GEM3 Summer Authentic Research Experience (SARE) 2023 - STUDENT Application

Deadline: May 8th, 2023 02:59 AM EDT

For more information and project descriptions, visit: GEM3 SARE

for Idaho Colleges and Universities


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. Research projects can be led by faculty from any Idaho college or university. In most cases, research projects will be directed by faculty at the students’ home institution.

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 2-yr, and 4-yr 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).

Each student receives hands-on, paid (up to $5,000) summer research experiences (full-time or part-time educational opportunities available), where they study topics broadly related to the GEM3 project. Each SARE educational opportunity is designed as a learning experience and not employment. 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, field work, and modeling).

SARE Eligibility:

All Idaho STEM faculty, and students currently enrolled at an Idaho academic institution, are eligible. GEM3 especially seeks to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in STEM (underrepresented minorities - URM), 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 2-yr and 4-yr Colleges:  

Idaho EPSCoR strongly encourages participation of students and faculty from Idaho's 2-yr and 4-yr colleges. For faculty, there are many ways to participate and funding is also available for faculty from 2-yr and 4-yr colleges who would like to lead a research project; thus, an application to serve as a research mentor or co-mentor with a university faculty member for a SARE student will also serve as an application for funding. Funding includes one month of summer salary and fringe benefits.

SARE Selection and Placement:

  • We encourage students to visit with faculty to discuss potential projects and to help with the placement process.
  • Faculty who wish to host SARE students should apply and submit their research description by the priority deadline of January 17, 2023 (closes April 14, 2023). SARE educational opportunities will be posted on the GEM3 website for student applicants to review. **Please note that only faculty are allowed to apply. Graduate students and Postdocs interested in hosting a SARE student must have a supervising faculty member apply on their behalf.
  • Students will be required to complete a short SARE application.
  • Students who wish to apply for a paid SARE opportunity can apply beginning on February 1, 2023 (priority review will begin February 17, 2023). Applications will be accepted until May 5, 2023.
  • There are 36 paid opportunities available at Idaho research institutions (UI, ISU, BSU) with 18 paid opportunities available at 2- and 4-year colleges for summer 2023.
  • SARE educational opportunities will range from full-time (approximately 330 hours) to a quarter time (approximately 80 hours) during summer 2023, for a total of up to $5,000. ** These opportunities must start between May 15th and May 30th and end between July 21st and August 4th. 
  • 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 expected 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 2023, as well as the Idaho NSF EPSCoR Annual Meeting in September 2023. ICUR is held in Boise, Idaho and includes workshops from Industry and Agency representatives from across the state.  Students will also be expected to participate in a virtual Summer Research Community, hosted by Boise State University, and network with other students in the SARE program. 

Contact with Questions:

Boise State University:  Dr. Donna Llewellyn 
University of Idaho:  Sarah Penney
Idaho State University:  Dr. Janet Loxterman
2-yr and 4-yr colleges: Stephanie Sevigny 

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.