Montana Institute on Ecosystems (IoE) Statewide Undergraduate Summer Research Experience Program

30/01/18 by admin
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I) Overview

The Montana Institute on Ecosystems (IoE) Statewide Undergraduate Summer Research Experience Program is accepting proposals for student research projects in ecosystem science from undergraduates throughout the Montana University System (MUS) and the Montana tribal colleges.  We anticipate awarding 24 internships that will support work in the fields of ecology, evolution, ecosystem sciences or conservation biology, broadly defined, with a priority for projects that focus on one of the following Montana NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 research areas:

  1. Population, community, and ecosystem processes, including genomic influences
  2. Linkages between landscape patterns and ecosystem processes
  3. Impacts of climate change on ecosystems
  4. Relationships between social and ecological systems

Undergraduate interns must identify faculty mentors, and mentors will be required to contribute a letter of recommendation to the application process (see below) and provide the material and academic support for associated interns.

Funding for the internship program comes from Montana’s NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 award; student research experience internships are subject to satisfactory adherence to all program rules and expectations.

II) Information Contact

The application process is open to undergraduates from all MUS and Montana tribal college campuses who are not graduating before December 2018. Applications and supporting faculty mentor letters of recommendation are due by Friday, March 2, 2018.

III) Application Instructions:

  1. Online application – Complete application at URL link below. In addition, please include the documents described below as attachments:
  2. Research proposal – 1-2 pages (research project). See ‘Guidelines for Research Proposal,’ below.
  3. Faculty Mentor Letter of Recommendation

IV) Funding Information 

  1. IoE Research Interns will be awarded $4000 for the summer 2018 appointment as salary and fringe support only that will be paid in two increments. All funds for research execution will be provided by the student’s faculty mentor. Unsatisfactory progress toward project goals or lack of adherence to program expectations may result in funding changes, delays, or lack of reimbursement.
  2. Due to National Science Foundation spending constraints, the pay period and research period will be from May 1, 2018 to July 15, 2018.
  3. Funds are taxable and are IRS-reportable by the university or college.  

V) Program Expectations

  1. A mandatory orientation will be provided to all students. Group orientation will occur at the end of Spring Semester (April 15 – May 1).
  2. All funded students must present their research and discuss their experiences within a year of the end of the summer program. This may occur at a poster session, through oral presentations, or both, and will be determined by your home campus.
  3. Summer participants are expected to provide formal and informal feedback about the program; evaluations and assessment opportunities will be discussed at the Orientation.

VI) Guidelines for Research Proposal

Applicants are encouraged to include the following elements in their research proposal; the selection process will be based on these criteria:

  1. Clearly stated question and hypothesis organizing your summer research project
  2. Experimental design and plan for implementation for your research project
  3. Scientific significance of your proposed work

VII) Reporting Requirements (covered in detail at Orientation)

To document NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 support for undergraduate research and help generate permanent records of research productivity, all interns will be required to do the following:

  1. Provide a completed demographics form in the Montana NSF EPSCoR Reporting database.   
  2. Complete the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research training prior to beginning their summer appointment. If already completed within the past 3 years, it is not necessary to resubmit the form, but it must be presented at orientation for compliance.
  3. Additional research reporting will occur near the end of your summer appointment. This will include narrative, field/lab photos, and data. Supplemental information may be gathered by IoE program staff for additional reporting purposes.