How To Apply to ORCA

How to Appy to the ORCA Program


Choice of Research laboratory: 

Prior to applying, applicants may affiliate with a research group, but it is not necessary to do so. Applicants may also indicate three preferred research groups from the list above with which they wish to be matched. Applications will be evaluated without consideration of whether the applicant is affiliated with a group.

Click here to view a list of possible faculty mentors (you could also contact a faculty member to arrange a project).



Undergraduates who have finished their second year (or equivalent) with a grade point average of at least 3.0, depending on curricular rigor, will be considered eligible to apply to the B3-REU program. The successful applicant will have taken the equivalent of General Chemistry with Lab, Foundations of Biology with Lab, and Organic Chemistry with Lab. The following courses are also recommended: General Physics with Lab, Calculus-based, Quantitative Analysis with Lab, Cell and Molecular Biology with Lab, Thermodynamics. 


Required documents: 

Completed application which includes:

  1. Completed cover sheet.
  2. Copy of your unofficial transcript, with an official transcript supplied on acceptance.
  3. One-page description of career goals and reasons for applying to the B3 NSF-REU program. 
  4. Two letters of recommendation. These should be associated with prior research experiences or science or mathematics faculty.  Recommenders must use the attached cover sheet and submit their letters on institutional letterhead by email by 5 pm on March 1st, 2017. 

If you are affiliated with a research group:

  1. Provide a one-paragraph summary of the proposed work.
  2. Provide a letter of support from the research mentor as one of the letters of recommendation.



The application should be typed, single-spaced, 1” margin and employ a 12-point font. Applications should be submitted to (please use the email subject line “Application from ‘STUDENT’S LAST NAME’ to the B3 NSF-REU program”) by 5 pm on February 10, 2017.

We will do our best to notify successful applicants by April 1st, 2017. Late or incomplete applications or those that do not conform to the guidelines will not be considered.

NOTE: It is the applicant's responsibility to obtain the letters of recommendation and ensure that the recommenders submit letters by the deadline.