This project is supported by the FY17 USDA NIFA AFRI ELI Research and Extension Experiential Learning for Undergraduates (REEU) Fellowships Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2017-06645
Experiential Professional Leadership Opportunities in Research and Extension
- The EXPLORE Project engages undergraduates in agricultural-related issues in research, extension, and teaching, with mentorship from faculty in the LSU College of Agriculture and LSU AgCenter.
- The goals of this 10-week paid summer internship program are to develop undergraduates' knowledge and skills in agricultural research, encourage undergraduates to pursue graduate studies and careers in agricultural sciences, and expand the diversity of the talent pool in the agricultural workforce.
- Students from all ethnicities and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Placement is open to everyone, and the program prioritizes recruiting and mentoring underrepresented and disadvantaged students
- The internships focus on six Farm Bill Priorities areas:
- Plant health and production, plant products
- Animal health and production, animal products
- Food safety, nutrition and health
- Bioenergy, natural resources and environment
- Agriculture systems and technology
- Agriculture economics and rural communities
- Partner institutions include LSU Alexandria , LSU Eunice, Southern University, Delta Community College and Baton Rouge Community College.
- Opportunities available in plant, animal, food and human sciences and natural resources.
- Students will receive $4,000.
What will a student experience?
Students participate in a two-day orientation focused on communication strategies, presentation skills, leadership, and résumé preparation. They then disperse around the state where each individual is placed with a trained expert mentor in either a research or extension internship for a 10-week rotation. These internships fluctuate in content, but all include specialized training, lab experiences, industry job shadowing, and one-on-one weekly professional evaluation meetings with mentors. Students are required to keep a professional journal and to take photos and video footage during their internship. At the end of the internship experiences, students reconvene at LSU to create three deliverables:
- Résumés: With updates using newly acquired skills and knowledge gained during their internship, these résumés will prepare undergraduates for industry or graduate school placement.
- Videos: Students use their journals, pictures, and footage to create a recording of a professional presentation in their chosen field. This video library is used for students to self-reflect and receive feedback on their presentation and for outreach.
- Conference Presentation: Students give their presentation at a conference or professional meeting of their choice.
- February 5th - March 12th - Application period
- March 16th - Applicants notified of selection
- March 20th - Acceptance/rejection of offer deadline
- May 22-24th - AgCLASSIC and Mentor Training (on campus at LSU)
- May 28- August 10th - Internship Experiences (various locations)
- August 13-14th - EXPLORE Career Training and Presentations (on campus at LSU)
Who can apply?
Rising juniors and seniors from LSU and partner institutions with at least a 3.0 GPA are most competitive. Second year students and those with a minimum 2.5 GPA are also eligible and encouraged to apply. Each internship’s GPA requirements may vary. Twenty students will be selected through a competitive application, review, and interview process, and priority will be given to those applicants who will enhance the number and diversity of individuals entering the agricultural workforce. At least 50% of the participants will be chosen from outside the host institution. Students terminating early will be replaced using a waitlist of alternates derived from the initial application pool.
How to apply?
Submit completed application, transcripts, two letters of recommendation (at least one from a current or former professor) and a résumé by March 12, 2018. Send transcripts and letters to Gigi Gauthier at GGauthier@agcenter.lsu.edu. Accepted applicants will be notified on March 16.