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Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

VIDEO: Follow in the footsteps of an undergraduate researcher and learn more about the summer program at The Morton Arboretum. 

National Science Foundation REU Program

In order to create a safe and exceptional experience for students and staff, the 2021 REU program has been postponed until Summer 2022.


Experience careers that explore solutions for climate change, biodiversity, natural resources management, and urban life through the center's NSF-REU Program, Tree Science in the Anthropocene.

The Center for Tree Science has trained 41 students over the past 6 years from 32 universities across the US.  Quotes from past students:

  • “It gave me a reference that allowed me to get into grad school and do the research that I really want to do!”
  • “Keep this up! It was a very important experience for me early in my career and is still one of my favorite jobs that I have ever had."
  • “My REU experience has strongly impacted my career path. It has opened me up to and enhanced my true interests."
  • “Enjoy what it feels like to be dedicated to and focus your energy on one project that you're passionate about. You will love the experience and the people around you.”

Undergraduates enrolled at a bachelor’s degree-granting institution may apply for this nationally competitive fellowship.  Participate in an intensive 10-week summer program, conducting an independent research project under the guidance of a PhD-level mentor.  Gain direct experience on all aspects of a research project, from reading the primary literature, experimental design, collecting and analyzing data, to presenting the results at a final symposium.  Develop critical thinking, independence, self-confidence, perseverance, and collaborative skills.  Interact with REUs from other Chicago institutions, and benefit from workshops on science communication and professional development.  Learn skills you can apply anywhere.  The Center for Tree Science also offers opportunities to return to continue your work.

Research areas:

  • Evolutionary biology
  • Forest ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Urban forestry and tree care
  • Computer modeling
  • Engineering solutions

Read mentors’ profiles and learn more about potential research topics here.

Access the 2019 Student Project Bulletin

10-week research program includes:

  • $6,000 stipend.
  • Housing, research supplies, and travel.
  • Workshops in science communication, ethics, and project management.

Dates and application:


Apply for the REU

Please contact ctsreu@mortonarb.org with questions.