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Department of Plant Pathology

Research & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for UndergraduatesResearch & Extension Experiences for Undergraduates
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

Timeline Info for 2023 Program 


  • February 15, 2023: Applications and letters of recommendation due.
    • Your references should email their letters directly to Dr. Myron Bruce at myronbruce@ksu.edu 
  • Mid-March: Decision letter will be emailed to the applicants.

Before you arrive:

A group video orientation will be held in late April with program coordinators. You will be introduced to other interns, and briefed on the schedule and logistical details. 

Sample program:

Tables 1-3 below outline an example timeline - the exact details are subject to change. Most weeks will follow a similar schedule to facilitate planning of work schedules in the host labs. All weeks will include these elements:

  1. Professional development (Prof. Dev.): Interns in plant pathology REEU will join the workshops offered by the Consortium of Undergraduate Research Experience Programs (CUREP). On weeks without a CUREP workshop we will offer sessions on ethics, video interview skills, and international agriculture development.
  2. Field trips: Most weeks will have a half- or full-day field trip for hands-on experiential learning about research and extension in different agricultural systems. 
  3. Agricultural data analytics activities: Each week will have a 1-2 hour group session focused on Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT). The group sessions are intended to develop skills in the entire cohort and give all students exposure to different types of data including bioinformatics, high-throughput phenotyping, and large-scale field data at a conceptual level appropriate to the interns. 

Table 1: Week 1 timeline


Tuesday May 30

Travel, checking in to housing. 



Morning: 9:00-10:00: welcome coffee with all mentors, with overview of KSU plant health research and extension; 9:00-12:00: additional group orientation sessions. Complete pre-session survey. Initiate required safety trainings. Create professional LinkedIn profiles.

Afternoon: Acquire ID’s for access to campus facilities, other logistics, and then initial worktime in host lab.


Morning: Finish any necessary safety trainings.

Afternoon: Worktime in host labs, 


Morning: ½ day field trip to KSU farm to learn how to set up field experiments, methods to measure diseases and insects, & learn about extension.

Afternoon: Worktime in host lab; 4:00-5:00 Initiate group blog.

Evening: welcome BBQ or dinner

Table 2: Core weeks

Week 2Prof. Dev.“Preparing for Research” – presented by CUREP
 Field Trip

Field trip to university research farm to observe high throughput phenotyping, UAVs, and big data (FACT). 


Data visualization. 

Week 3Prof. Dev.“Research Ethics”
 Field trip, 1/2 dayCampus landscape disease walking tour and extension experience. Hands-on diagnostic problem-solving.
 FACTAnalyzing UAV data using Machine Learning.

Friday afternoon 4:00: ice cream break, informal progress updates. All interns sign up for a free one-year student membership to the American
Phytopathological Society.

Week 4Prof. Dev.“Graduate School Application Process,” presented by CUREP
 Field trip, full day

KSU student farm (Manhattan, KS)


“Big picture” conceptual introduction to bioinformatics. What is it, why is it important, and what questions can we ask? Meet in teaching  computer lab and learn about genome sequencing and bioinformatics.

 Other1-hr tour of Integrated Genomics Facility.
Week 5Prof. Dev.“Financial Support for Graduate School." Presented by CUREP
 Field trip, 1/2 day

KSU Biosecurity Research Institute. 1 hr intro session, then go into mock-containment demo lab to learn hands-on methods for BSL3 work. Learn how extension personnel interact with regulatory officials to work with growers on exotic/emerging pathogens.


Using long-read sequence data to assemble complete genomes. Discuss cutting-edge sequencing technology and how it is revolutionizing biological sciences. Use 2nd & 3rd generation sequence data to assemble two fungal genomes using KSU High Performance Computer Cluster.

 OtherMid-point survey/feedback.
Week 6Prof. Dev.“Communication skills for scientific posters and presentations.”
 Field trip, 1/2 day

Engaging the public through experiential displays. Behind-the-scenes tour of the KSU Insect Zoo to learn how entomologists use the zoo for science communication to the public, including children. Brainstorm ideas on how to showcase their own projects in a fun and creative way.


Using long-read sequence data to assemble complete genomes (continued). Analyze the completed genome assemblies and develop hypotheses they could further test.

Week 7Field trip

KSU herbarium

 Prof Dev

Semi-final poster practice

Table 3: Final week


MondayMorning: worktime with labs; Afternoon 2:00-5:00 Interns conduct a practice poster session. 
TuesdayMorning and afternoon: work time in host labs

Morning: worktime in host labs; Afternoon: Final poster practices

ThursdayPoster Symposium