Summer Scholars Program

Wed, 2012-04-25 11:43 -- admin

Summer Scholars Program

The Need

The food science and technology industry is facing a serious challenge –the number of qualified graduates from undergraduate and graduate food science programs is not sufficient to fill all positions in the food industry, government, and academia.

Cornell University recognized this need in 2000, and established the Summer Scholars Program to help meet the need for more students both pursuing advanced degrees and devloping an interest in food science and technology related careers.

What is the Summer Scholars Program?

The Summer Scholars Program is an intensive ten-week program in which students participate in a research project. During these ten weeks, students conduct their research with the assistance of a faculty mentor and are given the opportunity to visit research and development laboratories at major food companies.  Participants also attend presentations and workshops and are exposed to a variety of professionals working in academia, government, and industry.  The breadth of these experiences gives students an in-depth view of the various career opportunities available in the field of food science.

We are pleased to be working with Cornell University, NC State University, University of Massachusetts, Texas Tech University and Purdue University to support this important opportunity for students.

What is the Purpose?

The program was developed to recruit students into food science as a field of study, to motivate students’ interest in an advanced degree, to recruit students from underrepresented minorities into food science, and to eventually expand the program to more universities allowing a larger population of students to participate in this exceptional program.  The program mainly serves as a catalyst for the expansion of food science outreach and training for future food scientists at the university level.

The Success so Far . . .

Since 2000, a total of 169 undergraduate students, representing a nationally and internationally diverse student body, have participated in the Summer Scholars Program.  Of the 169 alumni, 55% have earned a Master’s degree or higher, 24 have earned their PhD, and five have earned medical degrees.  Many of the past participants are currently employed at major food companies like General Mills, Nestle, PepsiCo, and Unilever. 

Learn more about about the impact of this program. Download the report A 10-Year Review of the Food Science Summer Scholars Program (PDF).

To learn more, email to Janette Robbins at