IDEA provides paid geoscience research opportunities and graduate school preparation at UNC-Chapel Hill to full-time undergraduate students during both the summer and academic year. IDEA faculty and undergraduate students also mentor high school students during the summer science institute for high school students which is held at Elizabeth City State University. Our goal is to increase the participation of underrepresented minority students in the geosciences and provide the support and training necessary to pursue a graduate degree. This program is funded by the National Science Foundation, Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences Program.
“The thing I cherish most about the IDEA program is the graduate school preparation. While in the program, I was given graduate level research tasks. The program introduced me to and prepared me for a lot of issues that I may encounter getting into and attending graduate school.”
- Joseph Roberts, past IDEA participant now pursuing his Masters of Science in Geography at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a research assistantship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Who is Eligible?
IDEA provides paid research assistantships and graduate school preparation to full-time undergraduate students attending UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central University and other North Carolina HBCUs. The summer science program for high school students is available to students who live in Elizabeth City and the surrounding counties of Pasquotank, Perquimans, Gates, Chowan, and Camden counties. Go to the links below under Programs Available through IDEA for details.
Geosciences include all science fields that study aspects of water, earth, atmosphere and ocean. Geoscientists study some of the world’s most important problems including freshwater availability, water pollution, climate change, natural hazards, marine systems and gas and oil exploration. There is a shortage of geoscience talent in the U.S. while the need for trained geoscientists continues to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, geoscience jobs are expected to increase by 35% by 2018.
Programs Available through IDEA
- Undergraduate Academic Year Research Program at UNC-Chapel Hill
- Undergraduate Summer Research Experience at UNC-Chapel Hill
- High School Summer Science Institute
“The IDEA program is an unique opportunity for students to get involved with research. Not only is the program set up to match the student to a lab, but also accompanies the student as they journey into research – providing income, pushing the student towards progress and opening doors to other opportunities. I would not have been encouraged to complete a CV, write an abstract, and present my research had they not been requirements of the program. Without the IDEA program, I would not be able to officially declare my hours in the lab as an assistant and strive to complete my own research project. The IDEA program experience therefore qualifies me to apply and win scholarships such as the NOAA Hollings Scholarship – catching the eye of reviewers and distinguishing me from other students.”
– Maite Ghazaleh, past IDEA participant