Summer Interdisciplinary Research in Ethiopia Application

Notice: Owing to civil unrest in our study area in northern Ethiopia the REU Site “Undergraduate Research into the Cultural, Economic and Ecological Significance of Church Forests in South Gondar, Ethiopia” will not be taking place in Summer 2018 (or in the foreseeable future).

This website will continue to provide updates on research by our REU Site students, faculty and collaborators in Ethiopia associated with the REU Site Grant No. SMA-1359367.


With Dr Alemayehu at Bata Church

Students Lydia Ball (’13) and Ellen Evangelides (’14) meet Dr. Alemayehu Wassie, Dr. Travis Reynolds and family at Bata Church.

  • The Colby College Summer REU Site in Ethiopia is open to current undergraduate students from all U.S. institutions – including 2-year and community colleges, and all private and public colleges and universities.
  • Past experience in social or ecological field research is not required, although some specific projects may require students to have coursework experience in statistics, ecology, or related fields.
  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or Resident Aliens at the time of application and throughout the duration of the Summer REU Site program.
  • Students who are selected to participate will receive a generous stipend and additional financial assistance covering transportation, housing, and meals. Students from under-represented/served groups in environmental studies and sciences, students from low socioeconomic experiences, and students from institutions with limited or unavailable research opportunities are particularly encouraged to apply for this opportunity.
  • Per NSF rules, students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates at the time of the Summer program are not eligible to participate (

Students at Woji Church

Ethiopian and U.S. students outside Woji Church.

Application Instructions

Application requirements include:

  • Two letters of reference, at least one from a faculty member and the other from any faculty or employer familiar with your work; we encourage you to request letters early via the online letter request form;
  • A complete resume of your educational, employment and volunteer work experiences;
  • Information from your official or unofficial transcript, including school contact information and grades for relevant coursework; and
  • An up to 500-word essay describing your interest in the Summer REU Site in Ethiopia and how the program will contribute to your educational and professional goals.
  • Detailed application instructions including the application essay prompt are available on page 1 of the online application.


Notification of acceptance for the each year’s program will be made by February 28.