information session
Tuesday, NovemBer 12, 5:00 pm
Danforth University Center 276

Spend your summer immersed within the Tyson research community

In this 11-week summer program, undergraduate students work elbow-to-elbow with faculty, post-doctoral scientist, staff scientist, and graduate student mentors on field-based research projects at Tyson Research Center.

First-time fellows typically have interest in environmental research but may not yet have the experience needed to conduct independent research projects. Advanced or returning undergraduate fellows often design and execute their own field-based research under the guidance of a mentor.

An undergraduate colloquium on Thursday afternoons provides professional preparation activities including scientific communication practice, journal discussion, career panels, and research poster development. The weekly colloquium is followed by a research presentation from a visiting scientist and a potluck dinner for the Tyson scientific community.

Tyson provides daily shuttle transportation from the Washington University Danforth Campus and each fellow receives a $4,400 stipend to assist with personal living expenses during the 11 weeks.

After completion of the summer field season, all fellows are expected to present the results of their research at either the Washington University Undergraduate Research Symposium or another similar symposium at their own undergraduate institution.

Former fellows have presented their research at regional and national meetings and several projects have resulted in peer-reviewed publications. Many of our former fellows have entered graduate programs or careers in the environmental sciences.

Scroll down to learn more and meet the Tyson mentors!

At Tyson we take you beyond data collection


Application information for Summer 2020

Washington University students and outstanding students from other universities are very welcome to apply. We are particularly interested in increasing the racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity of our summer community. Low income students (Pell grant eligible) may be considered for award of a $500 scholarship to supplement the stipend.

You will be asked to provide contact information for three references. Please consult the profiles of Tyson Mentors below as you will be asked to indicate your preferences for placement. It is highly recommended that you contact preferred mentors prior to submission of your application.



  • Application will become available in December.

  • Application deadline is February 1, 2020.

  • You may be contacted by a research team for an interview in February.

  • Notification of selection or wait list status will be emailed by March 6, 2020.

  • Mandatory start date is May 18, 2020.

  • 11-week program runs Monday, May 18 through Friday, July 31, 2020.

Application deadline is February 1, 2020


Questions may be directed to Susan Flowers.


Find a Tyson mentor

SOLNY adalsteinsson: Tick and Wildlife Ecology

We study infectious diseases - particularly those transmitted by ticks - from an ecological perspective. Our team focuses on addressing applied research questions about how human-impacts on the environment affect the interactions among ...

Susan Flowers: Informal Science Education (Education fellow)

Tyson education programs are designed to provide authentic environmental research career exploration for high school and undergraduate students. We facilitate the programs and provide the necessary supports for positive learning experiences ...

Suzanne Loui: science communication (humanities fellows)

Using skills developed through the humanities, such as critical thinking and writing, we will identify methods and processes for best communicating the research projects at Tyson Research Center ...

Scott Mangan: Natural Enemies

Our current research is focused on understanding the ecological and evolutionary importance of plant-soil microbial dynamics. Using both field and more controlled mesocosm and greenhouse experiments at Tyson, we seek to understand the importance ...

Jonathan Myers: Forest Biodiversity Team

Our team explores patterns and causes of biodiversity at multiple scales, ranging from variation in the diversity of species’ traits to gradients in the assembly, diversity, and dynamics of ecological communities across the planet ...

Kim Medley: Mosquito Team

Our lab studies the ecology and evolution of mosquitoes as vectors of disease. We use a variety of tools to address basic and applied questions. Our projects include: 1) Climate change and parasite infection in container-breeding mosquitoes, 2) Urban ecology …

Rachel Penczykowski: Plant Disease

Our research group seeks to understand how environmental variation affects the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases, and how diseases can impact the ecosystems in which they occur. We use common weedy plants (Plantago species) …

Natalie Mueller: De-Extinction / Re-Domestication

Cultivation of native lost crops in an experimental setting allows us to both reconstruct ancient agricultural practices, and to test long-standing hypotheses about how the domestication of annual seed crops was accomplished …

Micah Stanek: Designing Research Gardens

Landscape architects work at the intersection of environmental research and the design of human environments. This summer research program is an opportunity to couple ecology research and design practice …

The Sexton Fellowship was established in 2004 in honor of Owen Sexton, Emeritus Professor of Biology.

Former undergraduate fellows

Support for Tyson Undergraduate Fellows is provided by NSF grants, HHMI funds, internal WashU fellowship and internship funds, Arts & Sciences, and Tyson Research Center.