Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

This research experience, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is available to students pursuing a bachelors or associates degree in a STEM field and interesting in gaining research experience at a high-tech startup.

Two REU Roles Available

The technology under development consists of an internet-connected, toilet-integrated device built for automatic, quantitative urinalysis from home for various health and wellness applications, including diagnostics, prognostic insight, and lifestyle management. This product necessitates the development and testing of various electrochemical biosensors for quantitative urinalysis. Key development tasks include benchtop testing, data analysis, and testing procedure modification to elucidate biochemical behavior and build accurate and reproducible biosensors. 

One undergraduate REU researcher will be involved in the electrochemical biosensor R&D for this new product implementation. The researcher should have a decent understanding of general laboratory practices, and will gain experience in proper sample handling and data collection. The researcher will prepare testing samples, perform quality control testing on the prepared test solutions, perform electrochemical testing, maintain notes in a laboratory notebook for review with the PI, collect and maintain data, and assist with data analysis and waveform modification recommendations.

Another undergraduate REU researcher will be involved in the mobile application integration. This internet-connected product sends data to our cloud database for backend processing before delivering information to the user’s mobile application. The undergraduate researcher will assist with algorithm integrations on the backend as well as frontend graphical user interface design and functionality. These responsibilities include working with modern web and mobile app languages.

The undergraduate researchers will receive mentorship in research design and methodology, laboratory best practices, entrepreneurship and business development, and career development. The biosensor position is within a research laboratory and will provide experience in good laboratory practices, data collection, data processing, experiment design and execution. This will be provided by the PI and other company researchers that will be working alongside them, both with formal training sessions and informal, on-the-job training. The computer science researcher will work with other researcher-mentors on both backend and frontend development best practices, as well as working on code within a team environment. The undergraduate researchers will also gain experience and mentorship in entrepreneurship and business development. As a small startup, our team members wear multiple hats and the undergraduate researchers will have the unique opportunity to get involved in other elements of the business where time and interest allow. Finally, career development mentorship will come from structured, bi-weekly sessions with the company mentors. This will facilitate relationship-building and opportunities to constantly check-in and ensure the research opportunity continues to interest and stimulate the undergraduate researchers in ways they find fulfilling and rewarding for their career. We will monitor the effort and level of difficulty to both stretch the researchers to build independence as researchers while ensuring they have the confidence to ask for help.

Criteria for Selection

The ideal candidate for the biosensor researcher position will have a combination of coursework, interest, and preferably experience in laboratory research associated with electrochemistry and/or bioassay development.

 

  • Minimum qualifications

    • Education: Currently enrolled in an undergraduate STEM field

    • Lab Experience: Understanding of work in a laboratory setting

    • Work Experience: Worked in a small team setting on a group project

    • Research Interests: Eagerness to gain experience working in a research laboratory environment

    • Proficiency in Excel

  • Preferable qualifications

    • Education: Currently enrolled in chemistry, materials science, or related field

    • Lab Experience: Worked in a laboratory research setting with wet chemical experience

    • Work Experience: Worked in a group setting in the context of a research environment

    • Research Interests: Eagerness to gain experience working in areas of electrochemistry, biosensors, and bioassay development

    • A whiz in Excel and interest in data analysis

 

The ideal candidate for the computer science researcher position will have a combination of coursework, interest, and familiarity with mobile app development, scripting analysis, and/or UI/UX development. 

 

  • Minimum qualifications

    • Education: Currently enrolled in an undergraduate STEM field

    • Work Experience: Worked in a small team setting on a group project, summer internships, co-op, or full-time position as a software developer. Has sufficient experience manually creating programs that uses input data and runs on software to produce expected outputs.

    • Research Interests: Interest in backend and/or frontend development. Interests in working with database storage and server communication. Desires to hone and refine technical skills for problem solving. 

  • Preferable qualifications

    • Education: Currently enrolled in computer science related field

    • Work Experience: Has done some level of mobile app development with iOS and Android using React Native (JavaScript Framework). Python 

    • Research Interests: Hardware/software combination products. Able to communicate scientific progress in collaborative environments. 

  • Candidate might have a portfolio of coding projects publicly available on GitHub or other online repositories. 

Contact

If you are interested, please send me an email!