COSAM » CMB Peak of Excellence » Programs » USRS


Each year, the AU-CMB program sponsors a Summer Research Scholars program to provide talented undergraduate students an opportunity to conduct research during the summer with a CMB faculty member.

Overview of Scholarship Programs

The AU-CMB Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars (USRS) program was initiated in order to provide talented undergraduate students with opportunities to gain research experience with an AU-CMB faculty member. The CMB-USRS program lasts for ten weeks and is open to those interested in either basic scientific research or biomedical research. Areas of research include biochemistry, bioengineering, biophysics, cell biology, environmental biology, microbiology, molecular biology/genetics, physiology and nutrition.

Each student will be a member of a CMB faculty mentor's research team, and will work closely with the faculty mentor on a designated research project. It is the student's responsibility to contact the AU-CMB faculty that they wish to work with. The AU-CMB faculty contact list can be found here.

Expectations of Student Participants

  • Scholars must attend and participate in all scheduled activities.
  • Scholars must commit to working full-time in their designated lab; they may take one course ONLY while working in the lab. This is to guarantee that the student can concentrate on the research.
  • Scholars must submit an abstract of their research.
  • Scholars must present a 10 minute power point presentation of their research at the AU-CMB Forum at the end of the summer program. The Oral Presentations are the capstone event of the program so each student is required to be present for the full length of the program in consideration and support of their fellow USRS. If the scholar is an AU student, they must also present their research (platform or poster format) at the Auburn University Research Week, early in the following Spring Semester. We encourage you to attend this year's research forum to see what other students are presenting.


Letters of Recommendation must come from faculty or other established professionals familiar with the student's skills and must be on university, corporate or similar letterhead. ALSO a letter of recommendation cannot come from the sponsor. It must come from a different faculty or other established professional (for instance, letters from graduate students or letters from friends of the student's family cannot serve as letters of recommendation). Examples of acceptable sources of letters of recommendation are: a professor with whom the student took one or more courses; the student's advisor, the student's employer, or a high school teacher. 

The Letter of Sponsorship will not count as a letter of recommendation. Instead, in the letter of support the prospective faculty sponsor will explain his or her willingness to sponsor the student, and will provide a brief description of the research activity that will form the basis of the student's summer laboratory experience. It is essential that the letter of support clearly indicate that the student research activity can reasonably be expected to be completed during the 10 week period, and that the respective roles of the student and faculty mentor are clearly explained. Each lab may submit ONLY one letter of sponsorship for any given year. This is to ensure that the student has the fullest support from the sponsor for the proposed research experience.

Method of Award and Timeline

Applications will be carefully considered by the Undergraduate Programs Committee.  Students will be evaluated on the basis of the entire application package. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Any single laboratory can sponsor only one student. Awards will be announced in late March.

Financial Support

Each Student Scholar will receive a $3,000 stipend, less any applicable Auburn University fees and(or) charges. This stipend will be a direct deposit into Banner account.

The Faculty Mentor will receive an amount appropriate to defray the laboratory costs of the student's research program.

In Summary:

The successful applicant must:

  1. Find a faculty sponsor willing to write a letter of sponsorship, that satisfies guidelines as indicated above. Note: only one student may be sponsored by any given lab.
  2. Obtain two ADDITIONAL letters of reference from faculty or other professional-level academics familiar with the student, again as indicated above.
  3. Send a copy of your transcripts to
  4. Fill out the application (below), completely.

The sponsor must:

  1. Provide ONE letter of sponsorship for a top tier candidate, as described above, and agree to abide by those terms once the award is made.

All materials must be sent to Ms. Courtney Thomas, CMB Office, 248 Science Center Classrooms by the current deadline. We prefer that letters of recommendation and the sponsorship letter be submitted by email to

Current Deadline: Wednesday, February 28 2018, by 4:45 pm. If the student or sponsor experiences difficulties with the submission of data, please contact Courtney Thomas at the CMB Office.


Please contact us at the CMB office.

Last Updated: 01/10/2018