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Section - Department of Biology and Microbiology

Future Agriculture and Science Taskforce— Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates (FAST—REEU)

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded FAST REEU Fellowship program will provide both Native American and economically challenged students with research and educational experiences for two summers. During the first summer, students will receive research experiences at SDSU to develop a strategy for increasing competitiveness for graduate school or careers in FANH industries or teaching agriculture or science in schools. Over the subsequent second summer, they will participate in a career-oriented internship at a place of their choices. This project aligns with SDSU’s Wokini (“New Beginnings”) initiative through opportunities to enhance research and outreach collaborations with tribes and tribal colleges. Project outcomes will address critical needs of the future STEM workforce challenges in FANH (Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences) areas with the emphasis on gaining 21st Century skills.

Students extracting DNA from sunflower
Oglala Lakota College students Candy DuBray, left, and Charles Bush prepare to do DNA extractions in Dr. Madhav Nepal’s lab 

Who Should Apply

  • U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent residents
  • American Indian students or students from an economically challenged background
  • Current college student pursuing an undergraduate degree in any life science majors or one of the FANH (Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences) areas


  • Each student will receive $6,000 traineeship stipend for the first summer.
  • Housing will be made available at South Dakota State University.
  • Additional $6,000 will be provided in the second summer in lieu of industry (or academic) internship.

Program Applications: Closed.

FAST Alumna ShaTeal Pearman Welcomes 2019 cohort of FAST scholars

Selected Photos

Charles Bush researching sunflower disease
Charles Bush, center, plants soybeans at the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Felt Farm to screen for resistance to Phomopsis stem canker.
Heather Collazo, left, works with postdoctoral research associate Simon Newkirk to quantify the frequency of L1 insertions using digital droplet polymerase chain reaction.

Faculty Collaborators/Mentors

A. Tribal Relations/Outreach Area

  • Richard Meyers

    Richard Meyers

    Oglala Lakota College, Humanities & Social Sciences

B. Education, Extension and Career Development Areas

C. Plant Health and Production Areas

D. Natural Resources and Biotechnology Areas

E. Food Chemistry and Safety Areas

Program Contacts

  • Dr. Madhav Nepal (Program Director)
  • Dr. Rebecca Bott-Knutson (Co-PD)
  • Dr. Srinivas Janaswamy (Co-PD)
  • Dr. Febina Mathew (Co-PD)
  • Dr. Troy White (Co-PD)

This project is funded by USDA-AFRI Education Literacy Initiative (Award # 2018-67032-27712)