REU Site: Molecular and Organismal Evolution at the University of Idaho Grant uri icon



  • This REU Site award to the University of Idaho, located in Moscow, ID, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2018 - 2020. Participants conduct hands-on, independent research in the areas of molecular and organismal evolution under the guidance of faculty mentors in the Department of Biological Sciences. Research interests among faculty mentors range from molecular processes of evolutionary change to the adaptation of organisms on the landscape level. The summer program is enriched by weekly research seminars, a series of professional development workshops, training in ethical and responsible conduct of research, and a variety of social activities. The program concludes with a student research symposium. Student participants receive room-and-board, round trip travel to the University of Idaho, and a stipend. Students are recruited nationally and submit application materials through an online application process. Students are selected based on their academic record, statement, letters of recommendation, potential to benefit from the experience, interview with prospective mentors, and program goals. Selection is accomplished by the Principal and Co-Principal Investigators in consultation with faculty mentors. Special emphasis will be placed on the recruitment of students from groups underrepresented in the sciences and from institutions without extensive access to research opportunities. Information about the program is assessed through follow-up surveys, including use of an REU common assessment tool.
    It is anticipated that a total of 30 students primarily from schools with limited research opportunities, will be trained in the program. Students will learn how research is conducted, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences.
    A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU Site programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine their career paths. Students may be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information about the program is available by visiting, or by contacting the PI (Dr. David Pfeiffer at or the Co-PI (Dr. Doug Cole at
    This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

date/time interval

  • March 1, 2018 - February 28, 2021

total award amount

  • 363,930