Farre Lab:Teaching & Research Training Program

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If you are interested in this program please submit a CV and a research and teaching statement to either Eva Farre (farre(at)msu.edu) or Karen Reynolds (reyno238(at)msu.edu). Please also contact us if you need for information or help with class scheduling.

1. Class requirements: In order to gain the necessary background for their laboratory and teaching work participants in the program will be required to take two courses, PLB301 in the fall and PLB416 in the spring. These courses are part of the IBS requirements. PLB416 is taught by Dr. Eva Farre. This multidisciplinary course provides an ideal framework to introduce students to the experimental study of biology. This course has an ideal student/instructor ratio with an average of 10 students per 4 instructors (2 faculty, 2 graduate research assistants).

2. Research internship: During the internship (10-week full time or one semester part-time), IBS students will apply the skills learned in the laboratory course to the current research on circadian rhythms in Dr. Farre's lab. Students will receive a stipend and will be supervised directly by Dr. Farre. Mentoring will include providing background information on the research topic including critical primary literature, theoretical and practical information on the experimental techniques and weekly meetings with Dr. Farre. IBS students will be involved specifically in the characterization of circadian rhythms in mutants using leaf movement and bioluminescence rhythms and the testing of protein-protein interactions using yeast-two hybrid assays. The goal of this training is for students to conduct the components of scientific research, including model building and hypothesis testing, and practice basic molecular biology techniques. They will also develop skills in scientific communication including critical literature reading and oral presentations by taking part in our journal club, writing a final report on their work and presenting it in our labmeeting. In addition, students will have time (20% of the internship time), laboratory space, mentoring and funds to develop a laboratory teaching unit that can be used in a high school class. Dr. Merle Heidemann, whose work at MSU focuses on laboratory instruction for both pre- and in-service teachers, will provide co-mentorship in the translational aspect of experiment design. At the end of the internship IBS students will give a demonstration to other members of the lab on their teaching unit.

3. Teaching: During the second half of their senior year, IBS students will assist graduate teaching assistants in the mentoring of undergraduate students during the plant biology laboratory course (PLB316). Students will receive a stipend for their assistance in the course. This will allow these pre-service teachers to develop and practice laboratory teaching skills. After completing their senior year, Michigan State University IBS students take part in a one-year internship in a public school. Following the internship they will join our annual one-day laboratory retreat. This will allow the newly graduated teachers to follow up with the research in the PI’s laboratory as well provide feedback on their teaching experience and suggest changes in our program to optimize their training. Travel funds will be provided.