Research Experience for Undergraduates/Research Experience for Future Farmers

Students conducting research in an agricultural field

Program Description

STEPS will support 15 students for ten weeks during the Summer 2023 through a multi-institutional Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Students will work on independent research projects within the Center under the mentorship of STEPS Scholars and faculty. Students will be placed on projects that align with their research and career interests at one of the nine STEPS academic institutions. In addition to research projects in STEPS laboratories, all REU participants will learn skills in convergence research.

Considering the long-term nature of the “25-in-25” vision, at least five REU positions are targeted for applicants who indicate future career plans in farming or related agricultural professions, forming a Research Experience for Future Farmers (REF) track within the program. REF-track participants will be placed in labs/projects supportive of their interests, be co-mentored by a research mentor and an agricultural extension faculty member, and be provided opportunities to present farmer perspectives to the REU cohort.

Program Details

  • Program Dates: late May 2023 – early August 2023
  • Stipend: $6,000 in addition to on-campus housing at host institution and travel to STEPS institutions.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program and be a US Citizen or permanent resident. We encourage applicants from a variety of disciplines including but not limited to chemistry, environmental engineering, materials science, computer science, plant sciences, biochemistry, economics, sociology, and biology. Students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Applications will open in November 2022. Please contact STEPS ( with any questions and/or you would like to be notified when applications open.

Program Requirements

  • Participants must be available to begin the program on the start date and are required to attend the entire ten-week program. Any proposed conflicts should be included on the application.

  • Participants must be enrolled in an accredited college or university with at least one remaining semester before graduation. (Graduating seniors are not eligible.)

  • Participants are prohibited from other employment while participating in the program.