Where are they now? An update on Missouri EPSCoR Undergrad, Will McHargue

Friday, December 1, 2017

Will McHargue standing in front of his poster, "The use of thermography for quantifying plant transpiration," at the Missouri Transect Annual Meeting in June 2015
Will McHargue standing in front of his poster, The use of thermography for quantifying plant transpiration" at the Missouri Transect Annual Meeting in 2015



Will McHargue was one of Missouri EPSCoR's first undergraduates.  He did research on plant transpiration in Rico Holdo's lab at the University of Missouri (MU) from 2014-2016.  At the first Missouri Transect annual meeting, his poster and presentation on "The use of thermography for quantifying plant transpiration" received honorable mention.  In 2016, McHargue graduated with his Bachelor's of Science in Biological Engineering.  He now works as a Lab Technician at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.  First introduced to the Danforth Center in 2015 as a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) intern, McHargue returned to work in the new laboratory of Ru Zhang after graduating from MU.  McHargue continues to research plant responses to climate change, which is an integral component to Missouri EPSCoR research that he first started testing in the Holdo lab in 2014.  You can read more about Will McHargue's experience and research at the Danforth Center by reading his guest contribution for the Roots & Shoots Blog.

Dear Colleague Letter: Life STEM

Monday, October 17, 2016

NSF 16-143

September 30, 2016

Dear Colleague,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has established inclusiveness as one of its core values. The Foundation seeks and embraces contributions from all segments of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community including underrepresented groups and minority serving institutions. NSF currently invests in a number of programs targeting underrepresented populations and institutions. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) describes another opportunity to build on the Agency's longstanding efforts of inclusiveness by providing a mechanism for researchers to create, implement, and evaluate innovative models of intervention in STEM (with particular attention to life science and bioscience), beginning in elementary school through undergraduate studies.

Through this DCL, NSF invites eligible organizations to submit research proposals that create, implement, and evaluate models of intervention that will advance the knowledge base for establishing and retaining underrepresented minorities in STEM fields with particular attention to life science and the biosciences. Researchers from minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals should partner eligible organizations with local elementary, middle or high schools to foster collaborative relationships between K-12 science educators and the research community. The activities may occur in formal and/or informal settings. Proposals may address science topics and activities related to curriculum development, teacher support, and student engagement. Proposals should describe effective methods to disseminate findings broadly to the K-16 science education community.

Researchers are invited to submit proposals to one of the following programs, in accordance with NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and individual program solicitation requirements. Regardless of the program, the title of each proposal should begin with "Life STEM."

  • For PreK-12 learning environments, submit to:
    • Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12, NSF 15-592) due date December 5, 2016
    • Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST, NSF 15-599) August 10, 2017
    • Advancing Informal STEM Learning Program (AISL, NSF 15-593) due November 8, 2016
  • For undergraduate learning environments, submit to:
    • Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE, NSF 15-585) due November 2, 2016/January 11, 2017.
    • HBCU Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP, NSF 16-538) due November 22, 2016. Researchers who have met the Letter of Intent requirement for the HBCU-UP solicitation may choose to submit a proposal that focuses on or incorporates life science or bioscience in alignment with the specifications in NSF 16-538.

Through this DCL, researchers may also submit EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals to explore new directions or appropriate extensions of disciplinary-based research activities. EAGER proposals must conform to the guidelines for preparation of such a proposals (including the requirement to discuss the proposal with a program officer prior to submission) as specified in the Chapter II.D.2 of the PAPPG. EAGER proposals have a maximum size of $300,000 and a maximum duration of two years. All EAGERS in response to this DCL should be submitted by January 31, 2017. The title of the proposal should be prefixed with "Life STEM EAGER."

Researchers interested in submitting proposals or have questions pertaining to this DCL may contact: Celestine Pea, Program Officer, cpea [at] nsf [dot] gov.

This DCL is expected to be in effect from October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. All proposals should be submitted in accordance with NSF's PAPPG and individual program solicitation deadlines listed in this letter.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy
Assistant Director
Directorate for Education and Human Resources