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Wilkes Scholars program pays undergrads to conduct climate research

The newly established Wilkes Center for Climate Science & Policy is inviting undergraduate students to become the first generation of Wilkes Scholars. This scholarship program provides funding for outstanding undergraduate students to explore pressing climate challenges facing the state, region, and planet through transformative research. Wilkes Scholars will work with a faculty mentor to advance research related to the mission of the Wilkes Center for Climate Science and Policy — catalyzing innovative science and solutions to address climate change.

Wilkes Scholars are eligible for up to $5,000 per semester and can receive two semesters of funding during the regular academic year (Fall and Spring). Students who receive funding are also eligible to apply for summer funding concurrently. The application deadline is November 1.

Relevant areas of research for Wilkes Scholars include, but are not limited to, drought and water issues, climate forecasting, climate justice, air quality, climate policy, fire and climate extremes, and environment and human health.

“It may not be realistic for a new undergraduate to come in and have deep ideas about climate change research, but it’s entirely reasonable to foster their innovative spirit by involving them in a project, say, to design and deploy inexpensive ambient air quality detectors to collect and analyze data. As they learn more, they can translate that innovative spirit into action,” said Peter Trapa, Dean of the College of Science, in which the Wilkes Center is housed.

This philosophy is why mentorship is essential to the Wilkes Scholars program, pairing students with faculty guidance to support the undergraduate research experience. The Wilkes Center will also facilitate pairing interested students with the right faculty mentor.

To learn more about this opportunity and to submit an application by November 1, visit: https://wilkescenter.utah.edu/funding-opportunities/wilkes-scholars/