Undergraduate Research

Students can put lessons from the classroom into practice through a research experience. Several programs are available to help facilitate the experience. Students may also talk with individual FSHN faculty members about their research and ask to work on a project.

FSHN research areas

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) works to enhance human health and quality of life through education, research and outreach. The research of FSHN faculty can be categorized into five areas:

  • The education of dietetics professionals
  • Etiology and prevention of obesity and chronic disease
  • Green technologies for food and fuel
  • Bioactive compounds for health and wellness
  • Safety and quality of foods

Learn more about the research of individual faculty members by using the faculty directory, which includes research interests and web pages.

Research centers

Research centers directly associated with FSHN research activities include:

Center for Crops Utilization Research

Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute

Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center

Nutrition and Wellness Research Center

Student research opportunities

All students

Molecular biotechnology and genomics: The Research Experience in Molecular Biotechnology & Genomics program provides opportunities for summer research experience in protein engineering, molecular genetics, biotechnology, and genomics of plants and animals.

Career Management System: The ISU Career Management System (CMS) provides career connections between students and employers through an online database. Students can post resumes and search for posted positions. This online network is a way to search for internships, part-time and full-time experiences. Available to all students.

Student job board: The Student Job Board is located on Access Plus under the Student tab. In the left column there is a link to Student Job Board. Listed on-campus positions can then be sorted by various criteria. When sorted by category students can view positions listed as Lab/Research.

Career fairs: Career fairs are offered throughout the academic year and may be a way to find internships or begin exploring full-time experiences. Some of these experiences may have a research component. Students may attend career fairs hosted by any college.

Department faculty research: If you learn about a faculty member who is doing research in an area that interests you, you can ask him or her directly about potentially assisting with the research. If you have not identified a specific faculty member, but have an interest in a certain area, you can view department research taking place by topic areas on the FSHN news and newsletters. Remember to be professional when inquiring with a faculty member about potential research opportunities. Learn more about the research of individual faculty members by using the faculty directory.

Undergraduate research assistantship: Iowa State University’s Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA) Program encourages outstanding juniors and seniors to pursue graduate study by offering them hands-on experience in a formal research environment. Participation in the URA Program helps students make career decisions and learn about graduate education and fellowships. Guidelines, procedures, and applications can be found on the Office of Student Financial Aid “All Forms” website (scroll down to find the Undergraduate Research Assistantship links).

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Agriculture experiential learning and work program: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Science with Practice experiential learning and work program is for undergraduate students in agriculture. Students work closely with faculty and staff on specific projects and/or work assignments, earn money, and earn academic credit while fulfilling work responsibilities.

Faculty mentor research experience: The George Washington Carver Internship Program is an eight-week summer research program for undergraduates that exposes students to research by matching them with a faculty mentor in their area of interest and allows interns to become familiar with lives of graduate students in a large university and with living in Iowa. Interns participate in weekly seminars and social, cultural, and educational activities in addition to their research experience.

College of Human Sciences

Human sciences undergraduate research: The Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship Program provides research experience to undergraduate students in the College of Human Sciences while they think about going on to an advanced degree. Interns can work with prestigious faculty or learn about current research in their academic field while receiving hands-on experience in conducting research.