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REU in Tropical Biology in Costa Rica

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Academic Level:
Undergraduate Students

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a nonprofit consortium of over 50 universities and research institutions from the United States, Costa Rica, Australia, México, Perú and South Africa. Since 1963, OTS has provided leadership in education, research, and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. OTS is committed to increasing the participation of women, ethnic minorities, and economically disadvantaged students underrepresented in the discipline. As part of this effort, OTS and the National Science Foundation offer a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Costa Rica that provides hands-on, field-oriented research experiences to undergraduate students from the United States and Costa Rica.

Students from diverse ethnic and academic backgrounds will complete an independent research project in the field with an experienced tropical ecologist, from the project planning stage through to symposium presentation and potential publication. Ten undergraduates will be selected through a competitive application process for an eight-week research program at the world-renowned La Selva Biological Station in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. The program provides students with a first-hand look at the challenges and rewards of tropical field ecology. Students will live immersed in a rich academic community of researchers conducting novel tropical research, and they will attend workshops on field skills, current research in tropical biology, international research ethics, statistics, and scientific written and oral communication. Participants also have access to the social, cultural, and recreational activities of rural communities surrounding La Selva. Former participants of the OTS REU program are now pursuing successful careers in the biological sciences, including field ecology and tropical medicine.

Program Highlights

•Eight weeks of field study at a premier biological station in a diverse tropical rainforest

•Experienced scientific mentors to guide you through independent research

•Cultural exchanges with Costa Rican and international students and researchers

Who can apply?

The program is open to undergraduate U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents enrolled in accredited institutions in the United States who have taken at least 2 semesters of upper-level biology (beyond introductory courses). Graduating seniors are not eligible.

What does the REU award cover?

The OTS REU award covers the cost of room and board and international travel to and from Costa Rica. Participants will also receive a generous stipend of $3600 for their 8 weeks of research.

 • Note: Funding pending
Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
Organization for Tropical Studies (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
General Medical & Life Sciences

Questions about this program?
Click here to view this program's website

This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Page last updated 10/30/2016
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