HERS Institute is an 8-week paid summer internship program for undergraduate or recent graduate students held in June and July. The institute's underlying mission is to provide the opportunity for students to work with faculty from Native American colleges who are conducting long-term and short-term research relating to key hazardous substance problems on American Indian lands with the intent to disseminate the information through programs and various forms of media to American Indian peoples. The program is also dedicated to preparing tribal college students for science and technical careers and/or graduate school experiences. The program also provides various stages of support for continued research and participation in programs of interest to American Indian/Alaska native communities. The HERS interns' research topics primarily focus on the affects of climate change on indigenous communities.
Interns spend the first six weeks of the program on the Haskell Indian Nations University campus in classrooms and laboratories learning about climate change and developing individual research projects. Then, the interns spend the following two weeks conducting independent research at Haskell Indian Nations University, The University of Kansas, and/or in the field. HERS interns will also have opportunities to present their work at professional meetings, workshops, and symposia around the country, such as the Society for Advancing Chicanos & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) or American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). Selected interns receive a stipend as well as room and board.
To be considered for the HERS Internship Program, applicants must be undergraduate students or recent graduates in good standing, and eligible for enrollment in a tribal college or university.
Applicants will be expected to provide the following for consideration:
- A 400 to 500 word Statement of Purpose including an explanation as to how a HERS internship benefits their professional goals. If relevant, also include a description of previous research experience.
- A 400 to 500 word Essay describing an important environmental issue affecting Indigenous communities that is of interest to them.
- Two Letters of Recommendations: One from an academic reference and one from someone who can speak to the applicant's character. There is a letters of recommendation request form at the online application site.
- A copy of the applicant's most recent college or university his or her transcripts. Official transcripts will be requested at a later time.
All application materials must be submitted by March 15, 2019
Check the HERS Institute website for updates or deadline extensions.
Workforce Development, Education and Outreach funding for the HERS program is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas. The award's workforce development and educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.