URA positions are part-time (work schedule is dependent on your KBS course schedule), and geared for early-career and community college transfer students with little to no previous research experience.
To complement their hands-on research experience, URAs are required to take a course at KBS during the summer. KBS offers several field courses that combine classroom and outdoor research activities for a unique and engaging learning environment. Please note that URAs are responsible for covering their MSU tuition for the course(s) taken.
What are the benefits of a URA at KBS?
- Join a dynamic group of students and faculty for an authentic field research experience
- Learn the process of research
- Explore if a career in research is a good choice for you
- Build references for your application to future programs or graduate schools
- Participate in professional development seminars tailored to help undergraduate students be successful in STEM disciplines
If you have questions about the program or application process, please email KBSsummer@kbs.msu.edu.
Thinking about applying to the program? Check out these student blog posts!
Important Information and Forms for Summer 2017 URAs
This program is 11 weeks long and will run from May 21-August 5, 2017 (students are expected to arrive on-site by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21st and depart Saturday, August 5th).
URAs are part-time (20+ hours/week) dependent upon your KBS course load. Specific hours will be arranged with your research mentor.
As part of your learning experience you are required to enroll in a summer field course at KBS. URAs are responsible for paying for the MSU tuition associated with their course(s). Please contact the MSU Office of Financial Aid if you will need summer financial aid.
- $2500 stipend + FREE shared housing + FREE meals (Breakfast: M-F, Lunch: M-F, Dinner: M-Th, Brunch: Sat-Sun)
Learning Plan and Professional Development:
All URA students work with their mentor to complete a Learning Plan, attend weekly professional development seminars, and will develop a professional blog post, and/or a professional poster presentation, abtract and “elevator speech” about their KBS research experience.
Posters will be presented at the annual KBS Summer Undergraduate Symposium and MSU’s University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) during the following spring semester.
***Attendance of Professional Development seminars is required as part of the URA Program.
Summer 2017 URA Positions
Summer 2017 Project Descriptions
Ecological genetics, genomics, and plant evolution
Mentors: Ava Garrison (PhD Student) & Dr. Jeff Connor (KBS Faculty)
Climate change, biological invasions, and rapid evolution: How human caused global changes influence interactions between plants and microbial mutualists, herbivores, and pollinators
Mentor: Dr. Jen Lau (KBS Faculty)
Climate effects on community interactions in aquatic systems
Mentors: Laura Twardochleb (PhD Student) & Dr. Phoebe Zarnetske (MSU Forestry Faculty)
The ecology of prairie restoration: How rapid adaptation and plant-bacteria mutualisms may promote restoration success
Mentors: Susan Magnoli (PhD Candidate) & Dr. Jen Lau (KBS Faculty)
Eco-evolutionary responses of phytoplankton to global change
Mentors: Danny O’Donnell (PhD Candidate) & Dr. Elena Litchman (KBS Faculty)
Building a better monoculture – how does diversity within species affect yield and ecosystem services?
Mentors: Dr. Karen Stahlheber (UW – Greenbay), Dr. Katherine Gross (KBS Faculty & Director)
Do human disturbances and plant traits predict local extinction?
Mentors: Meredith Zettlemoyer (PhD Student) & Dr. Jen Lau (KBS Faculty)
How does habitat context influence monarch butterfly ovipositioning and egg and larva survival?
Mentors: Andrew Myers (PhD Student) & Dr. Doug Landis (MSU Entomology Faculty)
How to Apply
Please check back in December for Summer 2018 opportunities!
What will you need?
- A PDF of your current resume
- A list of all college level math and science courses taken through Spring 2018
- A well-written statement of interest that highlights how this experience will enhance your learning and career goals
- Please DO NOT apply separately for KBS courses unless you intend to take courses at KBS even if not selected for the program.
Preference is given to MSU students who have just completed their freshman or sophomore year, or recently transferred to MSU from a community college.
We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups in the sciences, and first-generation college students and US military vets. You must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident, with undergraduate status to participate.