Wrigley Institute REU

Real Research, Real Impact

Study the coastal ocean with some of the world’s leading scientists! Funded by the National Science Foundation, our 10-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) gets you into the lab and into the field for hands-on, life-changing research experiences that prepare you for a career in science while advancing the twin causes of sustainability and the environment.

Applications for our 2022 REU are now closed. Please check back with us in October 2022 for 2023 program details.

A student holding a beaker in a science lab.

How It Works

The Wrigley Institute summer REU program supports eight undergraduate students to conduct guided, independent research on coastal ocean processes. 

Students participate in:

  • Hands-on research experience
  • Laboratory and field training
  • Introductory lectures and special seminars on oceanography and marine science
  • Professional development workshops, networking, and science training opportunities
  • Cohort-building activities

In addition to training the training the next generation of ocean and marine science leaders, the Wrigley Institute REU is dedicated to enhancing equity and inclusion in oceanography and marine science. We seek mentors and student participants who can contribute to this mission both during and after participation in the program.

Research Topics

REU summer projects are typically designed to contribute to existing research programs or to generate preliminary data that can be used in research proposals. Students conduct independent research under the supervision of Wrigley Institute-affiliated faculty mentors, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. Research topics vary, but the following are common themes:

  • Kelp biofuel
  • Genomics/transcriptomics
  • Microbial diversity and ecology
  • Nitrogen fixation and biogeochemistry
  • Hydrology and spatial sciences
  • Climate science
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Behavioral ecology
  • Invertebrate and fish ecology (AAUS research diving certification required)

Students will be asked to select their research interests on the application, and selected applicants will be paired with projects based on research interests. Note that research options may vary from year to year based on available mentors.

In addition to training the next generation of ocean and marine science leaders, the Wrigley Institute REU is dedicated to enhancing equity and inclusion in oceanography and marine science. We seek mentors and student participants who can contribute to this mission both during and after participation in the program.

Award Details and Application Requirements

2022 Dates: June 6-August 12

Participants receive:

  • A $5,000 stipend
  • Housing at WMSC on Catalina Island and/or USC’s main campus in Los Angeles
  • Reimbursement for travel from home institutions, up to $500
  • Transportation between WMSC and USC’s main campus

Eligibility:

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Applicants must have completed at least one year of undergraduate study by the summer of their participation and must plan to be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program during the following fall semester/quarter. Applicants must not already hold a bachelor’s degree.
  • Previous research experience is NOT required, but demonstration of interest in ocean and marine sciences and research is preferred (e.g., internships, volunteer opportunities, participation in research-based courses).

For this REU program, special consideration will be given to students who attend a university or college in Southern California and/or institutions with limited research training opportunities, but we invite applications from all students nationwide who meet the NSF REU program’s requirements for eligibility. We especially encourage applications from students in groups that are underrepresented in geoscience fields.