Summer Research Opportunities

Overview

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is emerging as an important biofuel candidate in the United States. Our labs collectively study the ecology, genetics/genomics, physiology and agronomy/plant breeding of Switchgrass. We are seeking a talented and diverse group of undergraduate students interested in conducting a variety of research in Switchgrass biology across the US.

Program description

This program is an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in mentored independent research on the biology of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), its related genetic model P. hallii, as well as other plant systems we study in the lab. Much of the research we do is a combination of field work, molecular lab work, and controlled chamber/greenhouse experiments. Participating students will have the opportunity to try their hand at any and potentially all of these research settings.

The program is funded through the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and is associated with our ongoing interdisciplinary work on the ecology, physiology, and genomic responses of Switchgrass to future climate change. Summer students will be immersed in research and learn basic and applied biology through active participation. Working as part of our research team, they will contribute to group research projects, design & execute independent research projects, and present their work as either a power-point talk or a poster in an end-of-summer student symposium.

Each position is supported for 8-10 weeks beginning the first week of June. Students are awarded a $4500 stipend, plus a housing and food allowance, and some funds to help defray the cost of traveling to the designated University.

Who Should Apply

Undergraduates that are not in their senior year (1st to 3rd year), who are either U.S. citizens or permanent residents studying in the U.S.

Application process

The application process for 2017 is now open.

Please prepare and submit the following to Dr. Brandon Campitelli by no later than Sunday February 19th 2017:

  1. A 1-page cover letter describing your previous research experiences (if any), relevant courses and associated activities, and importantly, your personal motivation for wanting to study plant ecology/evolution/genetics.
  2. Two reference letters from faculty and/or other research mentors (postdocs, grad students etc.).
  3. An unofficial copy of your transcript (screenshots are OK).
  4. If you have any questions regarding this REU opportunity, please direct them to Brandon via e-mail.

Collaborating Professors

  • Prof. Thomas Juenger, University of Texas at Austin
  • Prof. David Lowry, Michigan State University: Visit website
  • Prof. Felix Fritschi, University of Missouri at Columbia: Visit website
  • Prof. Rob Mitchell, USDA-ARS, University of Nebraska at Lincoln: Visit website
  • Prof. Arvid Boe, South Dakota State University: Visit website
  • Prof. Yanqi Wu, Oklahoma State University: Visit website

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