Cyclone Scholar Summer Research Experience (CSSRE): 

An Interdisciplinary Integrated Approach to Address Food Systems Success and Barriers within Food Science, Nutrition and Health.

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) at Iowa State University welcomes applications from undergraduate students for a summer research experience. Cyclone Scholars will perform interdisciplinary research with faculty mentors across the areas of food science and human nutrition to provide an interdisciplinary integrated approach to address food systems related success and barriers within food science, nutrition and health. Cyclone Scholars will spend 8 weeks on campus conducting research, participating in workshops and exploring local food systems, agricultural food production and the food industry. Travel, housing and meals are provided.

Starting in summer 2020, The CSSRE will work in partnership with the George Washington Carver Internship Program. All professional development activities, field trips and weekly programming will be aligned between the two programs.


To view sample completed application, click here.

Apply Now

Letter of Recommendation Form

The application requirements are:

  • Enrollment and good standing at an accredited institution with minimum of 2 semesters at one institution
  • Student must be enrolled in a four-year degree program
  • Student must be currently enrolled as a freshman, sophomore or junior
    Students who have completed their Bachelor’s Degree will not be accepted
  • Overall GPA > 2.5
  • Basic science course completion (biology and chemistry)
  • Career goals in the areas of food science, human nutrition, public health or related area
  • Underrepresented students are encouraged to apply
  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Two quality letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript (unofficial transcripts will not be accepted)

Additional resources for scholars:


Objectives of Program

Engage scholars in a hands-on experience through research and Extension projects addressing successes and barriers in the local food systems interrelated with the areas of food science, human nutrition, and health while also developing professional development skills.

Intellectual Focus

The local food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing distribution, consumption, and waste management in order to enhance environmental, economic, and social health. Sustaining the local food system takes more than one expert in the area of agriculture and each affects each other in ways not fully understood. Many researchers in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FS HN) are leading or collaborating on various food systems that are driven by research projects. This calls for the faculty members to join forces with other researchers to develop interdisciplinary teams to address the food systems’ gains and challenges. CSSRE will expose the next generation of researchers and professionals to the concept of interdisciplinary research to prepare them to tackle these food system gains and challenges in a comprehensive manner.

Get to Know Iowa State


Scholars enrolled in the program will be housed in University operated dormitories on the Iowa State campus. These facilities are fully equipped with disability access for students and provide secure living accommodations.


Scholars will be provided with meal tickets to use in Iowa State Dining facilities at several locations across campus that provide a wide range of food options throughout the day. Scholars with specific food preferences, allergies or requirements will be readily accommodated.

Health Center

Scholars will have access to Thielen Student Health Center for routine medical care and Mary Greeley Medical Center (including an emergency room) located less than 2 miles from campus. Scholars will also have recreation fees covered.

Student Research Accommodations

Scholars will be assigned to a specific faculty mentor who will ensure each Scholar is provided with a desk in an office area near their research where they can secure their personal belongings during the day and issued keys for the areas where they will be working. Security and student safety on campus will be a priority and explained thoroughly during orientation.


Travel expenses related to the CSSRE will be covered, including: flight, mileage, and ground transportation.

World-Class Facilities

The research facilities provided by Iowa State are world-class. All faculty have individually assigned laboratories that allow them to carry out their research located in the Food Sciences building, MacKay Hall and the Human Nutritional Sciences Building. Within these laboratories faculty have access to routine instrumentation (e.g. pH meters, balances, spectrophotometers, microscopes), biosafety and chemical hoods, preparatory equipment (e.g. centrifuges, filters, sieves), and specialized equipment (e.g. GC, HPLC, imaging, PCR). There are two research areas suitable for human subject research in HNSB and the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center located in the Iowa State Research Park which is about 1 mile from campus. These units provide metabolic kitchens with preparatory and storage capability, dining facilities, phlebotomy and subject testing areas (including metabolic cart, indirect calorimetry, BodPod, PeaPod, and DEXA).

For some projects, students will engage with one of the program partners that may be located off campus. Iowa State operates an efficient bus system, CyRide, that is free for students and provides access to many locations within the city of Ames. Students may use the bus system to travel to off-site locations, or they may be transported with their faculty mentors to these sites.

Need More Information?

Shannon Coleman

2545 Food Sciences Building
536 Farm House Lane
Ames, Iowa 50011-1054