Summer Research Program

Will you be getting ready to enter your freshman year of college next fall? 

Rising College Freshmen: do research this summer!

  • The First2 Network is pleased to announce a unique opportunity for current high school seniors or other first-generation college students and other underrepresented students in STEM in West Virginia who are majoring in STEM and getting ready to start their first year of college in the fall of 2020.  Find out more by reading on, or

Older students: be a mentor.

Are you a senior in high school or nontraditional student preparing to go to college?

Are you first-generation?  The First2 Network definition of first-generation is that neither of your custodial parents graduated with a 4-year degree, even if your siblings went to college or your parents have some college.

OR – Are you underrepresented minority?  STEM needs more women, more people of color, and more diversity!

AND – Are you planning to major in science, technology, engineering, or math?

Then you are in the right place!

We are seeking rising freshmen who will be enrolled in a West Virginia community college, or a 4-year college in the fall of 2020, to join a program designed to support rural, first generation students majoring in STEM fields.

You will become part of a community of students who are like you, so that you are not going through this experience alone.  West Virginia, and the Nation need more STEM professionals, but completing a STEM course of study can be challenging.  The First2 Network is a growing group of professors, state officials, other professionals and students like you who want to enhance your success in STEM during the first two years of college.  We ask you to join us in building a better environment for STEM students, and to be an advocate and to be an advocate and leader in your hometown by encouraging future STEM students in your community.

Rising freshmen college students – apply now

By completing this application you are agreeing, if accepted, to join the First2 Network and:

  • Participate in an all expenses paid two-week STEM research internship in summer of 2020
  • Participate in our educational research study
  • Upon successful completion of the program you will be awarded up to $600 and travel scholarship

You will also be offered the opportunity to:

  • Participate in academic year leadership programs that are designed to help you succeed.  This may include online meetings providing you a forum for discussion, problem solving and skill development
  • Become a STEM ambassador by visiting your hometown community, legislators and/or your school administration
  • Join academic year research programs to begin or continue research activities
  • Join a campus club 
  • Participate in professional meetings and conferences

Summer Research Interns receive $600. Travel, room and board are provided for residential immersive experiences. This internship is approximately 2 weeks long.

By participating in the First2 Summer Research program, students join the ranks of First2 Scholars, an illustrious group of underrepresented students selected for investment and advancement in STEM.  Becoming a First2 Scholar is an honor and an academic achievement that will help build students’ experiences and professional and academic resumes.

First2 Network Announces Two-Week Summer Research Immersion Sites for 2020

Coming soon – a printable, shareable flyer for 2020 First2 Network Summer Immersion Sites

            Based on the success of the 2019 Summer Immersion Program the First2Network has announced funding to enlarge the 2020 Immersion to 101 students at 9 sites.  The purpose of these programs is to help students gain information in research experiences, academic wrap around services, STEM careers, and college persistence.

Each of the student participants will need to be first generation or underrepresented STEM students and rising college Freshman or sophomores for Fall 2020.  These sites were competitively selected through a grant proposal process that detailed the sites plan to expose first generation STEM students to career opportunities, academic support services, and research programs.  Each site will employ multiple experienced undergraduate students to act as mentors as they guide the participants as they begin their College experience.

            Applications are currently being accepted for student participation and students can select which site they would prefer to attend.  The programs for the two week experiences will highlight the strengths of each site while also diversifying the research activities within the network so students can find an experience that will best support their career ambitions.  Unless otherwise noted camp dates will run from July 19 – August 1.

High Rocks, Hillsboro, WV, is an award-winning youth leadership organization and will be hosting 8 female participants to work in dendrochronology in collaboration with researchers from West Virginia University.  This program will run from July 10 – July 25.

Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV, will work with Chemours to provide 15 students a unique experience in both academic and industrial laboratories.  Students will gain experience in analytical chemistry, solar cells, and microbial communities.

Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank, WV, will host 20 students working in teams to analyze archived Radio Frequency Interference data to curate a categorized and searchable database that includes common RFI features.

Marshall University, Huntington, WV, will host 10 students to conduct research activities in chemistry, biology, computer science, and forensics.  Each of the students will meet research faculty in different disciplines and explanations of the support services Marshall provides for undergraduate students.

University of Charleston, Charleston, WV, will host 10 students from July 6 – July 19 to learn how to conduct tests on soil samples as part of a national program with the University of Wisconsin and Yale.  The participants will be examining the unique Appalachian forest soils for novel antibiotic producing microbes.

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, Lewisburg, WV, will host 8 students who have an interest in pursuing a career in the life sciences.  In particular students will gain experience in areas such as bacterial protein toxicity, biomechanics, chemotherapy agents, and femur morphology.

West Virginia State University, Charleston, WV will engage 10 students in the research activities of faculty members which include neural networks, organic synthesis, integrated pest management, novel cancer treatments, and gene expression.

West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, will host 12 students with research opportunities in developmental biology addressing questions related to human and environmental health and geographical mapping of the socio-economic needs of Appalachia. Students intending to major in any STEM discipline will benefit from either research project. July 19-31, 2020

West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Beckley, WV, will host 10 students who have an interest in computer science or computer/electrical engineering.  These students will work in developing programs or apps in virtual or augmented reality, inventory management, and computer assisted optimization of solar cells.

Students will gather as a state consortium on July 24 to meet students from schools around the state but also learn about the challenges others face in pursuing a STEM degree.  They will meet West Virginia STEM leaders and gain the inspiration to commit to completing their degrees.

Students participating in the summer program will have opportunities to continue involvement with the First2 Network after the summer, including income-earning, leadership development, research, and travel opportunities.

Rising freshmen college students – apply now

Older students: be a mentor.