Frontiers in Science - University of Houston
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Frontiers in Science

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduate Students

Program, May–Aug 2024
University of Houston - Rice University - Northeastern University

  • Application Deadline: March 20, 2024

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 future 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 Rice University in Houston, TX, Northeastern University in Boston, MA, or University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI.

Prospective Research Faculty Participants (Representative)

  • José Onuchic, Ph.D., Department of Physics, Rice University
  • Peter Wolynes, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry, Rice University
  • Elebeoba May, Ph.D., Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, University of Madison at Wisconsin
  • Greg Morrison, Ph.D., Department of Physics, University of Houston
  • Herbie Levine, Ph.D., Department of Physics, Northeastern University
  • Paul Whitford, Ph.D., Department of Physics, Northeastern University

A Physical Sciences Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program

The 2024 Frontiers in Science REU program provides students with extensive hands-on training in many physical and biological research methods within a research group at the University of Houston, Rice University (in Houston, TX), Northeastern University (in Boston, MA), or University of Wisconsin (in Madison, WI).

Travel support will be provided to students leaving their hometown, and no student will be required to travel to a different city unless they are interested in doing so.

This research experience is intended to be an 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 the other sites, but the scientific work is planned to be in-person for the interactions between mentors and mentees.

Information Session Video

Watch the video from the information session held on March 7.

Internship Stipends

Interns will receive a $5,000 stipend for the summer program and are expected to perform at least 300 hours of research. Please be aware the $5,000 is taxable as regular income. Students from the Houston area may have the opportunity to work at Northeastern University in Boston or University of Wisconsin in Madison and will be provided transportation costs and on-campus housing for the full 10-week period if they are selected to travel to Boston or Madison (in addition to the stipend provided to all participants).

No participant will be required to travel to another city if it is not feasible for them for any reason. Each intern’s particular working schedule will be determined by their mentor, but all are expected to be in-person regularly during the program.


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

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

Undergraduate 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. Postgraduates are not eligible for participation in the program.

Many projects are related to computational biophysics, and applicants with limited programming experience may be asked to take a free online course in programming before the REU begins and join an in-person workshop before the beginning of the program.

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.

How To Apply

To apply, please complete the form at the “Apply Here” button below. In addition to a few individual and demographic questions, you should include a single PDF containing the following items:

  • Current Resume
  • Course list of all Science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), Computer Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics courses completed with a passing grade to-date (or currently enrolled in). Letter grades are not required, just list the science courses you have passed or expect to pass this semester.
  • Statement of Research Interest (minimum of one-page) that describes and explains your current academic and professional aspirations.

Apply Here

Application Evaluation Process

Your application will be evaluated based on equal weight using the rubric:

  1. is the applicant likely to succeed in this research program, based on their coursework and statement,
  2. is the applicant motivated to learn new things and committed to working hard to accomplish their goals based on their statement, and
  3. is the applicant likely to benefit from this program for their future career goals based on their statement?

An initial review of applications will begin in March, so it is highly recommended that you apply by Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Initial invitations for interviews will be sent by March 27, 2024. After interviews, initial offers will be sent to the top candidates within a week.

For Additional Program Information

Please contact Dr. Greg Morrison at or 713-743-9344.