KBS: A unique graduate student opportunity
Kellogg Biological Station offers a unique opportunity for graduate training within the Great Lakes bio-region. We welcome students interested in graduate studies in ecology, evolutionary biology, agricultural ecology, sociology and animal science. Our excellent research facilities, field sites, and resident faculty provide an environment conducive to research.
Our graduates have gone on to faculty positions at major research universities (e.g., Dartmouth College, University of Florida, University of Texas), as well as first-rate liberal arts colleges (e.g., Denison University, Franklin & Marshall College, Grinnell College), and to be scientists at government agencies (e.g., USDA, Smithsonian) and NGOs (e.g., Defenders of Wildlife).
In addition to regular seminars and discussion groups for students and faculty, KBS hosts a variety of visiting scholars, including those featured in the summer Eminent Ecologists series. Not only do KBS graduate students learn from experienced scientists – they also have the chance to develop professionally by mentoring young scientists through the KBS URA and REU programs.
The normal timeline for KBS grad students involves studying initially at MSU’s main campus in East Lansing and then moving to study on-site at KBS.
Ph.D. students at KBS typically spend their first 1-2 academic years on MSU’s main campus in East Lansing, where they take classes and participate in departmental activities. Many students are supported by departmental teaching assistantships and teach classes during these first 1-2 years. Summers are typically spent at KBS in Hickory Corners, taking field courses and initiating research.
By their second year, students typically move to KBS full-time, where they conduct their dissertation research, participate in seminars and discussion groups, and interact with resident and visiting scientists.
Living at KBS
Living on-site at KBS offers an amazing chance to stay in close proximity to field facilities, laboratories and KBS colleagues. Graduate students are given priority for housing, with accommodations such as quiet apartments and farmhouses conveniently located on KBS property, which are very affordable and spacious and therefore highly sought after. Students who live at KBS can easily walk or bike to laboratories and field sites.
More details on KBS room & board and a link to our housing form can be found by clicking here.
Restaurants and grocery shopping are all accessible in nearby Hickory Corners, Richland and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Additionally, Kalamazoo offers students outstanding opportunities for culture, outdoor activities and fun. Students, faculty and staff enjoy a high level of integrated community across KBS. From delicious lunches in McCrary Dining Hall to game nights in on-site housing, graduate students will find that KBS offers a great environment for friendship and community outside of work and studying.
A variety of grants and fellowships, as well as assistantships, are available for graduate students. Funds are available to both residential and visiting students, and may be used to cover tuition, research expenses and/or living expenses. Funding is especially plentiful for summer research.
More information about the various funding opportunities for graduate students at KBS can be found here.
How to Become a KBS Grad Student
Most graduate students choose KBS because of our remarkable faculty. Students should initiate contact with their potential advisor, as well as the KBS Director, to indicate interest in studying at KBS and discuss future plans.
Students interested in working with a KBS faculty member should apply to MSU via the department of their potential KBS faculty advisor (currently Plant Biology, Integrative Biology, Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Sociology, Geology, and Animal Science). KBS graduate students also actively participate in MSU graduate programs in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB) and Environmental Science and Public Policy (ESPP).
Graduate students at MSU’s main campus can apply to be a visiting KBS graduate student. To apply for KBS visiting graduate student status, the student should submit a letter of application and CV to the KBS Director, along with a letter of support from their campus advisor and KBS host faculty. Any MSU (or other) graduate student can participate in KBS courses or conduct research at KBS. Please contact the KBS Director for more information.
Taking Summer Courses at KBS
We offer several several courses for graduate students, and all undergraduate courses are also open to graduate students. Courses at the 400-level can be used for graduate credit at MSU. For more details about the summer courses and workshops we offer at KBS, please click here.
**If you are a PhD student attending an institution in the Big 10 Academic Alliance, you may become a BTAA Traveling Scholar in order to register and pay for KBS (MSU) courses through your home institution. Please contact the BTAA representative at your institution at least six (6) weeks prior to the start of your desired course to begin the process.
Career Pathways Spring Seminar Series (PLB809, Sec. 401)
The Career Pathways Seminar Series is held annually during the Spring semester and geared for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. A wide variety of presenters share their insights on achieving success as a scientist in a major university setting and in non-academic career pathways.
Unless otherwise noted seminars take place every other Monday from 12 – 1:30 pm in Academic Rm. 327 (KBS Conference Room) at the Kellogg Biological Station.
The seminar will be recorded for future viewing. You can find the recordings on MSU MediaSpace, you just click on “MSU Media”, sign-in, and search for “KBS Career Pathways”.
Everyone is welcome – please feel free to bring your lunch. KBS graduate students are encouraged to enroll in this 1 credit seminar (PLB 809, section 401).
2018 Career Pathways Spring Seminar Schedule
Monday, Jan. 22: “Panel on Non-academic Careers” – Dr. Brook Wilke (Kellogg Farm Manager); Dr. Stephane Shu Kin So (Associate Director for Research Alliances and Research Innovation, Zoetis); Chris Collier (Conservation Manager Black Swamp Conservancy)
Monday, Feb. 5: “Communicating Science to a Broader Audience” – Dr. Nick Haddad (KBS/IBIO)
Monday, Feb. 19: “Mentoring and Your Career” – Dr. Melissa McDaniels, Asst. Dean, MSU Grad School
Monday, March 19: “Time Management Strategies” – Dr. Chris Klausmeier (KBS/PLB)
Monday, April 2: “Insights from a Journal Editor” – Dr. Jeff Conner (KBS/PLB)
Monday, April 16: “Starting Off on the Right Foot with your Mentee” – Dr. Melissa McDaniels, Asst. Dean, MSU Grad School
Friday, March 30: On-campus Research Mentor Training Workshop (8:30 am – 4 pm)
Dr. Melissa McDaniels, Assistant Dean, MSU Graduate School
***Note that all new KBS undergraduate program mentors are required to attend this mentoring workshop.