San Joaquin Valley Food and Agriculture

Cyberinformatics Tools and Science (FACTs)

Bridge Program

We are offering a new, innovative summer research program to give students who are entering UC Merced (first-year and transfer students) and students who are in the process of completing their first year (rising sophomore students) an opportunity for research experience in ag-food-tech.

The paid summer internship will provide on-campus housing, stipends, travel to field sites, and experience with a lab group.

Building a future in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley means participating in the most productive agricultural area in the world. This program will help you explore opportunities in multiple aspects of agriculture. You’ll learn about agriculture generally, from production to mechanical harvesting and processing, from massive processing plants to small farm stands. You could spend your summer in a dynamic team building novel robots to improve irrigation efficiency. You could monitor greenhouse gas releases and address climate change through improving soil quality. Or you could learn about social science methods to support improved public and environmental health. Pick your top two mentors when you apply and you’ll receive experience in the fields of your interest.

Through the program you will gain research experience, build a network with fellow interns, lab mates, and faculty members. You’ll connect with the agricultural industry, exploring potential internships and employment in the future. Even if you don’t picture yourself in ag, you might be surprised at the diversity of opportunities.


As a FACTS undergraduate researcher, you will receive:

  • a paid 6-week summer internship before you enter UC Merced
  • Free on-campus housing (following appropriate COVID-19 precautions)
  • Mentoring from Ag-Food-Tech faculty, graduate students and your lab team
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Life skills training and tactics to succeed in school,
  • Experiences to add to your resume
  • Exposure to agricultural career opportunities
  • and more!
  • FACTS will run from 2021-2024. We are currently not accepting applications but please join our mailing list and we will share with you when we begin recruitment.

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    FAQS

  • Six week program begins July 6, 2021 and will conclude the week before fall semester begins on August 17, 2021.
  • The program is approximately 30 hours per week of training, field trips, and research experience over the six weeks period.
  • You will receive a stipend of approximately $2500 but a final amount will be given in an offer letter if selected in addition to an on-campus room and meal plan.

  • UC Merced professors want you to join their lab. Review the faculty-mentors below and include them in your application. We will do our best to match you to the lab or focus of your choice.


    UC Merced Ag-Food-Tech Faculty Mentors and Areas of Research:
    Research Focus Faculty Member
    Agroecology & Food Production Rebecca Ryals
    Gerardo C. Diaz
    Nutrition & Food Security Rudy Ortiz
    Digital Agriculture & Spatial Analysis Joshua Viers
    Erin Hestir
    Mechatronics & Embedded Systems YangQuan Chen
    Jian-Qiao Sun
    Environmental & Agricultural Economics Josue Medellín-Azuara
    Catherine Keske
    Soil Biogeochemistry, Microbiome, & Remediation Teamrat Ghezzehei
    Sam Traina
    Integrated Pest Management Andrea Joyce
    Robotics & Machine Learning Reza Ehsani
    Life Cycle Assessment Colleen Naughton
    Marie-Odile Fortier
    Hydrology & Water Management Safeeq Khan
    Tom Harmon
    Peggy O’Day

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    Further Questions?

    Contact CITRIS citris@ucmerced.edu

    This work is supported by the Undergraduate Research and Extension Experiential Learning Fellowships, grant no. 2020-69018-30661, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.