What is ACE at GaTech?

Aquatic Chemical Ecology (ACE) at Georgia Tech is our new NSF-sponsored summer research program for undergraduates that places you with a faculty mentor for a 10 week summer period from late May – late July. (The dates are somewhat flexible, so if these times don’t exactly fit your school’s academic calender, apply anyway. We sometimes can work with you to design a period that suits your schedule.) While at Georgia Tech you’ll design a research project, carry it out and present the results to the professors and students here at Georgia Tech in a final symposium. You’ll go through this experience with others in this program as well as others here in Biology, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to swap tales, learn about how other groups do science, and explore Atlanta. We encourage applications from undergraduate students who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., especially attending universities other than Georgia Tech. However, Georgia Tech undergrads may also apply. You must still be a current undergraduate (i.e., have not yet graduated) at the time you participate in the program.

What will I do in the ACE program?

You’ll work closely with a faculty mentor to design a realistic research project, and get the training you need to perform your study from the faculty and graduate students in the lab you’ve chosen.  Most of your time will be spent in the lab or in the field doing research. We’ll also spend time discussing some of the basic “tools of the trade” that are essential for success in science and engineering, such as how generate and test a hypothesis, how to construct and evaluate a scientific presentation, and how to write a manuscript. Along the way there will be a variety of activities and field trips (social and educational) to give you a chance to talk to many different scientists and students at Tech and elsewhere.

What sort of research will I do?

That depends on you. We have three basic research areas that faculty are involved in, and you may work on any one of those topics. Students can even combine research in several areas, since one of the unique aspects of our faculty is that we commonly join forces to investigate questions more challenging than those any one of us could answer alone. This sort of interdisciplinary activity is the next wave, and students in the ACE program will get a great opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research approaches. Our areas of expertise and links to individual faculty members in the program are at the bottom of the page.

What’ll it cost me?

Amazingly, almost nothing. In fact, we’ll pay you a stipend ($7,000 for 10 weeks at Georgia Tech), pay for your room with shared kitchen facilities, and contribute towards your travel costs of getting to Atlanta.

I’m interested. What do I do now?

The first thing you need to know is the deadline: March 1, 2023 @ 5 PM Eastern.

You’ll need to make sure that all of your materials (including letters of recommendation) are in by the due date and identify a couple of faculty members with whom you’d like to perform research. 

BEFORE you fill out the application, you ought to take some time to figure out what sort of research you are interested in, and identify a couple of faculty members you’d like to perform research with. This is one of the most important aspects of the process. You don’t have to have a project outlined-you and your faculty mentor will do this together-but if you are accepted, the first thing we’ll do is match you up with a particular faculty member so you can start discussing things even before you arrive. That’s a good way to get a head start so that your time at Tech will be interesting and productive.

Notification of acceptance will be by the end of March. All students who are offered a position at this REU Site have until April 1st  or later to accept or reject the offer. Funding for this REU site is provide by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Science’s located in Arlington, VA. The NSF contact for this program is Elizabeth Rom. NSF does not handle REU applications; please contact each REU site directly for application information.

If you have any questions about the program or the application process, please email the REU Coordinator at

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