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This REU Site award to California State University San Marcos, located in San Marcos, CA, will support the training of 10 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2019-2021. This intensive research program will complement the unifying theme of “Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Beyond: From Beetles to Beer”. Students will select a research mentor from a diverse team of scientists who are using genomic, transcriptomic, metagenomic, and epigenomic methods to address fundamental biological questions, including integrated pest management, yeast biology in beer flavoring agents, soil microbiomes in agriculture, amphibian ranavirus pathogenesis, and biomineralization in invasive coccolithophores. The residential program will foster a community of scholars who will transition from being students to research scientists, and move from learning to discovery. Weekly enrichment activities are embedded in the program with seminars, bioinformatics workshops, and field trips, to highlight the breadth and power of NGS applications. In addition to graduate school and career workshops, a culminating Poster Showcase is planned to celebrate research accomplishments of participants and encourage future presentations at regional and national meetings.

It is anticipated that a total of 30 students, primarily from schools with limited research opportunities, will be trained in the program in conducting and presenting independent research. With a strong commitment to supporting underrepresented groups, including veterans, and first-generation college students, the CSUSM NSF REU program will contribute to building a diverse and talented population of next generation scientists. We hope to host a strong cohort of biologists that will be well poised to apply to competitive doctoral/Masters programs across the country.

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 will be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system.

More information about the program is available by contacting the PI (Dr. Betsy Read at, the co-PI (Dr. Arun Sethuraman at, or Program Director (Dr. Elinne Becket at

Also, check out our blog from the Summer 2019, 2021 REU programs for personal accounts from our REU participants about their projects, and REU experience at CSUSM!

While we intend to offer the Summer 2022 program in-person, should we be precluded from doing so because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will move to a hybrid, or virtual format! So do apply, or contact us to learn more!

Deadline for applications (including ALL recommendation letters) - March 1, 2022 (Monday, 5 PM Pacific Time).