The University of Massachusetts Amherst

FUEL Scholars Program

The Food Science Undergraduate Experiential Learning (FUEL) Scholars Program is a yearlong opportunity that integrates academic laboratory research and industrial experience (internships) for undergraduates. 

2016 UMass Research Farm-Student Farm and Food Science Produce Safety Team

 

The program will provide students with three key educational components:

  1. Mentorship and support to optimize the professional and interpersonal skills needed to be successful in industrial internships and/or graduate school.
  2. Laboratory research experience with the excellent researchers at the Department of Food Science at UMass Amherst, ranked #1 in the US.
  3. Industrial internship experience to translate academic and laboratory knowledge to real-world problems in the food industry.

Fellowship Details

UMass FUEL Scholars is a 12-month program which includes a two- semester laboratory research experience (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022) cumulating in an industrial summer internship in the Boston area to selected applicants. During the 12-week summer internship, students will receive a competitive stipend of $600/week along with housing at UMass Mt Ida Campus.

Eligibility: 

  • Priority to Food Science majors, but open to any science or engineering major with evidence of an interest in Food Science
  • Enrolled at UMass (or 5-College Consortium) during the academic year prior to submission of application
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.80 or higher
  • No previous research experience necessary
  • Priority given to rising juniors, but exceptional rising seniors will be considered for this program
  • Students from traditionally underrepresented groups in science disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Components of the Program

  1. Academic Year Research Experience.  The FUEL Scholars will be paired with a Food Science research mentor for a two-semester independent study. During this time, students will participate in research projects in the top ranked UMass Food Science Department. An overview of hosting faculty and project examples can be found here.
  2. Professional Development.  Students will engage in guided formal coursework and structured mentorship sessions to explore their potential career interests and tracks. Further, students will evaluate and identify areas of improvement for numerous professional skills related to communication, presentation, interviewing, constructing job applications, interpersonal skills, and other crucial professional skills that both research and industry partners have identified as crucial for successful food scientists.
  3. UMass Undergraduate Research Symposium.  In addition to conducting cutting-edge research in the lab of a food science research mentor, students will also get the opportunity to practice formal scientific presentation of their work, a required skill for success in academia, industry or government for any life scientist. This will consist of an annual research symposium where students will get to present their work in a formal scientific setting that will integrate into their ongoing professional development and other skills under the supervision of their research and industry mentors.
  4. 12-week Internship at a partner food company in the Boston Area.  In addition to research mentorship, scholars will also be paired with mentors from a partner food-related company in the northeastern US who will host scholars, 12-week internship paid by the FUEL Scholar program. This opportunity will provide scholars with real-world industry experience and allow them to translate their curricular, research, and professional knowledge into a real-world setting.

Applications

Applications should be submitted through Handshake: https://umass.joinhandshake.com/jobs/4597640

Applications should include: 1) Cover letter (1 page max) with a description of your interest in working in Food Science, 2) Resume, 3) Unofficial transcript , 4) Letter of recommendation sent to Lynne McLandsborough  lm@foodsci.umass.edu

 

Sponsor

This work is supported by the Education and Workforce Development program [grant no. 2020-67037-30662], from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture