Blinks-REU Internship Program

Please check back in late 2019 for information about the 2020 program!

Monday, June 15 to Friday, August 7, 2020
(8 weeks:  arrive Monday, June 15; depart Saturday, Aug. 8 after breakfast)

Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Integrative Biology and Ecology of Marine Organisms

Program Description

The Blinks-REU Summer Internship Program links undergraduate students with scientist-mentors as collaborators in marine science research projects. The program takes advantage of the pristine environment, remarkable biodiversity, and the scientific and technical resources at UW Friday Harbor Laboratories, a marine science research facility in the San Juan Islands.

We have combined the following programs into one rewarding summer internship program to encourage a shared experience:

  • NSF REU program
  • Blinks Research Fellowship program, which targets groups who are historically underrepresented in the marine sciences

In cooperation with the the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Anne Hof Blinks Memorial Fellowship, the Blinks-REU Program offers a full immersion research experience for motivated undergraduates, post-baccalaureates and graduate students. In keeping with UW policy of encouraging diversity in its student body including underrepresented groups, the program seeks 10-15 students of diverse backgrounds and interests to participate in a eight week summer research project in the marine sciences. By linking interns with marine scientists in a 1:1 research experience, interns learn both the process and the substance of scientific research. As the research progresses, interns will be encouraged to become semi-independent collaborators. The experience will expose interns to the life and work of a marine science research laboratory. The program will incorporate workshops, seminars and training sessions in addition to hands-on research.

The mentors and projects vary from year to year according to the developing research interests of resident and visiting researchers. Research projects are designed by the scientists to be achievable projects which dovetail with their research plans. Projects are posted below. Interns will work semi-independently with mentor supervision for approximately 40 hours per week.

As participants in the FHL community, interns will participate actively in FHL community activities, e.g. attend the weekly seminars, eat in the Dining Hall and live in the student dormitory. Early in the summer session, there will be a meeting of student participants with graduate students and mentors to share perspectives on graduate programs and participation in academic life, with a brief description of ongoing projects, and a question/answer session. At the end of their internship, interns will present their research in a short powerpoint talk. Interns will also write a scientific paper describing their work, and revise it based upon feedback from the mentor.

2019 Mentors and Projects

2019 Mentors and Projects
2020 Mentors and Projects to be posted soon.

The Setting

FHL is University of Washington’s marine science field research station. Located north of Puget Sound in the San Juan Islands, FHL takes advantage of a remarkable diversity of marine habitats and organisms. FHL hosts 15-20 courses per year and approximately 100 independent researchers during the year. The 484 acre campus is the site for thirteen lab buildings, a dining hall, 3 dorms and other housing units.

Research at FHL emphasizes marine invertebrate zoology, phycology, fisheries science, conservation biology, cell and molecular biology, biomedical sciences, oceanography and other scientific disciplines. Investigators and students use diversified field resources as well as modern analytical technologies such as a CT scanner, nucleotide sequencer, scanning laser confocal microscopes, centrifuges, HPLC, TEM, SEM and other equipment. FHL is equipped with a 58′ research vessel, numerous smaller boats, cold rooms, and an extensive seawater system serving numerous lab buildings. The facility includes a computer lab, networked research labs, wi-fi connectivity, a well equipped stockroom, a 17,000 volume library, and SCUBA facilities.

Financial Support

Participants will be provided with financial support to meet costs of room, board and round trip travel, plus a stipend (amount to be determined).


The NSF REU Site grant supports U.S. citizens or permanent residents during their undergraduate careers. The Blinks Endowment supports students who bring diversity to the FHL student body in any phase of their undergraduate or graduate career.

The University of Washington is committed to providing equality of opportunity and an environment that fosters respect for all members of the University community.
Non-discrimination policies are detailed here:

To Apply

REU 2019 Application
2020 Application to be available in November 2019.

Application due by February 1st :

  • Indicate your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for projects/mentors.
  • Upload your college transcript(s)
  • Upload a CV (optional)
  • Write two personal statements, less than 300 words each, for the following prompts (these can be cut and pasted into the text boxes):
  1.  “Tell us who you are and what you have accomplished to date.”
  2.  “Tell us who you want to be, and how you want to get there. If appropriate, mention how your project choices relate to your goals.”

Letters of Recommendations due by February 8th:

You will also be provided a URL to send to two professors or employers who can comment on your qualifications. The letter writers will use this URL to privately submit their letters of recommendation no later than February 8th.

Questions may be directed to
Please note that you may not receive a reply to your email until after January 1st.

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