Research & Internships
Work alongside world-renowned faculty making a difference in the world.
With over 100+ research positions available to undergraduates, there are many ways to get involved in revolutionary research happening in Crop Sciences. You have the opportunity to learn research methods and best practices, develop relevant skill sets for your future career, and help solve global issues. Our faculty members will serve as mentors guiding you throughout the research process, collaborating with you every step of the way.
There are two research options for undergraduates in our department.
- Research Assistant – a paid undergraduate hourly appointment in which the undergraduate student works for a faculty member. These appointments are most often initiated by the faculty member and advertised in the department.
- Independent Study (CPSC/HORT/PLPA 295: Undergraduate Research or Thesis) – an unpaid research experience with course credit provided. These experiences are typically initiated by the student but guided by a faculty member and coordinated through the Undergraduate Office. Below is the process for earning credit for an independent study research project:
- Student Responsibility
Students are encouraged to initiate the research experience by discussing their interests and/or potential research opportunities with individual faculty. Students are responsible for making sure they meet the eligibility requirements for the course description they are interested in.
Students are responsible for keeping communication lines open and making timely progress on the proposal application and the actual research experience. The student should submit periodic progress reports to the faculty supervisor, and a final report summarizing the research project must be completed prior to a grade being assigned.
- Faculty Member Responsibility
The faculty member will provide direction to students interested in undergraduate research, including guidance in defining a reasonable experience that is commensurate with credit expected. Both the expected outcomes and associated credit should be made clear to the student prior to enrolling in the class. The faculty member serves as the mentor for the research experience.
- Form and Approval Process
Students submit this Undergraduate Research form which is received by the Academic Program Manager. The Academic Program Manager obtains final approvals from the Faculty Research Supervisor, Faculty Mentor, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Once approvals are obtained, the student will receive the CRN to register.
Undergraduate Research Across Campus
For more information about undergraduate research across the University of Illinois and how to get started Visit the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Internships are an excellent opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in crop sciences. Most internships are paid positions advertised and coordinated by individual companies, consultants, or on-campus organizations. Students can also earn credit for this undergraduate experience, through one of two course options:
- CPSC/HORT 293: Off-Campus Internship -- Supervised, off-campus experience in a field directly pertaining to a subject matter in crop sciences or horticulture (company).
- CPSC/HORT 294: On-Campus Internship -- Supervised, on-campus learning experience with faculty engaged in research.
To earn internship credit for CPSC/HORT 293 or CPSC/HORT 294, students are required to write a 5 page paper (double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins) summarizing the internship experience (what you did, what you learned, how the internship has affected your perspective of agriculture, and how it has shaped your career plans). This paper will be due to your Faculty Mentor on October 31 of the Fall semester following the internship experience.
Form and Approval Process
Students submit this Internship form which is then received by the Academic Program Manager. The Academic Program Manager obtains final approvals from the student’s Faculty Mentor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Once approvals are obtained, the student will receive the CRN to register.