We strongly encourage our Biology majors to consider applying for a summer REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) grant. The following description of the REU program is from their official website:
"NSF funds a large number of research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in the research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, where he/she works closely with the faculty and other researchers. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Undergraduate students supported with NSF funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. An REU Site may be at either a US or foreign location."
"By using the web page URL below, you may examine opportunities in the subject areas supported by various NSF units. Also, you may search by keywords to identify sites in particular research areas or with certain features, such as a particular location."
"Students must contact the individual sites for information and application materials. NSF does not have application materials and does not select student participants. A contact person and contact information is listed for each site."
Each REU site will list its application procedure and deadlines, along with financial information (such as stipends available). Here is the URL: http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm .
NOTE: Most of these programs begin accepting applications in late fall and close the application process between January 1st and March 15th, depending on the program.
OTHER RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
The Texas Academy of Science (TAS) sponsors an Annual Student Research Award Competition that UMHB Biology majors can be a part of. There are three undergraduate awards: $2000 (1st place), $1500 (2nd place), and $1000 (3rd place) . Students may be enrolled in math, science, or science education. To be considered for this grant, the student must be a member of TAS (one of the Biology faculty can help you with this), agree to attend the next TAS annual meeting, and submit a proposal (of up to 10 pages) to conduct an INDEPENDENT study -- a laboratory and/or field research project in which the student is "the principal project architect and will conduct the majority of the work". The proposed work cannot be "an assigned portion of an existing research project in which he/she has no opportunity to design and carry out truly independent research". You will need a faculty mentor for this and should discuss your project ideas with the faculty person you would like to work with. Additional submission criteria and the current application can be found on the TAS website. The deadline for abstract submission is generally mid-January but check this on the website.
Beta Beta Beta Research Awards, through their Research Scholarship Foundation, gives cash scholarships annually to students who are members of the TriBeta Honor Society and who are conducting research. Application forms for these scholarships can be found on the TriBeta website (http://www.tri-beta.org/forms.html) and are due at the National TriBeta Office in September of each year. Students receiving awards are notified by November each year and the scholarship is granted at that same time. Talk with your research advisor if you are interested in pursuing this area of funding. These "research scholarships" are actually mini-grants designed to support quality undergraduate research proposals and are intended to serve as "seed monies" to help undergraduates start and develop a research project. The average scholarship amound is $500 but it may be larger or smaller. Since the deadline for the application is so early in the Fall semester, you really need to start working on your research question and application during the summer or previous Spring semester. The application requires you to describe your research project with, among other things, an abstract, outline of research plans, literature search, and a budget request which provides details and a rationale for all expenditures. Don’t let this discourage you. Your advisor can mentor you along the way. A TriBeta Research Award is a high honor and worth the work.
Periodically our department may receive information on specific internships available for you to apply for. If we do, they will be listed here.
- The Undergraduate Pipeline Network (May 30-August 1) is a paid research experience. http://hsc.unm.edu/research/brep/pipeline_howtoapply.shtm
Founded in 2008, the Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) was created in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals by introducing culturally and ethnically diverse college freshman and sophomores to conservation careers. http://thesca.org/serve/career-discovery-internship-program
- The Student Conservation Association's NPS Academy is an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students from under-represented communities to career opportunities with the National Park Service. http://thesca.org/serve/program/nps-academy
The Internet is often a good source of information about jobs available in Biology. Below are some links that we’ve found are good ones for that kind of information:
- This web page, maintained by Texas A&M, lists current jobs across the country for field biologists of all levels of experience. Use this page to find a summer job, a graduate program, or to get an idea of what types of jobs are available for those holding a master’s or Ph.D. in Biology. http://wfscjobs.tamu.edu/job-board/
- ScienceCareers.org, the science jobs site brought to you by the publishers of Science, is a premier resource for scientific research jobs and information to further your scientific career. http://recruit.sciencemag.org/