GEM3 Summer Authentic Research Experience (SARE) 2020 - STUDENT Application

Deadline: May 31st, 2020 11:59 PM EDT


Idaho's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is seeking student and faculty applicants for summer student research experiences as part of an Idaho-wide National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program focused on Linking Genome to Phenome to Predict Adaptive Responses of Organisms to Changing Landscapes.

This NSF EPSCoR project, known as Genes by Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms, and Mapping (GEM3), supports three complementary workforce development and education initiatives designed to increase the number, diversity and preparation of skilled scientists and engineers in STEM fields in Idaho: Lab Modules, VIP courses, and Summer Authentic Research Experiences (SARE).

Idaho universities, and two-year, and four-year colleges will incorporate GEM3 Lab Modules into the core introductory science lab courses. Lab modules will teach undergraduates how to use the tools of each discipline to find answers to scientific issues facing society. Students with even more interest in GEM3 research can take credit-bearing Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) courses to get involved during the academic year any semester from sophomore through senior year. Summer Authentic Research Experiences (SARE) are designed to engage undergraduates in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in paid hands-on summer research related to GEM3 research to gain fundamental knowledge on the mechanisms that rule genome to phenome pathways to predict how species adapt to external stressors and a changing environment. 

SARE Summary:

Summer Authentic Research Experiences are designed to engage Idaho undergraduates in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields related to GEM3 research and increase the number, diversity and preparation of skilled scientists and engineers in GEM3 fields (bioinformatics, computational biology, conservation genetics, ecosystem management, environmental science, social science, and more).

Each student receives hands-on, paid (up to $4,000) summer research experiences, supervised by a faculty member or graduate student, where they study topics broadly related to the GEM3 project. The novelty of the approach is the statewide integration of the GEM3 research, and opportunities for undergraduate students to network across the institutions through research team interactions, data collection, fieldwork (e.g., participating in focus groups designed to assess land and water management), and research activities (e.g., support for Unmanned Aircraft Systems flights, filed work, and modeling).

SARE Eligibility:

GEM3 seeks to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in STEM (underrepresented minorities (URM), primarily Hispanics and Native Americans), low-income, rural and/or first-generation students, and women in Idaho's STEM enterprise.

SARE provides students with an intensive laboratory and/or field experience, while creating an important bridge between academic year education and between institutions. Idaho EPSCoR strongly encourages participation of students and faculty from Idaho’s 2-yr and 4-yr colleges and universities. Research projects can be led by faculty from an Idaho university or faculty from 2- and 4-yr colleges. In most cases, research projects will be directed by faculty at the students’ home institution.

SARE Selection and Placement:

  • We encourage students to visit with professors to discuss potential projects and to help with the placement process.
  • Students and faculty mentors will be required to complete a short SARE application.
  • Professors who wish to host SARE students should apply to be an SARE mentor by April 1, 2020.
  • Student SARE applications will be accepted until positions are filled; review of applications will begin April 10, 2020.
  • 23 paid positions are available for summer 2020: 5 at U of I, 5 at BSU, 5 at ISU, and 8 total at any of Idaho’s 2-year or 4-year colleges.
  • Positions will be part-time or full-time for up to 10 weeks during summer 2020, for a total of up to $4,000. Exact start dates and schedules will be determined by the research faculty supervisor.
  • Up to $500 will be provided to the faculty supervisor for research supplies and/or student travel.

Related Opportunities:

Students participating in SARE will be invited to present research results at the Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (ICUR) and network with other students, STEM faculty, agency and industry representatives in July 2020, as well as the Idaho NSF EPSCoR Annual Meeting in December 2020. ICUR is held in Boise, Idaho and includes workshops from Industry and Agency representatives from across State.

Undergraduate students also will be invited to become Ambassadors who will recruit other students from Idaho colleges and communities to participate in GEM3 science and research.

The project described was supported by NSF award number OIA-1757324 from the NSF Idaho EPSCoR Program and by the National Science Foundation.



There is considerable uncertainty about planning for summer programming at this time due to the current Coronavirus situation. Our ability to award and implement summer research experiences will be contingent upon identifying projects that will be in compliance with all local and institutional COVID-19 guidance and restrictions. Please be aware that this application process in no way guarantees the availability of SARE this year.