Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Bearcat Biotech Junior Fellowship Program

With generous funding provided by the Beck Foundation


The Bearcat Biotech Junior Fellowship Program in partnership with Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) at Arkansas State University is a K-12-University venture to offer quality research junior fellowships to Brookland High School students. The program will offer valuable, hands-on experiences with emphasis in agriculture, medicine, and communication to qualified applicants interested in pursuing a science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) career.

Through this Program, A-State intends to offer students in the delta a unique opportunity to apply and expand their STEM knowledge through project-based, hands-on learning experiences not currently available to K-12 students in our region. As Junior Fellows, participants will gain a competitive edge in their future educational and professional pursuits.

As part of the semester-long program, Junior Fellows will:

  • Explore, develop, and implement hands-on techniques in biotechnology using sophisticated instrumentation
  • Work closely with a science communicator to develop their oral and writing communication skills
  • Present their research experience and findings at a scientific meeting like Create@Astate
  • Improve their skills and experience to obtain a career in a STEM field

Phase 1

Basic Laboratory Safety Skills – Prior to working in the lab, junior fellows will complete the online CITI training in ‘Responsible Conduct in Research’ and hands-on lab safety training provided by ABI personnel.

Phase 2

Exploring Biotech Careers – Junior fellows will research a variety of biotechnology careers in STEM and Agriculture and choose one that most interests them. Junior fellows will compose a ten (10) min presentation on that career. Junior fellows will present their presentation to an audience of STEM professionals, graduate students and undergraduates (UG) to receive feedback and advisement.

Phase 3

Conquering a technique and refining a skill set in biotechnology. Junior fellows will shadow senior undergraduate or graduate researchers in learning basic biotechniques used today in many STEM fields. Junior fellows will then focus on one (1) technique and compose and deliver a presentation overviewing the science theory and applications of this technique.  Faculty mentor(s) and researchers will provide the junior fellows with constructive feedback and advisement. The senior UG or graduate student will provide peer-to-peer mentoring with everyday instruction and experiences.

Phase 4

Create @ A-State Presentation.  Junior fellows will have an opportunity to present a scientific poster summarizing the techniques they learned, STEM career of interest and/or the junior fellowship experience at the annual research symposium Create at A-State in mid April 2019.

Phase 5

Project Completion. Junior fellows will present a summary presentation of their efforts and accomplishments at the end of the Spring semester to the A-State community.