PhD, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison & University of Houston

A Physical Sciences Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program

The 2023 Frontiers in Science REU program provides students with extensive hands-on training in a multitude of physical and biological research methods within a research group at the University of Houston, Rice University (in Houston TX), or Northeastern University (in Boston MA). This research experience is an on-campus in-person collaboration with regular interaction between students and mentors. Some components of the program may be held virtually to permit interactions between Houston and Boston participants, but the scientific work will be in-person for the interactions between mentors and mentees.

Internship Stipends

Interns will receive a $5000 stipend for the summer program, and are expected to perform at least 300 hours of research. Please be aware the $5000 is taxable as regular income. Students from the Houston area may have the opportunity to work at Northeastern University in Boston, and will be provided transportation costs to Boston and on-campus housing for the full 10-week period if they are selected to travel to Boston (in addition to the stipend provided to all participants). Each intern’s particular working schedule will be determined by their mentor


Applicants must be an undergraduate currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at one of the following institutions:

  • Houston Community College
  • Lone Star Community College
  • Roxbury Community College
  • Prairie View A&M
  • Texas Southern University
  • Sam Houston State University
  • University of Houston (UH)
  • UH Clear Lake
  • UH Downtown

Students from Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering, or other related departments are welcome to apply. No prior experience with Biological Physics is required. The Frontiers in Science Program does not permit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Persons of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

A recruiting meeting for UH students will be held Feb 15, 2023 at 1pm in Science and Research 1, Room 634. In this meeting, an FIS mentor will describe their research and Dr Morrison will discuss the program and answer questions. Recruiting meetings at other sites may be scheduled mid-February, depending on the availability of speakers.

To Apply

To apply, please complete the form HERE. In addition to responding to a few demographic questions, you should include a single PDF containing the following items:

  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae. GPA and standardized test scores are not used in evaluating applicants, and you are not required to include either in your Resume or CV.
  • Course list of all Science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), Computer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics courses completed with a passing grade to-date. Please do not include the letter grades received, just list the courses you have already passed.
  • Statement of Research Interest (minimum of one-page), that describes and explains your current academic and professional aspirations.

Transcripts and letters of recommendation are not required for your application, and your GPA and SAT/GRE scores will not be used to evaluate your application. If your application is evaluated favorably, you will be invited to participate in a 10-15 minute interview (via zoom) before the final selection is made.

Timeline of the application and evaluation process

The application deadline is Friday March 24, 2023; applications submitted after this deadline might not be evaluated. We expect initial invitations for interviews will be sent by April 10, 2023. After interviews, students will be notified of their status within a week.

Contact info

For additional program information, please contact Dr. Greg Morrison at, 713-743-9344.