REU application

Science & Engineering Leadership Initiative (SELI) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)  – Application Process

The REU program is open to all undergraduate students with disabilities (mobility, sensory, learning, psychological, medical, or other) who are majors in chemistry, biochemistry, or chemistry-related fields. Research experience is not required. Preference will be given to students who are:

  • Juniors (i.e. one to two years away from graduation)
  • Interested in chemistry and biochemistry research projects (related disciplines will be considered)
  • Considering graduate or professional school following graduation
  • Highly motivated to excel

The 10-week Summer REU program is held at the University of Delaware campus in Newark, DE.

Our program has ended and is on hold until further notice. If you have any questions about past programs or our future directions please email us at



Previous application process

  1. Transcript
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. Personal statement
  4. The attached cover Form

The REU program offers the following benefits and activities:

  • Participation in state-of-the-art research.
  • Meet like-minded peers.
  • Scientific field trips.
  • Mentoring for graduate school and STEM careers.
  • Expand your personal resource network.
  • Stipend and housing provided for the 10-week program.
  • Present your work at the University of Delaware 2019 Undergraduate Research & Service Learning Celebratory Symposium.
  • Opportunity to present research results at the American Chemical Society National Meeting.

Undergraduate students from various universities on UD’s campus for a summer Science, Technology, Education and Math research experience run by professors Karl Booksh and Sharon Rozovsky for students with disabilities. – (Evan Krape / University of Delaware)


Frequently Asked Questions About Our REU Program

1. How are research projects selected?

Research projects are assigned based on the students’ scientific interest. Once students are admitted to the program, we have a phone conversation with them to learn more about their preferred research field. We then match them with an appropriate academic mentor. These are members of the Chemistry, Biology or Engineering Department. We arrange for the student to discuss the potential project with a prospective mentor and we find that these discussions are very helpful to finalize the research project. If needed, we seek a person that is of specific interest to the student and “encourage” them to mentor the student. We were lucky to have a lot of support among our faculty and to be able to find appropriate matches for the students from diverse fields.

We also work with the students to help them and their academic mentors to set accommodations ahead of time so they can start research on the first day of the program. While our program is focused on research, our discussions and activities are unique to the challenges faced by students with disabilities and it has been much lauded by previous participants.

2. Must I disclose my disability to my research group or students in the REU program?

No! It is your choice. Drs. Booksh and Rozovsky will not disclose information without your consent. The only other person whom we share the information with is your research mentor so that he/she can best accommodate your needs.

That being said, most of our students in the past choose to share the information with other students in the REU or with their research group. However, not everyone and not right away.

3. Does your REU admit international or DACA students?

Sorry! Our award  (NSF 13-542) specifically states that an REU student must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident.

4. Does your REU admit students without disabilities?

This program is only for students who identify as having a disability. We spend a bit of time talking about disability disclosure and career navigation for students with disabilities, as well as other topics tailored directly for the disability/career interface. Consequently, if you do not identify as having a disability, this REU would not be appropriate.

5. Should an interested student meet any specific criteria of disability in order to be eligible?

In the past, we have admitted students with physical, sensory, learning, neurobiological, psychological, and other disabilities. There are no restrictions and we encourage you to apply.

6. Other questions regarding eligibility:

“Eligible Student Participants: Undergraduate student participants supported with NSF funds in either REU Supplements or REU Sites must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents of the United States. An undergraduate student is a student who is enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Students who are transferring from one college or university to another and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate. High school graduates who have been accepted at an undergraduate institution but who have not yet started their undergraduate study are also eligible to participate. Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are generally not eligible to participate.”

7. Are there guidelines for guidelines or preferences (e.g. length, format, subject, etc.) for the personal statement ?

We do not have any explicit guidelines or requirements posted but some things that are good in a personal statement include:

i. The reason you are interested in the REU program

ii. Any research, experience you have or other background experiences you think are relevant. It might be that your school doesn’t have a strong research opportunity, so REUs are your best chance.

iii. Your research interest

We try to match each REU student with a research lab based on the student’s expressed interests. The more information we have about your interests, the more we can personalize a placement.

vi. Future career plans and how an REU would help you fulfill those plans

v. (optional) A bit about your disability and what accommodations you may need. This helps us plan for having the right match and any accommodations in place. The nature of your disability or accommodations does not impact your chances to be admitted!

8. How many students are admitted to your REU?

Our REU typically supports eight undergraduate students each summer. 

9. Are housing and transportation paid for?

Yes. The program also includes a stipend for 10-weeks.

10. Do all three recommendation letters have to be from my science professors?

Your college instructors are typically best equipped to evaluate your fit for the program. Our preference is for science faculty, but if you know other people that could comment on your academic performance and potential, that would be helpful as well.

11. Are the letters of recommendation supposed to be sent all together or does each professor personally send it?

Please have the letter writers email us separately.

12.  Where are the program graduates now?

Many of the students who attended our REU program in previous years applied successfully for graduate programs in physics, engineering, chemistry, and biology. Others are attending other professional programs such as pharmacy. A few of our graduates have used the experience to determine that they need a gap year before deciding. We are waiting for them to return from their adventures!

13. I got admitted! What happens next?

Before the program starts, we will contact you with information regarding stipend, travel, and answer any questions you may have. We will also work with you to find a research project that excites you and relevant accommodations. We will ask you to register with the University of Delaware Center for Disability. Once you arrive, Drs. Booksh and Rozovsky will meet you in the dorms to welcome you.

If your question was not addressed please Email us:


Undergraduate students from various universities on UD’s campus for a summer Science, Technology, Education and Math research experience run by professors Karl Booksh and Sharon Rozovsky for students with disabilities. – (Evan Krape / University of Delaware)