REU-Blinks Program for Undergraduates

Research in Integrative Biology & Ecology of Marine Organisms

Dates: Monday, June 14 to Saturday, August 7, 2021

Application Period: December 10, 2020 – February 15, 2021. Application instructions at the bottom of this page.
Questions? Contact Dr. Stacy Farina.

Program Description

The REU-Blinks 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 to encourage a shared experience:

  • National Science Foundation REU program
  • Anne Hof Blinks Research Fellowship program, which targets groups who are historically underrepresented in the marine sciences

The REU-Blinks Program offers a full immersion research experience for motivated undergraduates and post-baccalaureates. 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.

The Projects

Click on the link below to see a list of research projects and the researchers who are mentoring them.

Internship Mentors & Projects Summer 2021

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 ($500/week).


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.  See the UW Policy on Non-Discrimination for details.

To Apply

Follow these steps in order:

  1. Select your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices from the list of 2021 projects/mentors and make a note of them.
  2. Obtain a pdf copy of your most recent college transcript; if you’ve attended more than one college, get copies of those transcript(s), too. Change the file name for each pdf so it begins with your last name, then first name, e.g. “DalyMarie_Transcript1.”
  3. If you have a CV or resume you’d like to submit (optional), save it as a pdf with a file name starting as noted above, e.g. “ArlinerRoger_CV.”
  4. In a Word document: write two separate personal statements in response to the prompts below. Each statement should be fewer than 300 words. You will copy and paste your statements into the application form later.
    • Statement 1. Tell us who you are and what you have accomplished to date.
    • Statement 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.
  5. Think of a professor or employer who can comment on your qualifications. Contact them to ask if they would be able to write a letter of recommendation for you. **At the bottom of this page is a paragraph for you to copy and paste directly into an email to the person, with the link they need for submitting the letter to FHL; they should NOT send the letter to you.
  6. After you’ve got everything above ready to go, fill out and submit the 2021 Research Internship Application!

For requesting a letter of recommendation, copy and paste the paragraph below into an email to the person:

I am applying for a Summer Research Internship at University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs. The application requires a letter of recommendation from a professor or employer, and I am reaching out to ask if you would write a letter for me. The letter is due on February 22nd, and must be submitted through this Submission Form.  Please let me know if you can submit a letter for me.  Thank you!


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