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Chemical Biology REU Program

Interested in Research in Chemical Biology?

The Vanderbilt Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Chemical Biology program is a ten week hands-on course designed to introduce chemistry, biochemistry and biology students to the research processes and the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research. Students participate in a mini-symposium on drug discovery, attend seminars given by VICB faculty working across disciplinary lines and participate in weekly discussions on topics such as ethics.

The goal of the summer program is to introduce students to the excitement and importance of research in chemical biology through a mix of educational and research activities. Students will choose from among several interdisciplinary projects and will be co-mentored by faculty in Chemistry and the School of Medicine. Students will be assigned to individual research groups and will broaden their horizons though a variety of experiences including participation in a mini-symposium on drug discovery, attending seminars given by VICB faculty working across disciplinary lines, and participating in weekly discussions on topics such as ethics.

Our objective is to bring together a select group of 10 rising juniors and senior chemistry, biochemistry/biology majors with high potential for careers in chemical biology research at the graduate level. We will solicit applications from undergraduate students from institutions that enhance the diversity of our program. Through extensive mentoring and authentic research experiences, it is our goal to impact students’ understanding of the research process and the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research.

Current faculty participants can be found HERE.

This program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, and the Vanderbilt Department of Chemistry.


  • Students entering their junior or senior years are given priority.
  • Undergraduates majoring in the physical or natural sciences (primarily chemistry and biology) will be given priority.
  • A minimum undergraduate science GPA of 3.0 is required.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required from your academic major advisor and/or from a faculty member in the sciences who has supervised your research or taught a course in which you were enrolled. Both letters should be attached to your electronic application.
  • Undergraduate transcripts should be attached to your electronic application. (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.)
  • REU participants must be United States citizens.


  • The 10-week program runs from May 28 to August 2, 2024.
  • A stipend of $7,000 will be granted.
  • The REU program will arrange and pay for on-campus housing.
  • Participants will work under the mentorship of faculty members, graduate students and senior research associates. Most students work approximately 40 hours per week in state of the art laboratory space.
  • A variety of activities have been arranged for the summer participants:
    – Weekly lunch meetings
    – Social activities with other Vanderbilt summer students may include a welcome picnic, an outing to a sports venue, a trip to the National Museum of African American Music, and other activities
  • Professional Development and Career day

Application Instructions

The application will include:

  • A brief personal statement which addresses your scientific interests, your qualifications for the program, and how you believe this program will help you achieve your professional goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation submitted online (if you have prior research experience, it will be helpful to have a letter from your research mentor).
  • Uploaded unofficial transcript

Please follow the instructions provided in the link below. Once you do, you will be able to enter data into the application form, save it, and return to the form to change or add information, if necessary. The saved data will be accessible by Vanderbilt REU staff. When your application is complete, submit it, and this will send your final application to the Program Coordinator. You will not be able to make further changes to your application once it has been submitted.

Please Note:  This is the same application system used by our graduate/professional admissions team. The e-mails generated by the application system will come from “Vanderbilt Graduate/Professional Admissions,” but the REU team will still receive all information from your application.

Applicants can access the application by clicking here. The application deadline has been extended to February 28!