Research Fellowship Program

The Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease (MCEVBD) offers paid summer research fellowships to students and emerging professionals interested in studying ticks and mosquitoes and the impacts of tick- and mosquito-borne disease on public health in Midwestern states.

For approximately twelve weeks between Spring and Fall semesters, MCEVBD fellows work on projects based at universities, public health and vector control agencies in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan or Minnesota. Fellows play a critical part in research projects that are designed to reduce the risk of Lyme Disease and West Nile virus.

Fellows engage in a wide variety of research projects related to field research and control efforts, lab work, modeling, and data analysis.

Since 2017, we have hosted more than 100 MCEVBD Fellows at universities, public health departments, and mosquito abatement districts across the Midwest, equaling more than 50,000 hours of hands-on, immersive, and transformative training to date.

Applications are now open for the 2024 Summer Fellowship- apply here now!


Why become a MCEVBD Research Fellow?

  • Expand your understanding of entomology, vector-borne disease, ecology, wildlife, and public health
  • Focus the direction of your research interests
  • Gain hands-on research experience with study design, fieldwork, lab work, logistics, data collection/analysis, writing
  • Collaborate and network with a wide-variety of researchers and other professionals across the Midwest
  • Get paid to learn and make an impact

"I really enjoyed the breadth of experience I was able to have with the MCEVBD fellowship program, and I appreciated the flexibility my mentor expressed in allowing me to pursue my own side project."

MCE-VBD Fellow

"My variety of experiences helped me see the whole picture of vector-borne disease monitoring and prevention, and this fellowship will allow me to make more informed career and graduate school decisions."

MCE-VBD Fellow

Frequently Asked Questions

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How much are research fellows paid?

MCEVBD Research Fellows receive a stipend. Fellowship stipends start at $7200 for the summer and vary depending on experience. Some fellows may receive a larger stipend due to exceptional academic backgrounds or professional experience.

Who is an ideal fellowship candidate?

Ideal candidates will have experience or coursework related to entomology, wildlife, environmental management, botany, forestry, ecology, parasitology, infectious disease, and/or public health. Applicants should be interested in pursuing career paths related to vectors and vector-borne disease, and they should be open to working both in laboratory settings and in the field under potentially adverse conditions.

Applicants from underrepresented backgrounds are encouraged to apply and may be eligible for additional financial support.

Who is eligible to be a fellow?

Fellowships are offered to trainees at all levels, including undergraduate students, graduate students (MS, MPH, PhD, etc.), or professional students (e.g., MD or DVM), as well as recent graduates from any of those degrees.

How many fellowship spots are there each year?

MCEVBD offers approximately 15 research fellowships each year. The exact number of fellowships awarded each year varies based on our fellowship placement site needs and the applicant pool.

When do fellows work?

Fellows typically work full time (40 hours per week) for twelve weeks during the summer. Exact fellowship start and end dates are negotiable, but fellows often start work in May or early June and work through August. Alternative work schedules are approved on a case by case basis.

What projects do fellows work on?

Fellows engage in a wide variety of research projects. We try to match fellows with projects that match their expertise, interests, career goals.

Examples of past fellow projects:

  • Dragging for ticks in public parks to assess where ticks are established in order to update public health risk maps
  • Trapping and testing mosquitoes for Jamestown Canyon Virus to identify which species of mosquito is responsible for infecting humans
  • Developing statistical models based on mosquito and weather data to better predict West Nile Virus
  • Developing new repellents for mosquitoes and ticks and testing their effectiveness
  • Creating and conducting surveys of veterinary and medical professionals about Lyme disease knowledge and prevention recommendations

How do I apply to become a fellow?

Applications are now open for the 2024 Summer Fellowship- apply here now.

We accept applications for the fellowship on a rolling basis. We begin interviews for fellowship in January each year, and we recommend getting your application in as soon as possible to ensure consideration. Most fellowships are awarded by March each year.


In order to apply for a fellowship, you will need to submit:

  • A statement explaining why you are interested the MCEVBD Research Fellowship
  • A PDF copy of your resume and transcripts
  • Notes regarding any conversations you have already had with MCEVBD partners regarding a potential fellowship

There is no firm deadline for applications, however applications are reviewed as they are received. Applicants usually begin applying in December, interviews are typically conducted in February or March, and placements are typically finalized by April. Candidates who apply by January are more likely to be selected than those who apply later.

Questions about the application process can be sent to

MCEVBD Fellows


Holly Black | Leigh Ketelsen | Sara Villazan | Drew Cole | Elena Hoppmann | Seth Arnold | Madalyn Laskowski | Rosemary Philip | Addison Plate | Emily Oberle | Christine McAtee | Ashanti Nichols | Riley Goldberg


Morgan Race | Molly Hilgendorf | Andrew Vander Tuig | Magic Vang | Sarah Uhm | Leigh Ketelsen


Alex Adams | Cody Landwehr | Chunyun Xu | Alex Garvin | Carter Groat | Gabriel Harmon | Molly Hilgendorf | Eric Howd | Paul Warner | Drew Lysaker | Kurayi Mahachi | Molly Nooyen | Abe Packard | Kofi Prempeh-Fordjour | Lauren Quatroche | Belinda Wilson | Joseph Spina | Isabelle Stewart | Jonathan Tinoco | Madeline Vogel | Alicia Ward


Morgan Race | Sara Wilson | Patrick Ringwald | Samantha Crist | Victoria Phillips | Alexandria Miller | Sarah Nguyentran | Mason Flanagan | Jenna Ridler | Erin Furmaga | Katie Tredinnick | Zari Dehdashti | Noah Trapp | Katherine McDonald | Skyler Finucane | Giovanni Rodriguez | Tessa Murray | Natalia Szularuk | Lennart Justen | Patricia Siy | Jordyn Welsch | Molly Engelman | Drew Lysaker


Serena Schatz | Samuel Andrews | Ember Clodfelter | Robert Phillips | April Lynd | Sarah Conroy | Noorjot Kaur | John Kryda | Christopher Mapes | Katherine Bowman | Rita Morris | Matthew White | Christopher Kositzke |Kim Fake | Hannah Fenelon | Nicole Kuha


Sulagna Chakraborty | Bailey Spiegelberg | Monique Olson | Ellen Meis | Jacob Johnson | Lauren Stiffler | Mitchell Kirsch | Shelly Gleason | Karina Burmeister | Mellisa Farquhar | David Posawatz | Nyssa Van Ness | Bridget Hulsebosch | Jason Hunt


Susannah Haupt | Ella Gehrke | Bridget Hulsebosch | Joseph Lonchar | Erin McGlynn | Grace Newton | Tom Richards | Mariah Schrack | Matthew Springer | Nicholas Thrun | Alexa Bertz