Program Details

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February 15, 2024: Application due date

After February 15, 2024: Applications will continue to be accepted until the program is full. Applicants will not be considered for REU awards. Applications received by March 1 may be considered for scholarships.

All applications require the submission of two recommendations via our online Recommendation Form. It is the responsibility of applicants to give this link to their recommenders and make sure that they have plenty of time before the deadline to complete the form.

Tips for Applying to the Program

Program Dates

On-Site Dates: June 9th – August 14th, 2024*

Pre-Arrival: 2 days of remote programming in May/June, dates to be determined

*Some students may be asked to arrive earlier or stay later if necessary for their particular project; start and end dates are flexible. However, students are expected to participate in the education program for 10 weeks, regardless of their start date.


The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory is located in Gothic, Colorado, about 4 miles North of Crested Butte, CO and a 4 1/2 hour drive from Denver. The closest airport is in Gunnison, CO (GUC).

More information about getting to RMBL can be found here: Travel to Gothic – Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (


At least one year of college biology is recommended for students conducting independent research.  Any student 18 or older, who is interested in a career in field biology, is eligible to apply to this program. US citizens and permanent residents are eligible to receive RMBL full and partial scholarships. However, REU awards are restricted to students who are not only citizens or permanent residents of the United States, but also have not graduated from college before the dates of the program. The REU awards are for students who must work in the summer to pay for their education. We have offered this program since 1994, and it has been highly competitive, with more than 200 applicants annually for approximately ten REU positions.  RMBL also has a large selection of full and partial scholarships. All students applying for Financial Aid must complete the Financial Aid Form.

Program Cost

The cost of this Education program is $8,920, and includes room and board. All students participate in the same program, regardless of their source of funding.

Some students will pay the $8,920 fee, some will receive full or partial scholarships from RMBL or their home institution, and 10 students will be funded by a National Science Foundation REU grant. An REU award pays $400 toward travel costs, pays a $6,000 stipend, and covers the full RMBL program cost.  Students requiring assistance applying for funding from their home institution should contact the Research and Education Manager.

RMBL will judge the applications and make awards based in part on financial need, student motivation, and the potential to succeed in field biology research. We encourage participation by students who have encountered identity-based, financial, or other obstacles to opportunities in science, and for whom a research experience at RMBL would advance their education and career in science.


Acceptance Process

You can expect to receive an email from RMBL staff in March letting you know if you are accepted into the program this summer. We accept about 150 students into our program and the 40 spots are filled based on mentor/project availability and on a first-come-first served basis, with the program typically filling up by late March. If you are accepted, you will need to provide a $1000 deposit to secure a place in the program.  Students with REU awards or other federal funding are not required to submit a deposit to hold their spot.


RMBL provides equal opportunities in science and education and is committed to a policy of non-discrimination in relation to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, or disability.