Research Internships in Ocean Sciences (RIOS)


What is RIOS?

RIOS is a program supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Undergraduates. RIOS provides paid, 10-week summer internships to participate in a range of projects offered by the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Continuing undergraduate students pursuing majors in environmental sciences, engineering, geology, biology, physics, or mathematics are encouraged to apply. You will conduct an independent research project in a modern laboratory, or be part of field investigations in the region. You will be introduced to an active and collaborative research environment.

Why apply?

  • Interact with scientific leaders in ocean and environmental research
  • Start building a network of contacts for a future science career and advanced graduate study
  • Gain research, proposal writing, and presentation skills
  • A $5000 stipend, free room, paid travel expenses, plus opportunities to obtain academic credit
  • Close to New York City, Philadelphia, and the New Jersey shore


The program will run 10 weeks, from June 4 to August 10, 2018.

Who can apply?

You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, enrolled in an undergraduate program at a two-year or four-year institution. You should have completed at least one year of study, but must still be an undergraduate in Fall 2018. We encourage applications from students from underrepresented groups, or from institutions with limited research opportunities.

How to apply

The following information is required for your completed application. 

  • A copy of your transcript. An unofficial version is acceptable.
  • One letter of recommendation. This letter should be from the individual most familiar with your academic background and performance. The letter must come directly from the Recommender, either as an email attachment (preferred) or by mail. The Recommendation Form below should be given to your Recommender. Please also provide that person with a properly addressed, stamped envelope if the letter is being mailed.
  • A current resume (include email and phone numbers where we can reach you).
  • A personal statement describing your background, research interest, career plans, and how this Internship will help you reach your goals. You are strongly encouraged to consult the description of Potential Mentors and Research Projects and identify two mentors you would be interested in working with. If you have already contacted one or more mentors about working with them, please provide their names.

You may send all information, except the Recommendation Letter, to the address below. Electronic submission is acceptable. Your Recommender should independently send their letter to the same email address.

Application Deadline is March 15, 2018. You will be contacted soon after about the status of your application. If you are offered a position at this or any other REU Site you do not need to make your decision to accept or reject the offer until March 15th or later. Contact us at with any questions about the application process or your eligibility.

Program is contingent pending renewed funding from the National Science Foundation.
Questions? Email us at or write to:
RIOS Program, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences
Rutgers University
71 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences located in Arlington, VA, under Grant Number OCE-1358888.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.  The NSF contact for this program is Elizabeth Rom.  NSF does not handle REU applications; please contact each REU site directly for application information.