Program Features. The REU Site Program in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University has been structured to include activities that will contribute to the professional development of the participants as young scientists. Highlights of our summer program include:
Research Seminar in Grassland Ecology and Ecological Genomics. The instructional component of the REU program will consist of a weekly seminar series. Students will meet as a group once a week on Thursday afternoons. Each week, we will have a field or lab demonstration in grassland ecology or ecological genomics, or a faculty member will present an informal seminar on a research topic in their area of expertise. The seminar will benefit REU students by giving them an introduction to a diversity of ecological and evolutionary research in a variety of disciplines, including some of the conservation issues facing our native grasslands.
SUROP Seminars. Students will have the opportunity to attend seminars in professional development on Tuesday afternoons that are offered to all undergraduates conducting summer research projects at K-State. Seminar topics will include workshops on preparation for standardized exams such as the GRE, advice on how to apply to graduate school, sources of funding for graduates studies, workshops on preparation of a resume or curriculum vitae, and related topics.
Student Research Symposium. At the conclusion of the summer program, REU students will give formal presentations of their research results. The format of the Research Symposium is the same as a national scientific meeting: it will be held in a large lecture hall and moderated by one of the program coordinators. Using multimedia facilities, each student will give a 10-12 minute presentation, followed by a 3-5 minute question period. Preparation of formal research results is a valuable experience which contributes to the professional development of the REU students as young scientists. The symposium disseminates research results of the REU projects to colleagues in the Division of Biology, to the university community and to the general public. The research symposium is widely advertised on campus, to conservation groups and docents involved with environmental education of K-12 students, including Friends of Konza Prairie, the Northern Flint Hills chapter of the Audubon Society and the Kansas Ornithological Society. In the past, the symposium has been well attended with an audience of 40-60 people.
Financial support. Participants in the REU program will receive a stipend of $4500 for the 10-week program, a $500 meal allowance, reimbursement of travel expenses up to $350, and a $500 allowance for consumable research supplies. During their stay at KSU, REU students will be housed in the student housing complex adjacent to campus. Apartments are fully furnished and contain shared kitchen facilities, and separate washrooms for men and women. The complex also contains low-cost laundry facilities. REU students will have access to the on-campus resources of KSU, including a recreational complex, computer center, library, campus health facility and a range of university-sponsored social programs. If an REU student works on their project for additional weeks outside of the regular 10-week period, housing is available at Konza Prairie and housing costs will be covered by the REU program. If possible, their research stipend will be supplemented by their mentor. Participants are expected to make their own travel expenses to and from Manhattan, Kansas at the start and end of the summer program.
Program schedule. The 10-week REU program is designed to accommodate the different academic schedules of institutions on semester and quarter systems, but this format can be somewhat restrictive. To give the program additional flexibility, incoming students can arrive earlier or depart later if their project would benefit from additional work outside of the regular 10-week period during June to August. Flexible program dates assist REU students by giving them additional time for their research projects and by allowing them to work with study systems that are constrained by the seasonal phenology of events on the tallgrass prairie. For example, seasonal peaks in reproductive activity among amphibians and grassland birds usually occur in late May, and flowering of some grassland plants does not occur until late August and early September. If special arrangements are needed, participants should discuss the details with their faculty mentor and make plans in advance with help from the REU Program Coordinators.
Last updated: October 2010