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REU Application for Summer 2023 has FINISHED and
our 2023 interns have been selected
– Applications will be open for Summer 2024 around Dec 2023

Should you apply?
Application Process Summary
Program Dates
Financial Support


Should you apply?


Are you from a Pacific Island and interested in Biology? Do you want to conduct research that confronts challenges facing your Pacific Island communities so you can apply this knowledge to your islands? Do you want your study of Biology integrated within your Pacific Island cultural heritage? If you answered YES to one or all of these questions YOU SHOULD APPLY TO THIS REU!!! But if you are still not sure if this research experience is for you… listen to past REU interns tell you about their experience and provide some advice for you below!




In order to be considered you must be:


  • a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree
  • Students who are transferring from one college or university to another and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate
  • High school graduates who have been accepted at an undergraduate institution but who have not yet started their undergraduate study are also eligible to participate
  • Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are NOT eligible to participate

Preference will be given to students from institutions outside of University of Hawaii Mānoa as well as those students who are from a Pacific Island and or identify as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.


Application Process Summary


To Apply you will need:


  • Resume or CV
  • Completed Application Form (with STATEMENT OF PURPOSE)
  • Official TRANSCRIPTS

RECOMMENDATION: Ask three faculty members or supervisors at your home institution to write letters of recommendation on your behalf. You will be asked for their names and email addresses when you complete your application. They will automatically be sent a link to complete an online letter of recommendation. It is advised that you ask them more than 3 weeks before the application is due to provide them enough time to complete the recommendation. We also recommend providing these mentors with a current resume, and if you have it a copy or draft of your statement of purpose.

RESUME or CV:  Prepare your Resume or CV

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Please state your reasons for applying to this program, your particular areas of interest, your plans for future occupation or profession, and any additional information that may assist the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude. Include a discussion of faculty with whom you might like to work, and rank your choices.

Before you complete the online application – prepare your Statement of Purpose. Your statement should be approximately 600 words and discuss your academic goals and your research ideas and how your research ideas relate to the scientific interests of the faculty you would like to work with (specific prompt above). We advise that you prepare your statement offline so that you can check your spelling and have mentors or friends read through your draft and provide feedback to ensure a strong application.

TRANSCRIPTS: Upload your unofficial copies of your college transcripts to the online application portal. Have copies of official transcripts from the institution you are currently attending sent to Dr. Medeiros via email ( or regular mail (see Contact Information).

ONLINE APPLICATION  PORTAL: Complete the online Application through the NSF ETAP Application portal (link at the top of this page). The platform requires that you first create a login on ETAP in order to complete the application.  The first part of the application is a common NSF registration form which requests the following information for the purposes of helping to advocate for more funding of opportunities like REUs:

  • Basic information from applicants that can be used to identify unique individuals, match them to National Student Clearinghouse records, monitor program eligibility, and track applicants over time
  • Demographic information (such as gender and race) and a few items to gauge applicants’ socioeconomic background, which can be used for participant selection, research, and evaluation purposes
  • Educational background such as degrees obtained and information on applicants’ current college enrollment (such as college name and years completed) (If you cannot find your high school in the drop down list, then please enter 11111 as the zip code. You should see “I don’t see my school on the list” as the search result. Click on that. From there you should be able to enter your school’s information.)
  • Questions about previous program participation and prior academic achievement

We would like you to know that many of the questions (like test scores) are optional, and you can always select that you do not want to provide information to any of the questions.

As part of this application you will be able to provide your Statement of Purpose (Additional Question #1), upload your transcripts, upload your resume and provide contact information for your letters of reference. If you have any more questions about the application process please see the NSF ETAP Frequently Asked Questions  or you can contact

Program Dates

The program period is May 29 through August 4, 2023. You will need to arrive in Honolulu no later than May 28, 2023 and not plan to depart earlier than August 5, 2023.

Following the program period, we will maintain contact with you and will continue to encourage successful students to pursue additional training and opportunities in the environmental sciences. Please plan to keep the REU Program Director informed of your latest mailing address as well as your current e-mail address.


Financial Support

Students accepted to the REU program will receive the following financial support:


  1.  All travel costs. If you attend a school outside of Hawaii, we will purchase your airplane ticket for you.
  2. Stipend of ~$6,000 for the summer (with the final paycheck dispersed upon receipt of the final research paper).
  3. University of Hawaii dormitory housing, meal plan and bus fares will be provided for out of town students. Local students living off campus are eligible for subsistence awards of up to $2,500.
  4.  $500 is provided to support each student’s research project and is paid to vendors on requests from mentors. These funds can also be spent for research-related interisland travel as approved by mentors.


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