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Help provide scientific solutions to national and global agricultural challenges

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Participation Program will serve as the next step in the educational and professional development of scientists and engineers interested in agricultural related research. On this site you will find information about the opportunities available at ARS research facilities.

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With the support of an assigned mentor, participants have authentic research experiences using equipment not found on most college campuses.


Connect with ORISE...on the GO!

The ORISE GO mobile app helps you stay engaged, connected and informed during your ORISE experience and beyond. Visit the ORISE GO page for more info on how to download the app to your mobile device.

Our participants are excited about the educational research they are doing

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    Zachary Lamas

    Zachary Lamas, a Research Participation Program fellow with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS), is researching ways to improve beekeeping management and the sustainment of honeybee colonies.

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    Amanda Fanelli de Souza

    Amanda Fanelli de Souza is studying alfalfa, an important forage crop for cows, and how it can be made more digestible using genetic engineering.

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    Douglas Stuehler

    Douglas Stuehler is looking at potential ways to curb the deadly Huanglongbing citrus disease, among other projects, as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Research Participation Program fellow.

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    Jillian Abendroth

    Using her passion for genetics, Jillian Abendroth is performing studies on barley to discover ways to produce it more efficiently.

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    Mihail Kantor

    Mihail Kantor began as a horticulturist in Romania, but after discovering the world of nematology realized that he had stumbled upon a new passion. As an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow, Kantor used his skills in botany to discover a new species of nematodes.
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    Stephen Gipson

    Under the guidance of his mentor, Soheila Maleki, Gipson had the opportunity to learn from many experts in the field of food allergy. During his appointment, his research goal was to help understand why those with a food allergy often exhibit allergic responses to multiple foods.
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    Roni Gross

    During her appointment, Roni Gross was stationed within the Pest Management and Biocontrol Unit in the Arid Land Agricultural Research Center located in Maricopa, Arizona. Under the guidance of her mentor she conducted research on Lygus hesperus, an agricultural pest more commonly known as the Western tarnished plant bug.

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    Giseli Valentini

    Giseli Valentini, Ph.D., conducted research at the Soybean Genomics and Improvement Laboratory at the USDA-ARS facility in Beltsville, Maryland.

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    Carly Kanipe

    During her fellowship, Kanipe developed many new skills and had the opportunity to publish her research in many prominent veterinary journals, including Veterinary Immunology, Veterinary Pathology and Veterinary Microbiology. She recommends the program to others and emphasized the sense of fulfillment she received from her experience.
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    Mariam Bakshi, Ph.D.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Services research participant Mariam Bakshi, Ph.D., applied her immunology, biomedical parasitology and entomology knowledge to studying parasites in farm animals. 

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    Nathan Kemp

    Nathan Kemp's experiences as an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) participant helped shape and enhance his talents as a researcher and scientist, inspiring him to seek full-time employment within the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria, IL.
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    Christina Leyson, Ph.D.

    Christina Leyson learned the ins and outs of conducting high-quality research to improve animal and food health as a participant in U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Research Participation Program.

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    Giulia Tasoniero, Ph.D.

    Giulia Tasoniero, Ph.D., had the opportunity to apply her knowledge of food science while a participant in the Agricultural Research Service Research Participation Program. Her research on the characteristics of meat is intended to enhance the quality and processes of processed products.
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    Elizabeth Pusch

    Watch this video profile about Elizabeth Pusch and her research experience at ARS

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    Samir Trabelsi

    Watch this video profile about Samir Trabelsi, a mentor, and his research at ARS

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    Meet Poonam Sharma, Ph.D.

    Sharma investigated antibiotic resistance mechanisms in food borne pathogens while a participant in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Research Participation Program.
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    Sushim Kumar Gupta, Ph.D.

    Through the U.S Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Research Participation Program, Sushim Kumar Gupta, Ph.D., was able to utilize next-generation sequencing methods to control antibiotic resistance.
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    Meet Sakol Julrat, Ph.D.

    Sakol Julrat, Ph.D., a participant in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Research Participation Program, applied his engineering background to the development of an accurate moisture sensing technique. He is pictured here studying dielectric permittivity measurement on biomass material.

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    Ioannis Sitaras

    Watch this video profile about Ioannis Sitaras and his research experience at ARS


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    Jimmy Zumba

    Jimmy Zumba, PhD, MBA, spent 18 months with the USDA ARS RPP at the Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, investigating the application of Near Infrared (NIR) Spectroscopy to the cotton fiber and textile industry.
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    Dhondup Lhamo

    In the USDA-ARS Research Participation Program, Dhondup Lhamo, a doctoral student in plant biology at the University of California, Berkeley, studied ways to enhance the properties of natural rubber from the North American guayule plant. The shrub is being investigated as a domestic alternative to petroleum-based synthetic rubber or costly rubber tree imports.

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    Iris Köhler

    Iris Köhler, a postdoctoral researcher in the USDA-ARS Research Participation Program, spent two years studying the impact of projected carbon dioxide and temperature levels on genetically modified soybean yield. Above, she rests after harvesting soybeans.

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    Meet Christopher Stephens, Ph.D.

    Christopher Stephens learned about avian influenza virus (AIV) as a participant in U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service Research Participation Program.
  • My experience in this program has been an unparalleled opportunity to advance my knowledge in genetics, genomics, and breeding for disease resistance in the common bean.

    —Giseli Valentini
  • ORISE offers a unique opportunity to work and establish collaborations with some of the best experts in their fields. The experience and training you gain by working for some of the world’s best research institutions coupled with the relationships you will establish will definitely help your career move forward.

    —Mihail Kantor
  • Participating in this program was the best decision I’ve made. I enjoyed working on a flexible schedule, reading scientific papers, collaborating with colleagues on other research projects, and most importantly, solving problems to benefit society and the world. After all, since adolescence I’ve learned that if people unite and work together as a community, anything can be accomplished.

    —Dhondup Lhamo
  • I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year as a postdoctoral participant at SEPRL. There were days that were challenging, but I was comforted in the fact that I had incredibly supportive colleagues and that our research was relevant to animal health, not only in the U.S., but worldwide as well. Most of all, I received the satisfaction that the research we conducted in the laboratory contributed to animal health and to producing safe and affordable protein source.

    —Christina Leyson, Ph.D.
  • When I joined the program, I believe I still had a kind of student-mindset, expecting to a certain degree to be told what to do, and whether or not a decision is right or wrong. I feel now that I’ve become a truly independent scientist and mature adult able and willing to take on leadership positions and discuss science eye-to-eye with senior scientists.

    —Iris Köhler
  • Without this program, I absolutely would not have been able to attain the position that I have. It has helped me not only become a quality scientist but also network with scientists who can provide continued mentorship as needed.

    —Carly Kanipe
  • In my role, I’ve felt free to make mistakes, learn, explore, question and succeed. I’ve found the experience an opportunity to grow as a scientist and a foundation on which to build my career. It’s also an incredibly unique opportunity to ‘test the waters’ on what type of research inspires, what skills you need to work on, and where you can see yourself and your career.

    —Jillian Abendroth
Read more about our participants