International Biofuels Research Scholarship

Biofuel Blog

Biofuel Science Education for Under-Represented Students at Florida International University The purpose of this project is to train under-represented students in biofuel science by creating a new biofuel course, enriching existing science and engineering curricula with biofuel internships, and facilitating student transition from undergraduate to master’s degree in environmental sciences or engineering. The program targets a large body of Hispanic students (55% out of 40,000 students). The program will make use of the huge biofuel research infrastructure available at this non-land grant University and its private/public R&D partners, for improving the biofuel science curricula, and thus, will provide students with the state-of-the-art technology training. The University’s R&D collaborators include USDA Citrus and Subtropical Products Research Laboratories, Florida Crystals Corporation, and the Midwest Research Institute. The program also reaches out to Miami Dade Community College (180,000 students), and area high schools. The planned activities include: (a) biofuel course development, (b) internships (c) field trips/travel, (d) graduate assistantships, (e) biofuel symposia, (f) high school teacher/student training, and (g) aggressive student recruitment.

Biofuel education—the program’s overarching theme—encompasses agronomy, bioengineering, microbiology, and resource economics. Thus, the proposed program advances the USDA Strategic Goal 6 of protecting and enhancing the nation’s natural resources. The program also addresses three USDA educational need areas: under-represented student recruitment, experiential learning, and agri-science curriculum development. The greatest impact of the program is to foster a scientifically rigorous, cost-effective agriculture program with timely focus on biofuels in a non-land-grant university. Having undergone state-of-the-art technical training, students will enter technically challenging workforce and higher agri-science education.

Contact the Agroecology Program Coordinator for information on available scholarship and biofuel research opportunities.