2020 Research Explorations


Eligible for students entering grade 11 or 12.

The REX program is an advanced introduction to research science, and two distinct academic tracks are available—Biomedical Science or Environmental Health. While the specialized components of each track are separate, REX functions as one program and both tracks live, dine, and socialize together.

  • Biomedical Science Track: Explore biomedical sciences, from discovery-based research to clinical therapeutics. In this program you’ll learn advanced experimental techniques, including DNA science, protein science, and gel electrophoresis.
  • Environmental Health Track: Explore the crossroads of chemistry, engineering, and biology to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to scientifically approach current environmental concerns. Experience the fields of ecology, toxicology, DNA science, and environmental engineering.

Important Information: Students must make a commitment to attend and participate in the entire program.  Please confirm no other academic, school-related, sports, or family events will conflict with the program dates.

Application Fee:  $35 

Program Cost: $2,400 which includes housing, daily meals, staffing and supervision, program-related fieldtrips, social activities, a weekend fieldtrip to a theme park, insurance (primary or excess depending upon parent coverage), and program-themed supplies. 

All interested and qualified students are encouraged to apply regardless of ability to pay.  Limited, need-based scholarships, are available for students attending a Florida high school.  

What REx Offers
  • Work with your peers to develop an authentic, graduate-level research proposal with assistance from program staff and researchers. Present your research to parents, peers, and invited guests during a formal poster session.
Academics and Carreers
  • Hear from representatives of various academic programs (such as the Honors Program, medical school, & graduate school), and receive information on career tracks relevant to research and practice in biomedicine or the environmental sciences.
  • Live in UF Residence Halls with other participants from around the state. Together, you’ll enjoy fun socials, sports, and other activities in the evenings. Saturday is a special out-of-town field trip and Sunday is for on-campus fun!
Application Requirements for REx

Applicants must create an account in our online application portal in order to apply for any student programs offered by UF CPET. The online application portal is www.ufcpet.smapply.us.  All components are submitted using the online application process unless noted.  After all the below components of the application are completed, student must log into their account and SUBMIT their application.

A REX Application consists of the following:

User Information: Provide applicant and parent/guardian contact information.

Application Form:  Additional information as well as answering two writing prompts.  The two writing prompts are as follows (each is 300- 500 words):

  • Prompt 1 (both RExtracks): What is your favorite subject or activity?  What do you enjoy about this subject/activity?
  • Prompt 2a (REx– Environmental Health track only): Please describe a current environmental issue that you feel is particularly relevant to Florida.
  • Prompt 2b (REx– Biomedical Science track only): Briefly describe a breakthrough in biomedicine or biotechnology that has either significantly impacted your life, or is meaningful to society as a whole.

Endorsement Form:  Two online Endorsement Forms filled out and submitted by a high-school or college-level math, science, research, or computer science teacher or mentor is required. 

  • We encourage you to ask a teacher or mentor who knows you well in a subject area you would like to pursue while you are here.
  • Endorsers will receive an automated request from noreply@smapply.io once a student has requested an endorsement in their online application. However, we recommend that students contact their teacher prior to filling out the online request.

  • If they do not receive an email from our system, please double-check that you have their correct email address before contacting us. This is the #1 reason why teachers do not receive the endorsement form.

High School Transcript (Offline Task*, see note below):  Submit your unofficial transcript with first semester (Fall, 2018) grades to UF CPET via hard-copy or FAX.

  • Our mailing address is UF CPET/REX, PO Box 112010, Gainesville, FL  
  • Our FAX is 352-392-2344 (Not sure how to FAX? Ask your guidance counselor for help.)
    • Our fax machine gets really busy during application season, especially as deadlines approach. Make sure your fax sends before walking away! 
    • Students are required to have started their application before transcripts are received. Transcripts received without an associated on-line application account will be destroyed.

Application Fee (Offline Task*, see note below):  The link to pay the $35 Application Fee is available from www.cpet.ufl.edu.  One application fee covers both Students attending a Florida High School who qualify for free and reduced may request an Application Fee Waiver. 

  • *Offline Tasks: In the application portal, students are required to acknowledge the requirement of the each of these “off-line” portions by clicking “submit for approval”. The CPET office will log receipt of the each requirement. Please note that our system may be automated, but our process isn’t!  When you send your transcript, we still need to look it over and make sure it has everything we need before a person goes into the system to let you know that we’ve received it. This can take up to three business days based on how many applications we are receiving simultaneously. After the requirement is logged, students will need to complete the section by clicking “complete” in the on-line portal.

Application Deadlines & Notifications

The application deadline is March 15th.  If the program is not filled during the first round of application review, applications will be reviewed and students will be notified of decisions every two weeks. 

If you are interested in both tracks, you can apply to both by checking both options on the online application.  You will need to respond to all three writing prompts, but only need to pay one application fee.  Please only apply to both tracks if you are truly interested in both – please view our flyers and last year’s schedules for details on what to expect from each.

Once the first round of applications is received, they are reviewed by our Selection Committee.  This review process can take 3 or more weeks, so please be patient.  Each member of our committee carefully reads each application, transcript, and teacher endorsement we receive.  This process takes time.  Frequent calls can slow this process.  Once we have reached a decision, we will send out an email through our online application portal.  Notifications regarding your account and application progress will come from noreply@smapply.io. Please add this address to your email safe senders list, address book, or contact list.

Please note that applicants, not their parents, receive all correspondence from our office.  It is the student’s responsibility to provide a working email address and check that email address regularly for communication from UF CPET.  Failure to respond to email in a timely manner may result in the student being placed on the wait list. At any time applicants and parent “collaborators” may check on acceptance status in the on-line portal.

The three possible decisions are as follows:  invited to attend, waitlist, or not invited. 

What if I am interested in both the Biomedical & Environmental health track?

The Biomedical and Environmental Health Tracks run simultaneously.  Students go to their seperate tracks during the day and then meet together for social activities and housing together.  

Students may only participate in 1 track, however you can apply for both tracks for consideration.  You will see this option in the application and you will need to write essays for both tracks.