Hi there PF, I've been accepted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's REU program, with my adviser being Dr. Angela Pannier. The project is: Nanostructured Thin Films as Biomaterial Interfaces for Enhanced Substrate-mediated Gene Delivery I'm a physics major, and DNA is not my thing, really (wondering why I was put on that project, honestly! I wanted to work on their high efficiency organic solar cells project), but I've definitely wanted to work with thin films. I wanted to ask for advice, as this is my first REU. 1) In an REU (whether it be this topic or not), how much do I actually learn about the topic/theory behind the project? Is it like taking a class just on it, or much more than that? 2) This is going to involve a lot of lab work, especially in stuff I'm not used to. Should I try to get a grad student at my home institution to show me the ropes? I've been offered the chance, but I don't want to learn something that may be, in fact, the opposite of what the lab at UNL does. 3) Even though this isn't in my top field of interest, should I treat it like it is? Read up on the theory, pretend it's exactly what I want to do later on while I'm doing it? I think I could, and I'd excel, but the other option is to try and work on parts of the project that I can integrate or even relate to what my main interests are. 4) How much should I stay in contact after the REU? 5) If anyone knows Dr. Pannier, is there anything in particular I should pay attention to or do with her? And any advice for a first-timer REU participant would be great! Thanks.