College of Science

Coastal and Marine Ecosystems

Application Resources/Guide

On this page, we have compiled resources to help applicants put together a competitive application for our program. The dropdowns below will tell you what each component of the application is and tips for each one.

If you have any questions about the material or need further assistance, please email

  • Statement of Purpose - Essay portion that explains your motivation, achievement, research interests, and aspirations (academic and/or career). This portion also gives you the opportunity to address what might appear to be gaps or weaknesses in other parts of your application. It is better to explain your side so these gaps or weaknesses do not detract from your strengths.

    Guiding Questions (Use these as starting points to finding three or four important themes for you to develop throughout your essay.)

    • Describe the areas of research in the marine geosciences that interest you most, your personal goals for this internship, and indicate your preference for working in office, lab, or field settings.
    • Write about what your career goals are and how participating in this REU program will help you meet these goals.
    • What unique qualities and characteristics will you bring to our program?
      • CMEP is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of future scientific communities and sharing our science with a broader audience. Please describe how you, based on your personal background and life experiences (including social, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges) will contribute to this mission during and after participation in CMEP programs.


    • Start early and plan - Lay out deadlines for several drafts and rounds of editing
    • Keep in mind these questions when writing and editing - Will someone who doesn't know me get the right ideas from what I've written? Does my draft say what I want it to say, clearly and concisely, in my own voice? Does my essay follow the guidelines given?

    Writing Strong Essays & Personal Statements (UROC)

    REU Student Examples and Advice for Writing a Compelling Statement of Purpose

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) - Also known as an academic resume, this is a summary of your educational and academic background, representing who you are as a researcher or publishing scholar within your discipline. Length is not a limitation, unlike a traditional resume.


    • Sections (not all of these are needed) - Heading, Education, Research Interests, Professional History/Research Experiences, Qualifications/Skills/Relevant Courses/Licenses & Certifications, Honors & Awards/Leadership & Service, Publications/Presentations/Professional Affiliations
    • List experiences/courses in reverse chronological order
    • Create a separate entry for each experience/course 
      • Explain what you did that aligns with your goals and achievements/leadership
      • Use bullet points and shortened sentences
      • Although length is not an issue, be sure your CV is concise and easy to scan

    CV Instructions (UROC)

    CV Example (UC Davis Internship and Career Center)

  • Letters of Recommendation - These letters are evaluations of your talents and abilities, usually written by a faculty member, supervisor, or mentor. 

    • Build a relationship with your recommender - Your recommender will be able to write a more authentic letter if they have connected with you and have experience working with you.
    • Provide recommenders plenty of notice - Approach your recommenders at least one month before your letters of recommendation are due. For some of our programs, please notify your recommenders they will be contacted for a letter if your application is shortlisted and you are invited for an interview.
    • Provide recommenders all necessary information - Be sure to provide your recommenders information about the program you are applying for, your application materials (statement of purpose, CV, and transcripts), and samples of your work and/or a list of projects 

    *Some of our programs do not require letters of recommendation at submission, only contact information. It is still important to ask your recommenders ahead of time, in the event they are contacted to write a letter for you.

    Requesting Letters of Recommendation (UROC)

  • National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

    CSUMB Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC)

    CSUMB Center for Student Success

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Yale Center for International and Professional Experience

For more application tips, check out our full Application Resources document.