Research mentors in tropical field biology (Costa Rica) ~

18 de octubre de 2015

Research mentors in tropical field biology (Costa Rica)

Organization for Tropical Studies
Call for Research Mentors:
2016 REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) Program
at La Selva Biological Station

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is looking for mentors for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica.

The objective of this program is to provide an introduction to tropical field biology, as well as a quality research experience, for highly skilled and enthusiastic undergraduates representing many ethnic backgrounds.

Specific goals for the program include:
-       Encourage interest in field research and tropical ecology.

-       Establish a clear understanding of the scientific method.

-       Introduce students to tropical ecosystems.

-       Increase student awareness of the ethical context of tropical biology.

-       Encourage participation of minority students in STEM fields.

The program is open to all U.S. students at accredited U.S. institutions, with a preference for students who are from ethnic minority groups (Latino/Hispanic, African American, or Native American) and/or from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Selected students will be in residence at La Selva Biological Station for 9 weeks, starting June 9, 2016. Mentors will begin participating in the program around June 12-13.

The program will accept ten students and five mentors, with an additional ten students and five mentors if NSF LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) funding is renewed. Each mentor will be responsible for supervising two undergraduate independent research projects at La Selva. Mentors must be at La Selva for a minimum of four weeks while the program is in session. Mentors do not receive honoraria, but NSF funds will cover flights to and from Costa Rica (up to $900) and four weeks of station fees. REU students have all of their expenses covered by the program as well as a small budget for lab or field equipment.

Ideal mentor applications will demonstrate the following:
-          Experience with research at the OTS La Selva Research Station in Costa Rica

-          Experience mentoring undergraduates, and working with students in the field

-          Have a potential project design that is feasible in 6 weeks and tests a novel and solid hypothesis

-          Potential to be a strong science role model with the ability to attract students to begin lifelong careers in STEM fields and develop enthusiasm for their field

-          Desire to contribute to a cohort-based and well-rounded program that includes not only independent student research under the guidance of an experienced mentor but also statistics, communication skills, field safety, ethics training, and/or other workshops

-          Strong record of publication and/or grant-writing

Interested researchers should send a letter of interest and a short summary (no more than 250 words) of potential student research project(s). The letter of interest should include dates/timeframes when you might be on site during the summer. The summary will be used on the OTS website so that students can select their preferred mentors/projects in their applications. For researchers who have not previously served as mentors in the OTS La Selva REU, please also provide a copy of your curriculum vitae and a statement of mentoring philosophy. To allow sufficient time for appropriate matches between mentors and accepted students, please send this information by no later than October 31, 2015. Applications should be sent electronically to and

Important information to know before you apply:
Students will have no more than 6 weeks for data collection in the 9-week program, so please consider projects that can be easily completed within this time.
Student research projects should be independent to the degree that there is a potential for publication with the student as the first author on the paper. To be clear, the REU student should not be acting as a mere research assistant.
NSF provides funding for the students in the OTS REU program with certain initiatives in mind. In the choices you make while selecting and mentoring students, we hope that you would help OTS and NSF to reach the goal of broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Adriana Baltodano-Fuentes, M.Sc
Organization for Tropical Studies
Undergraduate Program Coordinator - Costa Rica
(506) 2524 0607 ext. 1520 – (506) 8876 0725 (mobile phone)
Skype: adriana.baltodano_otscro /

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