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PRECS: Research Opportunity for US Community College Students

Published on Thursday, January 24, 2019

PRECS: Research Opportunity for US Community College Students

Parkland, UIUC opportunity offers biology research experience, stipend 

Community college students interested in science are invited to conduct research as part of a paid 10-week biology research program at Parkland College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Called PRECS, or Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, the program is a collaboration between Parkland and the UIUC, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. It is designed to provide community college students with authentic research experiences in phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon of a single genotype producing multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Parkland College is currently seeking 10 community college students to participate in PRECS, which will run May 22 to July 31, 2019. Students selected to participate in the summer program will be paired with research mentors at the University of Illinois, working on such projects as:

  • the interaction between genotype and ozone pollution on maize growth

  • the effect of environmental stress on neuroanatomy

  • the interactions of genes and environment on fish behavior

Students will earn a $5,500 stipend for their participation in PRECS. Housing and food allowances, as well as travel allowances (if needed) are also available.

Parkland College chemistry professor Dr. C. Britt Carlson and Dr. Nathan Schroeder of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created PRECS. The program is entering its third year, with 20 students from five states having benefited from the opportunity.

"Participating in a program like PRECS is a great way for students to gain experience, create new contacts, explore future careers, and build their resumes," Carlson said.

Students interested in participating in PRECS must be attending a community college, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and have completed General Biology I (General Chemistry I is also preferred). PRECS encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups.

"PRECS gave me a true experience, exposing me to what my life would be like after graduating with my bachelor's degree," according to Aaron West, a former PRECS participant. "I feel more prepared moving forward with my education."

Applications for summer 2019 are due March 15. For more information on PRECS, please visit precs.igb.illinois.edu.

Categories: General, Natural Sciences

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