Posted: December 19, 2019

Application deadline is February 10, 2020.

A team led by Dr. Charles Rice at Kansas State University was awarded a USDA-NIFA Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant this fall. The Rainfed Agriculture Innovation Network (RAIN) project will host a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program ( This program is designed to provide future scientists and engineers with the skills and perspective necessary to address some of the world's future food and fiber needs. RAIN REU participants will gain hands-on experience and contribute to collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects relating to rainfed agricultural production. Research spans all methods and aims to sustainably increase the productivity of rainfed agricultural systems while restoring and enhancing soil health, including:

  • Agricultural (soil carbon sequestration, increasing precipitation and nitrogen use efficiency, reducing yield losses due to environmental stresses and weed pressure, forage production, etc.)
  • Technological (use of sensors and modeling to enhance long-term strategic management and in-season tactical management
  • Socioeconomic (impacts on communities, economic viability).

Ten selected students each year will be paired with a faculty advisor and a graduate student mentor at one of the team institutions. The students will perform research on adaptive management, attend seminars on topics related to sustainability and professional development, and work on a project related to water-limited crop and animal production systems.

We are currently looking to recruit new students into the RAIN REU program for summer 2020. The program provides a generous $9,000 stipend for the summer to cover room, board and living expenses of the participants. Students must be U.S. citizens in good academic standing. One of our goals in hosting the program is to increase the disciplinary diversity of the graduate student population. Qualified undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.