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Big Data Science and Science Communication

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Academic Level:
For most summer research programs, this is your upcoming status as of the fall. Always check with the individual program's website for details.

Undergraduates - First Year
Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior

Note: this opportunity encourages applications from community college students.


The immense amount of data currently generated is a challenge for data analysis, integration, and interpretation. However, the scale and complexity of this data poses yet another, potentially more serious challenge: how to communicate research findings effectively to the public that funds it. Judging from the persistent representation of scientists as villains in film and literature and the pervasive mistrust toward and outright denial of scientific findings, we scientists have largely failed to communicate our knowledge effectively with the public.

We offer a ten-week summer program that addresses the educational and research aspirations of a range of undergraduate students, from those who are 'sampling the waters' after limited exposure to research to those who are well prepared for a rigorous research experience and intent on pursuing advanced STEM degrees. In addition to conducting hands-on research, participants are offered a variety of academic activities, including a science communication course in which they will compose scientific abstracts for their posters and personal statements for future applications with the guidance of experienced instructors. Other activities include research talks by faculty and students, a poster preparation course, a final poster session, and a five-week computational biology course taught by graduate student volunteers.

The most important goals for this REU Site are:

-Introduce a wide range of students to analysis, integration and interpretation of diverse large-scale data sets, with emphasis on genomics and proteomics data.

-Provide participants with foundational skills in coding and computational analysis.

-Enable participants to communicate hypotheses and findings effectively in a variety of media.

-Encourage participants to find and embrace their identity as URM scientists and role models to counter impostor syndrome.

-Build confidence and resumes for applications to graduate school or other STEM programs.

-Introduce program participants to researchers, including URM researchers, at different stages of their career to create support networks and foster long-term relationships with mentors.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts or sponsors)
University of Washington (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Bioinformatics & Genomics
Cellular Biology
Computer Sciences
Ecology & Evolution
Genetics & Genomics
Molecular Biology
Plant Sciences
STEM Fields

Big Data Science
Bioenergy Crops
Comparative Genomics
Computational Biology
Genetic Engineering
Genomic Analysis
Molecular Genetics
Stem Cell Research
Synthetic Biology

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This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Page last updated 2/12/2024
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