University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
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Research Apprentice Program


Click here to fill out the application for Summer 2020!

Online Application FINAL Extended Deadline; Wednesday-April 15, 2020!

RAP requires the following:
  1. Counselor Recommedation Form
  2. Teacher Recommedation Form
  3. Fill out the application form online
  4. High School Transcript (unofficial transcripts are accepted)
  5. Recommendation forms and transcripts are accepted by email (, fax (217) 244-6537, or mailing address below:                                        Summer STEM Programs                                                         
    UIUC - College of ACES
    1301 W. Gregory Drive, Rm 128
    Urbana, IL 61801
RAP - July 5 through July 25, 2020

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) is pleased to invite applications from current high school sophomores and juniors of under-served, economically disadvantaged groups, and urban residents to participate in the Research Apprentice Program (RAP). Upon completion of the program students may qualify for a monetary award. Described below are some of the components of the program.

Laboratory and Science Skills

All students will be participating in a FREE three- week session that will involve a number of special hands-on mini-laboratory and science exercises developed to help them understand the application of math and science in various areas in the food, human and environmental sciences. A session on math enrichment, micro-computer, writing, and presentation skills will also be offered.

Careers in Science, Technology Engineering and Math and Team Projects

Students will be assigned to small groups or teams where they develop a presentation based on a set of special learning activities. The RAP activities require each team to demonstrate a basic understanding of their specific assigned area. A series of visits and seminars held at various businesses serve as a resource base for the information necessary to successfully complete this exercise. All RAP activities emphasize teamwork, problem-solving, computer skills and presentation skills. At the end of the program, each team presents the outcomes of their assigned project activities.

The STEM Teams

Food Industry Team will visit various facilities where they will learn about various aspects of food science, product development, manufacturing and marketing. Plant Biotechnology Team will learn about plant breeding and genetic engineering.  Business Team will discover the world of finance, accounting, policy, and marketing and its application to the food and agricultural system.  Engineering and Technology Team will examine design and technology issues affecting the food systems.  Human Professions Team will focus on activities their impact children such as behavior and health.  Students interested in animal health and safety, wildlife issues, and protecting the environment should look at the USDA Ag Discovery Programs.

The Research Apprentice Program Offers

  • There is no cost to participate in this program, its FREE!
  • Free housing and a 20 meals-per-week plan
  • Mentoring, career development, college counseling
  • Development of team work and critical thinking skills
  • Improvement of basic technology and communication skills
  • Opportunities to develop new friends and improve social skills
  • Hands-on mini-laboratory exercises focusing on math and science skills
  • Interesting seminars from outstanding leaders and scientist in business, government and education
  • Field trips to gain an a better understanding of the application of math, science and technology

Profile of Participants

  • From traditionally under-served ethnic minority groups, economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students with disabilities and/or urban areas
  • Sophomores or juniors standing at the time of the application
  • Ranked in the top 20%; and have a B average in English, Math and Natural Sciences
  • Display curiosity, cooperation, work ethic in their references
  • Display an interest in learning more about STEM areas on the essay
All application materials MUST be received two weeks after students return back to school. Please sumit documents via email (, fax (217) 244-6537 or mailing address below:
Summer STEM Programs                                                         
UIUC - College of ACES
1301 W. Gregory Drive, Rm 128
Urbana, IL 61801


All eligible students will be interviewed to determine finalists. Interviews will be conducted via teleconference. Students will be notified by late APRIL 2020 if selected for interviews.