Health Sciences 503A
The International Research Experience for Students - Microbial Research in Greenland & Denmark (IRES-MRGD) program provides University of Montana undergraduate and graduate students with an international research and educational experience in the microbial ecology of climate change in an interdisciplinary research and learning environment in Greenland and Denmark. MRGD also seeks to increase the number of students completing degree programs and pursuing academic and other careers in science, with an emphasis on students from underrepresented minority groups (as defined by NSF: African American, Hispanic, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders), first generation students, women, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
More information and how to apply available here.
This program is no longer open.
This program was an opportunity for incoming freshman and undergraduate students of diverse backgrounds to gain experience in environmental biology in the field, the laboratory, or both. Students conducted an independent research project with guidance from a University of Montana faculty mentor and their research group. Students learned about the experimental design process while conducting a research project in wildlife ecology, microbial ecology, or plant ecology. Students participated in a weekly brown bag lunch series including guest speakers, support for writing up their research project, and additional training in Environmental Biology and presented summaries of their work in a mini-symposium at the end of the summer. Undergraduate students from any academic institution within the U.S. and Puerto Rico were eligible to apply. The aim was to form a cohort of students representing a broad array of cultural backgrounds and experiences, so Native American students, other underrepresented groups in the sciences, and students of the first generation in their family to attend college were especially encouraged to apply.
This program is no longer open.
What is MILES?
Montana Integrative Learning Experience for Students (MILES) brought the excitement of cutting-edge research to undergraduates at the University of Montana. Funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), MILES provided opportunities for students to conduct original research through internships and honors fellowships with mentoring by nationally and internationally recognized faculty researchers.
The mission of MILES was to link faculty and students from diverse backgrounds into a more integrated learning community through innovative teaching and research opportunities with attention to mentoring. We built on the science reform movement underway at the University of Montana to catalyze, assess, and sustain innovations that better connect teaching and research with learning in all life science courses.
Our vision and overarching theme was one of providing an integrated undergraduate education that crosses traditional disciplines to train future researchers to deal with complex problems in biology. To that end, our curricular reform efforts increased the education of biology students in mathematical and computational science including modeling and visualization, as well as communication studies and ethics. These disciplines are essential to any effort aimed at comprehensively investigating complex biological and ecological issues, yet most biology students receive only minimal exposure to them in attaining their undergraduate degrees.Furthermore, the difficulties that arise in integrating empirical studies of organisms that are influenced by their environments at widely disparate spatial and temporal scales provide fertile ground for innovation in mathematics and computer science and those programs were synergistically stimulated as well throughout the lifetime of the MILES program.
This program is no longer open.
What is M-EID?
The ecology of endemic, epidemic and emergent infectious diseases is a topic of local and global importance with considerable scientific, societal, ethical and policy aspects. The M-EID Program united faculty researchers from multiple disciplines in an integrative enterprise to train Ph.D. students to lead the collaborative, cross-disciplinary efforts needed to address complex real-world problems as exemplified by the ecology of infectious disease.
Our focus on the ecology of infectious diseases and the natural laboratory that Montana represents provided an excellent venue to train graduate students in a new and exciting interdisciplinary research field with commensurate requirements for scientific excellence and strong collaborative and communication skills. All M-EID Trainees obtained requisite skills to form productive collaborations, which generated insights and accomplishments that exceeded the cumulative contributions of each individual and prepared them for scientific careers addressing complex problems in biology and ecology.
To accomplish this objective, the M-EID program provided:
- Interdisciplinary, team-based training in mathematics, computation, and biology
- Specific training in establishing productive collaborations, team building, and effective communication between disciplines (and to other societal sectors)
- Professional development and career enhancement
M-EID's Interdisciplinary Focus
Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science, Conservation Sciences, Biological Sciences, Communication Studies, and Institute of Medicine and Humanities are essential since full understanding of the myriad factors inherent in infectious disease systems. Understanding infectious disease requires efforts that embrace environmental, behavioral, social, and evolutionary aspects of both pathogenic microorganisms and eukaryotic hosts. Further, the integration of data sets from organisms and environments interacting at widely disparate spatial and temporal scales provides fertile ground for innovation in mathematics and computer science, making these disciplines essential to comprehensive investigation of the ecology of infectious disease. The M-EID program partnered with a host of institutions, programs and agencies in the U.S. and abroad to provide students wide-ranging educational and career development opportunities.