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Eligibility Requirements

We are seeking students in food, nutrition, or a closely-related field with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. We welcome students majoring in biology, chemistry, biomedical sciences, and pre-health studies (those planning to apply to medical, dental, optometry, or physical therapy school).

Program Description

Are you a student interested in nutrition and food science? Would you like to become a Registered Dietitian or food scientist/researcher? Are you planning to apply to medical, dental or optometry school? Our undergraduate research experience program in Human Nutrition at The University of Alabama is for you!

The research activities in the ‘From the Bench to Community: Nutrition Research Experience for Undergraduates (BC-NREU) program offers both bench and community nutrition research opportunities, depending on your interest. You can select either of the following pathways:

Bench nutrition research will be conducted in the newly built Nutrition & Metabolism Research Lab.

  • Research projects will include 1) health benefits of dietary fiber and resistant starch, and 2) bioavailability and health benefits of dietary phytochemicals.
  • You will receive lab safety training, learn basic lab skills, and learn how to use state-of-the-art analytical equipment in the lab. With these skills, you will be able to extract dietary fiber from foods, analyze dietary fiber and resistant starch contents, and/or test the bioavailability and health effects of selected phytochemicals.
  • You will also have the opportunity to work with rodent models in the Animal Care Facility after completing required training.
  • Research experience in bench nutrition will help you understand the fundamentals of nutrition and strengthen your qualifications for a future career as a health care professional.

Community nutrition research focuses on improving nutrition and disease management within the community.

  • You will have the opportunity to work in the Nutrition & Cognition Lab on a grant-funded study to provide nutrition counseling services to clients with brain injury in Alabama.
  • You will be trained to work with individuals with disabilities and will assist with recruiting and enrolling participants in the research study.
  • You will be trained to collect and analyze dietary intake data and to identify areas for dietary improvement in our clients with brain injury.
  • You will join the UA team for the Bright Ideas TBI Camp, which takes place on UA’s campus at the end of July. During this 3-day camp, students from nutrition, speech therapy and adapted athletics provide free healthcare services to individuals with brain injuries in West Alabama.
  • This is an excellent opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in our community!

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