Biophysics First-Year Learning and Research Experience (BioFLARE)

Biophysics: The Bridging Science!

Biophysics is the field that applies the theories and methods of physics to understand how biological systems work. Biophysics has been critical to understanding the mechanics of how the molecules of life are made, how different parts of a cell move and function, and how complex systems in our bodies—the brain, circulation, immune system, and others— work. Biophysics is a vibrant scientific field where scientists from many fields including math, chemistry, physics, engineering, pharmacology, and materials sciences, use their skills to explore and develop new tools for understanding how biology—all life—works.” -Biophysical Society

Visit the Biophysical Society website to learn more about the types of questions being asked in the field of biophysics, and where researchers go on to work after college.

The Biophysics First-Year Learning and Research Experience is a specially-designed program to expose new college students to the vital and exciting research being done using biophysical approaches and to encourage them to consider a research career in biophysics. Labs participating in this program are funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. We anticipate 5-8 positions will be available for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Why Study Biophysics?

The main components of the program are 1) work in a research lab (8-10 hours/week at times that fit around the student’s class schedules), and 2) a weekly professional-development meeting.


  • First-year/First-time, undergraduate student at Mizzou
  • Intended major(s) in biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, physics, computer science, math, chemical or biological engineering
  • Interest in biophysics research
  • Foreign nationals may be limited in their choice of mentors, as some federal research grants may not be used to pay non-citizens.

Application Information

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year will open in June 2024

Applicants should prepare the following materials:

  • Updated resume in pdf format
  • Description of three (3) personal goals for Fall 2024
  • Explanation of why they are interested in conducting undergraduate research starting in their first year
  • Summary of any prior lab, research, or advanced computing experience (not necessary for selection)
  • Consideration of how involvement in biophysics research will impact the student’s academic and/or career goals
  • Explanation of how the student’s personal skills, strengths, and attributes will be helpful in a research setting

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning August 19. The deadline for application is September 1, 2024. Students may be invited for an interview in early September prior to formal acceptance. Notification of formal acceptance will be sent to the student’s MU email address.

Students Will…

  • Be exposed to various areas of cutting-edge biophysics research
  • Attend weekly research team meetings
  • Learn basic skills in lab safety and research ethics
  • Meet other first-year students interested in biophysics research
  • Work in a research lab 8-10 hours per week ($13.00/hr)
  • Learn about research opportunities and funding beyond the freshman year
  • Refine professional skills
  • Receive individual advising and coaching from their faculty mentor (*Faculty mentors are in the departments of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Chemical and Biological Engineering)

For more information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Research: 150 Bond Life Sciences Center, 573-882-5975,