Program Dates: May 29 – July 7, 2023

The 2023 application deadline is March 15, 2023.


LUMCON’s STEM Prep program is a residential summer program to help freshmen and sophomore level undergraduate students, especially those from populations that are underserved and underrepresented in the marine sciences, who are seeking an opportunity to gain work experience and learn skills to advance their academic and career goals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields within marine and/or environmental science. This program allows students to experience the responsibilities and culture of a working marine lab, interact with the Marine Center staff and community, directly contribute to vital marine/coastal science research programs, and create opportunities to broaden their knowledge of possible research fields and career opportunities.  Participants will have opportunities to interact with other undergraduate and graduate students, visiting scientists, K-12 students participating in a variety of camps and programs, and visitors from the general public, providing an even richer summer experience.  This experience will provide work experience, increase skill-sets, and expand professional support networks that will prepare participants for future academic programs (like an REU) or increased job-readiness.

Throughout the program, students work in an active research lab of one of LUMCON faculty members.  They will be expected to be fully engaged with the activities of the lab to achieve the goals of the research program.  Roughly 170 hours over the six-week duration will be dedicated to working in the lab alongside the faculty and staff.  Work experiences and duties will vary depending on the lab a student is placed in.  Along with their tasks and responsibilities in the research lab, STEM Prep students are required to participate in weekly field trips, workshops, and mentoring sessions.  The field trips and workshops provide opportunities to practice field and lab research methods, refine team-building skills, learn important transferable STEM techniques, develop an understanding of Louisiana’s coastal communities and culture, foster environmental stewardship, and provide real-world context that will further their understanding of the local, regional, and global significance of Louisiana’s coast. At times, students will be also be expected to complete assignments or tasks to demonstrate their proficiency with some of the skills they are acquiring.

Program areas of interest may vary year to year depending on the faculty availability and research program focuses.  If a student has not yet identified an area of interest in the marine or environmental sciences that should not discourage them from applying.  Providing more detail on academic and career goals in the Statement of Interest can help program coordinators identify a research program that is the best fit to help them achieve their current goals and help define their current and future roles in marine science.

Creating Pipelines

Creating pipelines and ensuring the continued success of minority students in STEM disciplines has never been more important.  In this moment, Louisiana communities are bracing for substantial environmental changes due to land loss and climate change. The issues are complex, bring unprecedented challenges, and require a dedication to furthering the understanding of our coastal and marine environments.  Only by harnessing the talent and perspectives of Louisiana’s diverse student population can Louisiana succeed in finding solutions to our most pressing environmental challenges.  By investing in the success and retention of students who are currently underrepresented in STEM careers, including marine science, can Louisiana ensure a future where communities are more environmentally literate, resilient to the impacts of climate change, and lead the advancement of science and technology.


STEM Prep students pay no facility fees or tuition charges and receive:

  • Free housing and meals at the DeFelice Marine Center for the duration of the program (six weeks)
  • Four credit hours from the University of Louisiana @ Lafayette that can be transferred to a student’s home institution


The ideal candidate should be interested in pursuing a career in environmental, coastal and/or marine science. They should also be creative, hard-working, detail-orientated, dedicated, and comfortable working as part of a research team.

**Candidates MUST be available for the entire six-week period.**

To be eligible, you must be returning to an undergraduate degree program in the fall at a Louisiana university or college. Students from groups underrepresented in the sciences and students attending HBCUs are encouraged to apply, as are first-generation college students. No prior work experience is required.


Applications will begin to be reviewed after the application deadline.  The selection process can take up to 2 weeks to complete.  If you are selected as a potential candidate you will be contacted by a LUMCON faculty for an interview.  If you are selected to become a STEM Prep student, you will be sent more information and program details including information on any pre-program activities, when you will be expected to report to the Marine Center, required forms, and a suggested packing list.


Please feel free to contact the program coordinator at if you have any questions.  You can also find answers to the most commonly asked questions in the STEM Prep Student Handbook.


There are two (2) ways to apply.

You can apply online OR you can download the PDF application packet.  Details about how to submit online are below.  Instructions for the application packet are detailed in the application packet.  You may contact the program coordinator with questions by email at

Whether you submit an application online or by using the PDF application packet, all materials must be received or postmarked by the application deadline.  The application deadline is March 15, 2023.


A complete STEM Prep application consists of:

1.  Completed application form (click here to go directly to the application page).

2.  A one-page statement of interest, describing your background, scientific interests, career goals, how the program will help you reach your goals and reasons why you should be selected for LUMCON’s STEM Prep program.  You should also tell us why you choose the areas of interested you selected in your application.

3.  A resume describing any prior work experience, internships, volunteer work, scholarships and/or other activities that you have held or participated in and any other relevant skills or accomplishments.

4.  Two letters of reference from individuals capable of commenting on your academic qualifications (college or university faculty preferred) or others that can comment on your work experience.  Emailed recommendation letters are preferred, sent directly from the writer to with the subject line “Letter of recommendation for STEM Prep Program—”. Click here for the cover letter template.

5.  A copy of your current college transcript (unofficial or official copies are accepted)

 **Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
All items must be received by March 15, 2023.**

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact or (985) 851-2860.