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Department of Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology
Kansas State University
1712 Claflin Road
4024 Throckmorton PSC
Manhattan, KS 66506

Ph: +1-785-532-6176
Fx: +1-785-532-5692

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research assistants and scholars are integral and productive members of many laboratories in the Department of Plant Pathology. Most of the undergraduate researchers in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Interdepartmental Genetics Program are supported by competitive research grant funds, secured by faculty members. The majority of undergraduates researchers in the department are Kansas State University students pursuing various majors in the College of Agriculture, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Engineering. 

Undergraduate Research for credit.

Students who have found a research mentor and are receiving research training in the Department may take an independent study research course PLPTH 495 Undergraduate research in plant pathology for credit (0-3Cr).  This course may be repeated in multiple semesters, and allows participation in research to be documented on the academic transcript.

Sources of support.

The K-State Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry (OURCI; http://www.k-state.edu/undergradresearch/)

OURCI Grant Awards (http://www.k-state.edu/undergradresearch/opportunities/Grant%20Awards.html) provide support of research or travel. 

The McNair Scholars Program (http://www.k-state.edu/mcnair/) is federally funded and prepares low-income and first-generation college students, as well as students from groups under-represented in graduate education for doctoral study. A paid eight-week undergraduate research experience with faculty mentors is a major part of this preparation.

The Kansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (KS-LSAMP) (http://www.k-state.edu/lsamp/) is a National Science Foundation program that assists colleges and universities in diversifying the workforce entering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, in part, by supporting institutions' efforts to increase the numbers of students that successfully complete baccalaureate degrees in these fields.

The Graduate School provides a listing of undergraduate research opportunities under its Consortium of Undergraduate Research Experiences at K-State (http://www.k-state.edu/grad/academics/surop/) also provides opportunities for undergraduate research and mentoring in our department through various campus-wide programs.  These programs include:

  • Developing Scholars Program (DSP; http://www.k-state.edu/scholars/), an undergraduate program that serves to identify and provide financial support for motivated and academically-talented underrepresented students to conduct academic year-long independent research in K-State labs;
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (SUROP; http://www.k-state.edu/grad/surop/surop.html), a nine-week program sponsored by the K-State Graduate School, offers undergraduates from underrepresented groups from Kansas and beyond a first-hand experience with the research process under the mentorship of a faculty member;
  • College of Agriculture K-State Research and Extension (KSRE) Multicultural Summer Fellow Program (http://www.ag.k-state.edu/diversity-programs/ksre-fellowship.html), an eight week program that offers fellowships to multicultural students to conduct research under the mentorship of participating faculty and their research teams;
  • Summer Research for Undergraduate Experiences (REU in Biology; http://www.k-state.edu/reu/REU/) coordinated by the Ecological Genomics Institute, the Konza Prairie Biological Station, and the Division of Biology, a NSF-funded 10 week summer program that offers students opportunities to study diverse topics that address the theme “Ecology and Evolution in Changing Environments: Mechanisms to Responses” ; and
  • Ecological Genomics-Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program (http://ecogen.k-state.edu/urm.html, a NSF-funded program at K-State that selects and supports six students each year (15K stipends) to pair with participating faculty mentors to conduct independent and “integrative research that seeks to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying adaptive responses of organisms to their environment.”

Undergraduates interested in research opportunities in the Department of Plant Pathology can contact Dr. Richard Todd (rbtodd@ksu.edu) for more information.