Research Experience for Undergraduates


May 29 - July 29, 2017, Samford University will host a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program that will provide an in-depth faculty-mentored research experience for 12 students. The program focuses on multidisciplinary research to study interactions in complex systems ranging from the molecular to the landscape scale in a diverse Appalachian ridge and valley ecosystem at Oak Mountain State Park (OMSP) near Birmingham, Alabama.

Student projects may involve both field and laboratory research to address questions in ecology, biochemistry, population biology, botany, geography, plant chemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and pathogenesis. Mentors are from the departments of biological and environmental sciences, chemistry, geography, and pharmacy at Samford University. At Samford, undergraduate students become research colleagues. REU students have access to a wide array of individual labs, core facilities (e.g., electron microscopy, LC-MS, cell culture), and the unique Oak Mountain Interpretive Center research facility.

Students are expected to perform full-time research and to participate in weekly workshops on professional skills (i.e., ethical conduct in research, data analysis, scientific communication), career opportunities, and the graduate school application process. In addition to doing research, students will enjoy social activities, including field trips. Discussions with mentors, experts, and fellow students will help participants compare complex biological and biochemical interactions across research topics.

Students are selected based on academic record, professional goals and potential for outstanding research. Outstanding undergraduate students who have limited opportunities to participate in research at their home institutions and students from underrepresented minority groups are particularly encouraged to apply. In order to apply, students must be U.S. citizens, and have completed at least one year's worth of undergraduate coursework.

Recent News

Congratulations to Fhallon Ware-Gilmore, one of the 2015 REU participants! Fhallon recently attended the Association of Southeastern Biologists Conference in Concord, North Carolina where her poster won 1st place for her work last summer. 

Fhallon Poster

Fhallon says: "For the last 4 days , I was able to to share my love for science with some sensational people at the Association of Southeastern Biologists Conference in Concord, North Carolina. My research focused on investigation of how ground hunting arachnids avoid inundation by going into a hypoxic coma. I am ecstatic and humbled to announce that I won first place (The John C. Johnsons) for the poster competition at the ASB/BBB conference for District 2. 

Due to this, I will be receiving funding to attended an international conference for BBB that is being hosted in Minneapolis. Winning this award would not have been possible without the kindness, encouragement, persistence and funding I have received from my mentors at Samford University (Dr. Hataway,Dr. Sahawneh, Dr. Fincher, and Dr. Dobbins) , and University of West Alabama. The knowledge they have imparted upon me has been a great asset throughout the development of my career and personal development.

Despite the popular media depiction of scientists as antisocial individuals, academia is an inherently collaborative profession. Having the opportunity to attend conferences like ASB, ESA, AAS has given me the opportunity to explore the leading edge of this discipline, and has helped me to make connections and friendships in the scientific community."

Fhallon Award

Congratulations to Fhallon on all of her hard work!


2017 Schedule

March 1

Application deadline. 5 p.m. Central Standard Time: Application deadline.


Application evaluation, student phone interviews


Students notified of acceptance.


Mentors and students begin to discuss projects

May 29

Students arrive at Samford

Weeks 1–2

Introduction to Samford and Oak Mountain State Park, experimental design, research proposals

Weeks 2–8


Weeks 8–9

Analysis, Writing, Student Research Symposium

July 29

Student departure

Stipend, Travel and Housing

REU participation includes:

  • Stipend ($525/week) for the nine-week program.
  • Round trip travel to Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Room & board in Samford University residence hall and dining facility.

Student Code of Conduct

The mission of Samford University is to nurture persons in their development of intellect, creativity, faith and personhood. As a Christian university, the community fosters academic, career and ethical competency while encouraging social and civic responsibility and service to others.

In light of this, REU participants will be expected to abide by a code of conduct that reflects these values. This includes living in single gender dorms, along with a strict no-alcohol on campus policy.