Admissions Process

Students interested in pursuing graduate studies in Food Science and Technology must: 

To obtain a letter of commitment, interested students should apply for an open research or assistantship position and submit the materials required for the position using the contact information provided in the position description.  Participating faculty will review the materials and contact applicants. 

The following materials will be required when submitting the electronic application form: 

  • Iowa State University Graduate College Application 
  • Letter of Commitment indicating degree pursued, the extent of financial support, and duration of support 
  • Resume
  • Nonrefundable application fee 
  • Official academic transcripts from each college or university currently or previously attended. (Official transcripts from Iowa State University are not required.) 
  • Three letters of recommendation from faculty members and/or employers
    • References whose names and e-mail addresses are submitted with the application form will be sent instructions on how to submit their letter electronically 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS 

Accepted candidates will be contacted by the Graduate Admissions Committee.   

Admissions Timeline

Graduate applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis contingent on the availability of open positions. To obtain a letter of commitment, interested students should apply for an open research or assistantship position and submit the materials required for the position using the contact information provided in the position description. Currently available positions can be found below, please scroll down.

Currently Available Positions

PhD Student – Wine Chemistry – Watrelot Lab

Watrelot’s lab is seeking a PhD student to work from June 2024 on the chemistry of polyphenols in grape and wine by-products.

Watrelot’s lab research focuses on improving the understanding of the chemical composition in grape varieties specifically growing in cold-climate regions. We work on the identification of the effects of some viticultural and winemaking practices on grape chemical composition, and on the development of strategies to manage the final wine perception. In addition to research, Watrelot’s Extension and Outreach work focuses on providing education on grape and wine chemistry to grape growers and winemakers from Iowa and the US Midwest region.

Two projects have been submitted to funding agencies and my lab is currently seeking a PhD student to work on the valorization of common waste products from the grape and wine industry. This project involves working with stems, and grape pomace to be used both during the winemaking process to improve quality of red wines by increasing tannins and polyphenols content in red wines, and in meat products. The main objectives of this PhD program are to develop a strategy to manipulate tannins concentration in wines, to assess the efficacy of grape pomace in meat products, as a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial, and to add a value to common grape and wine industry waste, grape stems and pomace.

The PhD student will be responsible for:

  • Literature review on the common use of grape and wine industry waste, and on the effect of food and wine processing on the chemistry and stability of polyphenols
  • Develop and plan the chemical characterization of phenolic compounds in stems and pomace,
  • Process grapes, stems and pomace in meat products
  • Analyze chemical characteristics of wines and meat products such as pH, color parameters, texture
  • Characterize the composition of phenolic compounds in grape stems,
  • Determine the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of grape pomaces,
  • Working in a team with other students and supervising undergraduate student
  • Redaction of lab reports, and scientific manuscripts,
  • Dissemination and participation at International and National Conferences

The PhD student will also be an occasional support for workshops and field day, such as set-up, dissemination of results, and survey analysis.

The candidate should have/ be:

  • a M.S. degree in Food Science and Technology, Chemistry, Biochemistry or related-field
  • the ability to be autonomous and work in the laboratory with other students
  • rigorous, open-minded, curious, motivated, eager to learn and with a good communication skills
  • the ability to be concise and to write reports, protocols, etc.
  • fluent in English: oral and written
  • an interest for the science of grape and wine and polyphenols

This position will begin in June 2024 and will be for 4 years until graduation in Food Science and Technology at Iowa State University.

Please send your CV and a cover letter explaining your interest in polyphenols chemistry, your interest in grape and wine science, and your background, before February 18th 2024 to Dr. Aude Watrelot at

Need More Information?

Brenda Emery

220 Mackay Hall
2302 Osborn Drive
Ames, IA 50011-1078