Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Combine Science and Technology to
Enable Communication with Plants

Take part in our groundbreaking work! Through funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), CROPPS is offering a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The program takes place for 10 weeks each summer, May through August. REU undergraduate participants receive stipends, as well as room and board.

Interdisciplinary teams with combined expertise in plant science and technology development (synthetic biology, nanotechnology, optics, robotics, and advanced computing) will host and mentor CROPPS REU participants. Working with the team, participants will learn about and take part in our research, and contribute to the development of technologies that will enable seamless bidirectional communication between plants and people.

If you are an undergraduate with a background in biology, engineering, or computing, we encourage you to apply to our REU offerings. Summer undergraduates in this program will be hosted and mentored by interdisciplinary teams that include expertise in both plant science and technology development. The host sites are as follows:

  • Cornell University, Ithaca NY (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Summer REU)
  • Boyce Thompson Institute & Cornell University, Ithaca NY (BTI Summer REU)
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign IL (Center for Digital Agriculture Summer REU)

The 2024 REU program runs from June – August. The application window opens October 25, 2023 through February 6, 2024.

Curious about the student experience? Discover more from students who participated in the CROPPS REU program.
Examples of Projects Hosted by CROPPS Faculty
Kirstin Petersen (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Justine Vanden Heuvel (Horticulture)

Smart-phone app development for improved vineyard management.

Jenny Kao-Kniffin (Horticulture) and Amit Lal (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Real-time soil health and rhizosphere biofilm imaging using GHz Ultrasonic lab-on-a-chip imagers.

Abe Stroock (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) and Georg Jander (Boyce Thompson Institute)

Investigation of plant-aphid interactions using AquaDust nanoparticles to detect water stress.

Taryn Bauerle (Horticulture) and Rob Shepherd (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

Real-time soil health and rhizosphere root phenotyping using 3D Printed Soil Swimming Robot (ROSESCOPE)

Margaret Frank (Plant Biology) and Sijin Li (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

Illuminating belowground environments by harnessing plant metabolites for programmable plant phenotyping.

Find more project descriptions here.