Program Eligibility and Application Instructions

Thanks for your interest in the program, however we are no longer accepting applications for our 2023 MIV-REU program. Information about applying to the summer 2024 program will be posted soon.

To be eligible you must be:

  • a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • be currently enrolled in a US college or university and have completed at least one year of study by start of the program in June, 2023
  • have completed a college-level introductory chemistry course (or equivalent AP course)
  • be able to commit 30 hours per week, for 10 weeks of the summer, to the research and research-related activities of the program
  • if you have eligibility questions, please send an email to

Please note that this is a competitive program – we typically have space for less than 20% of the applicants to participate in the MIV-REU program. While the final success rate will depend upon the number of applications received, we expect the 2023 program year to be very competitive.

Application Instructions

Please read all of the application instructions before beginning your application.

A complete application consists of the following materials:

  • Completed application form (see below)
  • Transcripts (PDF format; unofficial or official copy) from all college or universities attended – you will upload this while you are completing the application form
  • One reference letter: this recommendation letter should be from a college or university instructor, professor or academic advisor who knows you and your work, and can comment on your potential for success in STEM-related research. The letter must be on College/University letterhead, be signed by the letter writer and be sent directly from their College/University email to the following email address: MIVREU@UMN.EDU
  • To assist with our evaluation, please send the following text passage to your letter writer when you ask them for your reference letter:
    • Thank you for supporting this student, and our program, by agreeing to write a reference letter. Please note that the NSF-supported molecular interactions virtual research experiences for undergraduates (MIV-REU) is a fully virtual REU program and, as such, provides unique opportunities and challenges to the participants. To help us select students that best fit the program and its goals, please specifically comment on the student’s ability to work independently and manage time, as well as their communication skills, academic maturity and overall potential to succeed in a virtual research environment. Please send your signed letter, on your institutional letterhead, to the following address: MIVREU@UMN.EDU. If you have any questions, please address them to the MIV-REU email address given above.

You will need to access this from a gmail accountPlease have your transcripts (PDF version) ready to upload

Thank you very much for your interest in the MIV-REU. We will be reviewing applications in early March and hope to make initial offers of admission by mid-late March.

Information about the application form:

You will be asked to provide some biographical information, information about your GPA, major and minor, and answer a few questions. The text of the questions are provided below:

MIV-REU is dedicated to involving undergraduate students in authentic research of novel protein:ligand interactions with a program designed from the outset to be fully virtual.

Student participants are organized into smaller teams that use each member’s contributions to “crowdsource” larger datasets. Frequent meetings are dedicated to learning and analyzing the combined data to address shared research objectives. And while there is a heavy emphasis on collaboration, each student will be supported while developing their own scientific research report to be communicated at an end-of-summer research symposium.

In addition to research experience, students will learn how to use freely-accessible scientific software and fundamental computer skills including basic scripting and operating software built for a Linux computer environment (prior computer programming experience is NOT required; we learn on the job!).

Outside of the learning objectives, MIV-REU emphasizes building a social community and professional development with dedicated programming each week. We are looking to help our team grow into capable scientists with lasting connections that continue to provide mutual benefit into the future.

This will be the third year of MIV-REU and we learned a lot during year one. We are excited to build on the positive outcomes and we also make adjustments based on student feedback. For example, feedback we received from last summer’s students indicated:
1) students felt the virtual format presented unique challenges to build a sense of community among participants at first,
2) students recognized how important it was to schedule regular meeting times during the week that participants in all time zones could attend,
3) students also recognized they needed considerable time-management and self-motivation to structure their work between meetings.

We can’t wait to add a new team to the MIV-REU community this summer dedicated to exciting new research targets. We invite applicants to 2022 MIV-REU to consider the following questions to help identify candidates for this program.

We’ve learned that strong skills in time management and being able to work independently to troubleshoot problems are excellent indicators for student success in MIV-REU. 

Question: Please describe an experience(s) that exemplifies your abilities to manage your time while working independently to troubleshoot problems you faced when learning new skills/method.

Question: Taking together the positive opportunities AND challenges, please tell us why you are pursuing a VIRTUAL research experience.

Question: Please briefly explain (3-5 sentences) how this research experience, in general, and the subject of molecular interactions, more specifically, fits with your expected professional goals.

%d bloggers like this: