Synthetic Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

grad student in lab

About the program

At the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering summer research experience program, students will have the opportunity to work alongside current graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, peers and faculty mentors. Our professional development workshops are geared towards providing hands-on research experiences and experimentation to prepare you for future research careers such as industry, academia, and government. While in the program, you will also participate in multiple research seminars, social activities, plus, earn a summer stipend of $6.5k*.

At the end of the program, all participants will have the opportunity to present their work in the form of a poster at an interdisciplinary research symposium.

*Limited campus housing supplements will be provided for external applicants on a need basis.

Pursue cutting-edge research in synthetic biology for applications in sustainability, health, agriculture, materials and biocatalysis with world-recognized experts in applied synthetic biology at the University of Delaware in a 10-week program

Program Duration

This year, the research experience will take place from June 3, 2024 – August 9, 2024.

Participants must complete all 10 weeks of the program.

Potential and past research topics

  • Discovery and engineering of plastic degrading enzymes
  • Viral like particles as platforms for vaccine development
  • Novel DNA endonucleases as tools for gene therapy
  • Microbial strain development for renewable biofuels

Potential faculty mentors

Kevin V. Solomon

Kevin V. Solomon

Associate Professor

Mark A. Blenner

Mark A. Blenner

Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Career Development Associate Professor

Wilfred Chen

Wilfred Chen

Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering

Aditya M. Kunjapur

Aditya M. Kunjapur

Assistant Professor

Eleftherios T. Papoutsakis

Eleftherios T. Papoutsakis

Unidel Eugene DuPont Chair Professor

Jesus Beltran

Jesus Beltran

Assistant Professor of Plant and Synthetic Biology

Do not contact mentors directly. Project matches will be made based on available space, fit, and participant interests.


In order to participate in the program, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, and/or U.S. national.
  • Be an undergraduate. If you have not graduated by the program end date, you are eligible.
  • All majors are eligible given your academic and career interest in related subject matter. We prioritize diversity of majors and interests.
  • Be available from June 3, 2024 – August 9, 2024.

No prior research experience is required. We look for students with and without experience.

Students from universities without a Ph.D. program in a synthetic biology-related area (such as biology, bioengineering, or chemistry) are especially encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Complete and submit the required online application. In the application, you will be asked to upload the following documents as PDFs:

  • CV/Resume
  • Transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  • One reference
  • A 250 word personal statement describing any past research experiences (or why you want to pursue research), why you are interested in synthetic biology, and how this research might impact your future goals
  • Basic personal and educational background

Apply by February 28, 2024.

UndergraduateSynthetic Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Experience