About the Program

Molecular interactions dictate the function of all living things. Enzymes rely upon subtle differences in structure and charge to catalyze the chemistry that makes life possible.

Molecular Interactions Virtual REU Program

Authentic Research: The MIV-REU is an NSF-funded program that provides authentic research experiences to select, eligible undergraduate students. Small teams of students conduct mentored research projects, completely online, over the course of 10 weeks. Through guided learning exercises, weekly meetings and independent study, participants will receive training and research experience in a variety of concepts including chemical bonding, protein:ligand interactions, protein structure, molecular visualization, docking, structure-activity relationships, and properties of drug-like molecules. The participants will conduct virtual docking and high-throughput screening experiments using novel targets, visualize and analyze key molecular interactions, and use their own data to generate descriptive structure-activity relationships. These research projects, and the work that is being conducted, will become increasingly independent over the course of the summer. The program culminates in an end-of-summer symposium where students will have the opportunity to present their research to peers, project mentors and faculty.

Professional Development: Throughout the program, participants will take part in a variety of professional development activities. Weekly sessions will cover topics such as effective science communication, drafting and maintaining an independent development plan (IDP), digital networking, and career advancement strategies. In addition, students and mentors will be invited to professional development sessions, where invited speakers (predominantly recent graduates with science degrees) will discuss there careers, and career trajectories, in an informal setting. In addition, all participants of the program will be given a paid membership in the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

Networking and Community Building: The MIV-REU program is an ever-growing community of active and aspiring scientists. An important objective of this program is for participants to begin to develop a strong and lasting network (or strengthen their existing network) of peers, colleagues and mentors who can provide support and guidance throughout their education and career. As a component of the program, all participants will meet with their team members, a facilitator and the mentors multiple times per week in scheduled research meetings. These meetings will be supplemented by regular professional development and social activities. While conducting their independent research, students will have the opportunity to actively engage with at least three faculty mentors from different research institutions from across the country.

What makes the MIV-REU program unique? This program is designed with flexibility in mind for the participants. The program is particularly suited to motivated students that are interested in a research experience, but may be unable to participate in a conventional ‘in-person’ REU program. The fully virtual format and flexible schedule are aimed at accommodating the unique needs of our participants. Participants are expected to devote ~30 hours per week to the program and will be supported with a $5000 stipend. To learn about eligibility or to fill out an application, please see the Application page.

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