Preparing students for success in graduate school is a primary goal of this Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). Students will participate in workshops each week, including topics such as responsible conduct of research, lab notebook skills, National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) grantsmanship, scientific communication through well-constructed figures, and regulatory aspects of biomedical engineering innovation. As a result, REU students will be well prepared for success in graduate research in bioengineering or biomedical programs.

During the first week of this program, students will receive basic laboratory safety training and will then participate in their first workshop: skills training required for their projects. Parallel training sessions will be run by graduate students to teach skills to program participants. REU students will complete three courses from the following list:

  • Cell culture
  • Microfluidic device assembly and use
  • 3D printing – direct laser writing
  • 3D printing – bioprinting
  • Microcontact printing/stamping
  • Multilayer biopolymer deposition
  • Electrodeposition
  • Hydrogel formation

Any additional experimental training required for students' respective projects will be provided by their individual mentors.

Timeline of Activities in the REU Program

Week 1

Skills courses for respective projects

Week 2

Workshop: Lab notebook skills

Week 3

Workshop: Responsible conduct of research

Week 4

Workshop: Regulatory aspects of biomedical devices

Week 5

Graduate student panel

Week 6

Workshop: How to write an NSF GRFP application

Week 7

Workshop: How to communicate science through well-designed figures

Week 8

Presentation practice (respective principal investigators); Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) abstract submission

Week 9

Undergraduate research conference at the FDA

Week 10

Completion of experiments and transfer of knowledge/outcomes

At the end of the summer, students will summarize their research progress and present it through the perspective of regulatory science. All participants will present in an annual undergraduate research conference hosted at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) campus. Students will present their research to other undergraduate researchers, as well as FDA technical staff, non-FDA scientists, and the FDA Commissioner.