About Us

The Bridging the Gap Program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture who believe that providing experiential learning opportunities to students will deepen understanding, enhance success and promote retention of students in science. Our program, centered in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut, focuses on food and nutrition and allows students to select either laboratory or community based research placements. Participating groups are listed under Research.

The program

The 10-week program begins after Memorial Day and has slots for 10 students. Fellows will be housed together on the university campus and work at their research site 4 days/week. Each Friday, they will come together to share experiences, participate in research enrichment activities and interact with other faculty and graduate students. Field trips to the community sites and to local farms, food industries and research locations will provide further experiential research exposure. Other UConn summer research programs run concurrently and students are housed together in the same dormitory, providing rich opportunities for interaction. While staying on campus is highly recommended, alternative arrangements are possible for students who have obligations that prevent them from doing so.


Ten students will receive a $3,500 stipend for the 10-week experience. Housing in a UConn dormitory and a meal allowance are also included.

Target audiences

Bridging the Gap targets students interested in the scientific study of food and nutrition who have had limited opportunities to engage in research. Connecticut community college students are particularly invited to apply. Applications from UConn and other 4-year institution students who come from groups underrepresented in the agricultural sciences, including African-Americans, Latino/as, Native Americans and economically disadvantaged/first generation to college students are also encouraged. Preference will be given to students in their first two years of undergraduate study. Participants need to be US citizens or permanent residents.

How to apply

First, make sure you are eligible. Then pick from the many available research areas/research groups those that interest you most. Download and fill out the application package and send it in by the deadline. You will hear from us about a month after the deadline.