Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program at Michigan State University provides students with the opportunity to become engaged in an active research program in a scientific laboratory on the MSU campus in East Lansing, MI. Faculty, postdoctoral associates, and/or graduate students will act as mentors for participants. Students will contribute to the project by working in the laboratory or field research sites alongside their mentors, participating in group meetings and activities, and attending seminars. A variety of bioenergy-related field trips will also be planned. At the end of the program, students will present summaries of their work as both posters and oral presentations.

For additional information about the program, you can view blog posts written by the summer 2017 students here.

Opportunities on the MSU campus in East Lansing exist in multiple disciplines, including biochemistry, plant biology, genetics, microbiology, ecology, and crop sciences.  Students may also be interested in related programs at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Participating host labs may include:

The program is expected to run from May 20 through July 28, 2018.  If you are enrolled at a college which operates on the trimester schedule, and will therefore not be able to arrive in East Lansing by May 20, please contact Chrislyn Particka to discuss options for alternative arrangements.  Students will work 40 hours per week during this time and should not take any classes or work elsewhere during the summer.

The total stipend is $5,000 paid in one installment.  Room and board on the MSU campus, and up to $500 for round-trip travel to/from East Lansing, are provided. 

Students who are enrolled in an accredited college or university and not an incoming freshman or graduating senior are eligible to apply.  Strong preference will be given to groups under-represented in science and students at colleges without strong research programs.

Our application process is all on-line.  Before you begin your application, you should have the following materials ready:

  1. A statement of interest - describe your long-term career goals, your interest in bioenergy research, how you hope to benefit from the program, and your experiences, skills, and attributes that would make you a valuable asset to our program.  Also include which faculty member(s) you are most interested in working with (see listing above). Approximately one page should suffice.  Please use your last name and the word "statement" in the document title, and save it as a PDF.
  2. Your transcripts - unofficial transcripts are acceptable.  Please use your last name and the word “transcripts” in the document title, and save it as a PDF.
  3. Your resume - include current and past experiences, relevant coursework, and anything else you think is important for us to know.  Please use your last name and the word "resume" in the document title, and save it as a PDF.

Additionally, you will need to have a college science teacher, advisor, or mentor send a letter of reference directly to Chrislyn Particka via email ( by the application deadline. 

The application form is posted at

If you cannot use our on-line application, or if you are having difficulty saving or uploading the required documents, or have any other questions or difficulties, please contact Chrislyn Particka, GLBRC Research Coordinator (, 517-884-8770). 

The application deadline is February 4, 2018.