Macalester-HHMI Young Researchers

Overview-The MHRI-Young Researcher program aims to maintain a diversity of perspectives by supporting up to eight rising sophomores, or rising juniors, who have litte or no research experience.  The group works together as a cohort.  The goal is to build confidence and prepare students for  competitive research positions later in their time at Macalester. Students from all social, ethnic, racial, and financial backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Dr. Lin Aanonsen and Dr. Sarah Boyer will serve as faculty co-mentors for the 2014 Young Researchers cohort. 

The work during the summer of 2014 will involve mastering several laboratory techniques (e.g. PCR, immunohistochemistry, agarose electrophoresis, immunoblotting,  handling of mice, scanning electron microscopy, DNA sequence analysis).  These methods will be learned in the context of two distinct research projects: one that focuses on the molecular aspects of chronic pain and the other that addresses questions of biodiversity and biogeography.

Looking forward- Up to seven students will be selected to participate in this program during the summer of 2014.  The research period will be 8-weeks. Participants will receive a $4,000 stipend and are eligible for on-campus housing, which requires the purchase of a food plan.  Participants will meet several times before the end of the 2014 spring term, as well as in the fall of 2014 for preparation and synthesis/reflection.

How to Apply-   Upload the following four components to the MHRI Application site by 5 pm on February 17, 2014.  In order to Upload your files, you must be enrolled in the MHRI Application course.  You can enroll in the course by looking for the Settings block, located below the Navigation block on the right hand side of the page, and clicking on the link "Enroll me in this course".

  1.  A cover letter that provides 100-250 word responses to the following questions : 1) What areas of science are you interested in and why? What are your tentative future goals? 2) Why are you interested in this particular summer research opportunity?  What makes this opportunity attractive to you and what motivates you to pursue this opportunity? 3) How might this summer research experience inform or support the development of your long-term career planning?
  2.  A Curriculum vita or resume. Guidelines found at at this link
  3. An unofficial transcript.  Instructions can be found at this link.
  4. The names of one or two Macalester faculty or staff who can be contacted as references. This information will be gathered on a form located within the application site. Prior to listing an individual, you should confirm that they would be willing to provide a recommendation. (NOTE: These individuals are not required to write a letter of recommendation, but will be contacted by email or phone.)

Selection Criteria- Top ranking candidates will demonstrate many of the following characteristics:

  1. Significant scientific interests as attested to in description of interests in science, by course selection, and recommendations;
  2. Strong interpersonal skills (attested to by references and/or interviews);
  3. Maturity and independence (attested to by references or interviews).

    In making the final selections, the Committee will also consider the potential impact of the experience on student’s career path, the match of participants to the projects, and the overall composition of the group.

        Eligibility-- Participants in the MHRI-YR program must be full-time, enrolled students at Macalester College.  Furthermore, rising sophomores (i.e., students who have completed their first year at Macalester) or rising juniors who have not had a summer research experience are the targets of these awards. No prior lab experience is expected of students who participate.  Students from social, ethnic, or racial backgrounds that are underrepresented in the sciences (e.g., students from rural areas, of African American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, or Native American decent, first-generation students, or students who are Pell Grant-eligible) are especially encouraged to apply. U.S. citizenship is not required for participation. 

          Interested students are encouraged to contact Program Director, Paul Overvoorde (overvoorde@macalester.edu) with questions about the application process or the program.

          During the summer of 2014, Dr. Lin Aanonsen and Dr. Sarah Boyer served as faculty co-mentors for the following six students:

          • Alexis Cruz  '16
          • Nicole Mathews '16
          • Robyn Park '16
          • Phoung Pham '16
          • Kaan Salcin '17
          • Megan Schermerhorn '16