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K-State Today

April 22, 2015

More than two decades of undergraduate research in ecology and evolutionary biology continues with NSF grant renewal

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

One of the longest running national undergraduate research programs at Kansas State University is receiving funding for three more years. 

Bruce Snyder, instructor of biology, and Ted Morgan, associate professor of biology, received more than $312,000 from the National Science Foundation for K-State's Biology Research Experience for Undergraduates, or REU, program. The program supports independent summer undergraduate research at K-State.

With this renewal, nine undergraduate students from around the U.S. will be supported to train and conduct summer research at K-state annually for the next three years. 

"Through our REU program, students are learning from and training alongside K-State experts in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, and climate change," said Snyder, who coordinates K-State's REU program. "They discover what it is like to do independent research and decide if research is something they want to continue beyond their bachelor's degree." 

K-State's Biology REU program is one of the longest running REU-Site Programs in the nation, and has been continuously funded for 21 years. The current award is the eighth renewal and will fund the program into its 23rd year.

During the prior 21 years, more than 200 undergraduates have participated in the program and these independent research projects have produced data that have contributed to more than 80 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. 

"Our REU program has been highly successful in terms of the quality of students we attract and produce," Morgan said. "Nearly all of the REU students go on to earn graduate degrees, several return to K-State for graduate school, and some are now in tenure track positions at universities. The program has a two decade legacy of excellence in undergraduate research training at K-State, and many of our former participants have become emerging leaders in our field."

The K-State Biology REU program is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Division of Biology, the Konza Prairie Biological Station and the Ecological Genomics Institute. In addition to the Biology REU program, there are five other REU-Site programs currently funding independent summer undergraduate research at K-State. 

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