How to Join Us

Opportunities for new, creative, and motivated researchers from different career stages to join the Konza Prairie LTER group occur on a rolling basis. Because the group includes many research laboratories from different departments at multiple universities, most individual opportunities are advertised at the department/university level. This site will serve as a central list for active opportunities and will be updated as announcements and deadlines occur.

*The ongoing pandemic may cause some deviations from normal timelines.

Note, the KNZ LTER, like many other grant-funded research projects, is hosted by the Konza Prairie Biological Station (KBPS). Volunteer opportunities exist through the KBPS-affiliated Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP), and opportunities to work with other KBPS-located research projects may be listed elsewhere (e.g., the National Ecological Observatory Network, NEON).

Undergraduate student technicians:

KNZ LTER employs up to 20 part-time/seasonal Kansas State University undergraduates to assist with long-term plant data collection and processing, and other tasks related to maintenance of research activities. Openings for these positions most commonly come up in the spring, in preparation for the summer field season. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Amanda Kuhl.

Undergraduate student researchers:

KNZ LTER sponsors 2-4 Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) opportunities every summer. These opportunities are usually announced early in the calendar year in preparation for the summer field season; contact Jesse Nippert if you would like more information on REUs. Because other research opportunities may exist in any collaborating lab, current undergraduates who can identify their own focused interests and goals should independently reach out (i.e., send a direct email inquiry) to individual investigators or faculty to inquire about future prospects in the specific area of research where these specific interests and goals seem to overlap.

Graduate students:

Our program emphasizes graduate student training, and supports several full-time research assistantships, and some summer stipends for students who are paid on teaching assistantships during the academic year. Graduate research projects located at Konza Prairie can be based out of different collaborating institutions, depending on individual situations, interests, and goals. Deadlines for positions beginning in Summer/Fall are typically ~December of the preceding year; deadlines for positions beginning in Winter/Spring are typically ~August of the preceding year; positions on a defined project may be open at any time of the year, and in that case should be advertised directly by the funded laboratory. Because details will vary by program, to help facilitate the application process, some KNZ-affiliated faculty have provided specific information about their lab groups and individual University and Department graduate application requirements and deadlines (Graduate Research).

If you are a current undergraduate or a post-undergraduate who is considering graduate study, think about your current interests and future goals, and reach out to individual investigators or faculty to inquire about prospects for graduate study in the specific area of research where these interests and goals seem to overlap, before submitting your application to the associated graduate program. Also, if you have been accepted to a graduate program, before making the final decision on where to conduct your graduate studies, it is a good idea to get in touch directly with current graduate students to learn about quality of life at the local level.

Because the graduate school experience is very different from the undergraduate experience, some KNZ affiliated graduate students have contributed testimonials on why they decided to attend graduate school (Konza Prairie LTER Featured Graduate Students). We hope this information is useful, and encourage prospective graduate students to reach out with any follow-up questions.

Research staff

KNZ LTER employs several part- and full-time staff members as Kansas State University employees to maintain long-term data collection activities and data repositories. These positions turn over rarely, but opportunities will be posted here.

Postdoctoral researchers:

KNZ LTER does not typically fund postdoctoral positions directly. However, any affiliated laboratories offering postdoctoral positions may post the opportunity here. Also, senior graduate students should consider reaching out to individual investigators or faculty to inquire about future prospects in a specific area of research where interests and goals overlap; if collaborative overtures are made well in advance of existing (e.g., NSF Biology and USDA postdoctoral fellowship) deadlines, competitive applications are more likely to result.

Faculty positions:

We hope that new faculty will be interested in collaborating with us, and encourage any researcher to connect with affiliated investigators or faculty or the KBPS. As affiliated universities offer related tenure-track faculty positions, these will be posted here.