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Water Quality in the Yucatan Peninsula Research Program for Undergraduates 2019

Are you taking an internship in the summer? Internships help you gain practical work experience in a professional setting while “trying out” a career. If you are an undergraduate with an interest in water science then you have an opportunity to apply REU ‘Water Quality in the Yucatan Peninsula’ Research Program funded by National Science Foundation.

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at NIU is looking for a diverse group of students who are current sophomores or juniors in STEM majors. This includes geology, environmental science, biology, engineering, and many other majors.

Field of Internship: Internship is available for
Course Level: Internship
Internship Provider: National Science Foundation (NSF) at Northern Illinois University (NIU)
Location: DeKalb, IL and Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Internship can be taken in U.S.


To be eligible, applicants must:

  • The ideal candidate will be bilingual in Spanish and English.
  • You must be a current undergraduate student and a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or permanent resident of the United States.
  • You also must have a valid passport or green card to participate in this program.
  • Individuals who are able to comment on the applicant’s academic ability are preferred, including faculty advisors at the student’s home institution or mentors from previous activities.
  • Potential candidates may be contacted for a follow-up Skype interview within one month of the application deadline.
  • The ideal applicant is in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) major.
  • There are no prerequisites for this program, but they would like students to have at least one year of background in one or more of the basic sciences – biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics.
  • Students in non-STEM majors or with undeclared majors are also welcome to apply as long as they have taken at least one year of a basic science (biology, chemistry, earth science, or physics).

Internship Open for International Students: N/A

Is this paid internship? This is a paid internship programme.

  • The expenses covered by the program include round trip air travel to and from Illinois (for out of state participants) or travel cost reimbursement (for participants living nearby).
  • Round trip air travel to and from Cancun, Mexico, is also included, as well as room and board for the duration of the program.
  • In addition, participating students will receive a stipend of $500 per week (disbursed bimonthly through direct deposit).
  • During the program weekends are mostly free (with the exception of travel weekends), so participants are permitted to come and go as they please. Note that any extra travel costs incurred for conflicts will not be covered or reimbursed.

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Internship Description:

The program is looking for exceptional students who are hard workers and are willing to develop and improve their research skills. Students with families are welcome. Families may join the participating student for any part of the program, but their room and board and travel costs will not be covered.

The eight-week program will be divided into three parts.

  • Part one will be completed at the NIU campus in DeKalb, IL, where students will learn research skills, develop research plans, and study water resources and the Yucatan Peninsula. During this time students will be provided with accommodation on campus.
  • The second part of the program will take place in the Yucatan. Students will collaborate with faculty mentors and Mexican scientists and students while staying in local housing. During this time students will have the opportunity to visit sites of historical and cultural significance in the Yucatan.
  • Students will return to NIU at the end of the program to analyze data and present their findings.

Number of awards offered: Eight students will take part in faculty-mentored research projects in and around Cancun, Mexico.

Internship Duration: Program Start on June 17, 2019 and Final Program Day is August 9, 2019. Program start and end dates may be adjusted one week earlier depending on laboratory schedules.

Notification: Notification of Acceptance- March 1, 2019

How to Apply:

As part of the application process, you must register with the NSF program at www.nsfreu.org.

  • You will be able to create a user account, and you will be assigned a unique REU ID.
  • Be sure to take note of the REU ID assigned to you, as you will be required to supply it on your application.
  • After you have registered you may complete your application.
  • Send your Resume and School Transcripts (unofficial transcripts are preferred) to [email protected] with the subject line “LastName-2019 REU Application” no later than February 1, 2019.
  • Also arrange to have one Letter of Reference sent to [email protected] or have a hard copy sent to: Melissa Lenczewski, Northern Illinois University, Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Davis Hall 411A, DeKalb, IL 60115
  • Students at community colleges and other institutions with limited research options are especially encouraged to apply!

Internship Application Deadline: Internship application deadline is February 1, 2019.

Apply Now