Undergraduate Scholars Program


Faculty Proposals Due: Jan 29th
Student Application Period: February 12th - March 15th 
Student Selection Notification: April 1st 
Current year research experience (2024-25): required poster presentation or report due by June 1, 2025

2024-2025 Projects

Apply Here


Oregon Wine Research Institute and Erath Family Foundation Undergraduate Scholars Program 

The Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI) at Oregon State University and the Erath Family Foundation are committed to training the next generation of wine industry professionals by providing students with educational opportunities in viticulture, enology, and wine economics. The OWRI Erath Family Foundation Undergraduate Scholars Program offers an annual competitive program to fund undergraduate research internships in these areas. The goal is to provide highly motivated undergraduate students with the opportunity to learn and actively participate in research related to the wine industry. Scholars will have the opportunity to gain a broader learning experience outside of the classroom by working directly within the lab and/or research program of an OWRI faculty mentor. As part of this program, students will attend a discipline-relevant conference, which will provide professional development opportunities and exposure to the broader grape and wine industry. 

The OWRI is a collaborative research and education program located within Oregon State University and it involves partnerships with multiple organizations and works with the Oregon wine grape industry to meet their research needs. Researchers include faculty in the Horticulture, Food Science & Technology, and Applied Economics Departments at Oregon State University as well as researchers in the Horticultural Crops Research Unit of the USDA in Corvallis, Oregon. Students select one mentor to work with during the scholars program.

The areas of research and education within the OWRI include viticulture, enology, plant biology, plant pathology, entomology, plant physiology, molecular biology, genetics, economics, food sensory, and chemistry. Many OWRI faculty have multi-faceted positions that include duties in research, teaching, and industry education/outreach. Several OWRI faculty work directly with industry, whether growers or winemakers, to conduct research in commercial vineyards/wineries in addition to lab-based research. Learn more about our researchers online at owri.oregonstate.edu

Funding for the experiential learning experience is for the stated period and is limited to students enrolled as undergraduates at the time of application. 


  • Must be a current undergraduate student enrolled during the academic year of the program at an institution of higher education (post-secondary) within the US or internationally.
  • Current degree program should be related to enology, viticulture, food science, horticulture, plant science, biochemistry, engineering, economics, environmental science, or an agricultural/environmental field of study. 
  • Interest working in a research environment (may be field- and/or lab- based).
  • Interest in pursuing a career in the grape and wine industry. 

Before applying, reach out to our researchers to express interest in the program to explore possible projects and who may serve as potential mentors. This is a necessary step toward determining who you’d like to work with.

Application Materials

  • The Student Researcher Application period is Feb 12th - March 15th. The link to the application can be found at the top of this page during that time. 
  • The application form will require you to upload a cover letter (address areas of interest in viticulture, enology, wine economics, or related fields and how it will help you develop your education and/or future career), resume (include both current and past post-secondary education (if applicable), and list all prior work experience, not just that which is relevant to research, unofficial transcript(s) from your post-secondary educational institution.

Questions? If you would like more information about this program, please contact owri@oregonstate.edu


Undergraduate Scholar Recipients

Name Degree Program Lab Project Theme/title Year
Evangeline Jorjorian Bioresource Research (OSU) Skinkis Chardonnay Crop Estimation Modeling  2023-2024
Rushil Patel  Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (OSU)  Deluc   Evaluation of microvine transgenic lines 2023-2024
Jesses Raynor Food Science (OSU) Qian Nanoparticles in enhanced raman spectroscopy for rapid smoke detection 2023-2024
Aidan Wiggins Mathematics (Whitman College) Copp Sunscreen for grapes: Heat stress reduction with kaolin for improved vine performance and wine grape quality 2023-2024
Ian Ivey Biology (SOU) Levin Construction and calibration of custom grapevine smoking system 2022-2023
Abram Smith Horticulture Deluc Genotyping of MLO gene-edited microvine mutants 2022-2023
Eliza Allen Microbiology Mahaffee Fits like a glove: Rapid sampling techniques to determine fungicide resistance in Grape Powdery Mildew 2021-2022
Bryson Goto Elec & Computer Engineering Levin Testing of low-cost dendrometer for remote monitoring of grapevine water stress 2021-2022
Kevin Kuenzi FST - Food Science Qian Smoke compounds evolution during aging 2021-2022
Madesyn Samples Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Deluc Developing a gene editing toolkit for genetic engineering in grapevine 2021-2022
McKenna Wilson FST (Enology & Viticulture) Osborne Utilizing non-Saccharomyces yeast as bio-protectants during cold soaking 2021-2022
Max Brau Microbiology Qian Effect of grapevine red blotch disease (GRBD) on polysaccharide in grapes and wine 2019-2020
Lauren Clark FST (Enology & Viticulture) Tomasino Determining the compounds that cause smoke impacts in wine  2019-2020
Gabriela Griffin Mechanical Engineering Levin Low-cost dendrometer to measure vine water status and related pest pressure  2019-2020
Jui-Chieh Lee Bioengineering Deluc Gene editing of the microvine 2019-2020
Elijah E. Shumway Elec & Computer Engineering Walton Pied Piper- Behavioral device using tremology to monitor and manage insect pests in vineyards 2019-2020
MacKenna Green Horticulture KC Increasing the accuracy of grapevine red blotch virus detection 2018-2019
Matthew Huckins Biological and Ecological Engineering Mahaffee Developing automated geolocation capabilities for a weather sensor platform 2018-2019
Ray Schireman Biochemistry (SOU) Levin Optimizing berry phenolics assay 2018-2019
Alexander Tauss Horticulture Deluc Developing a trans-grafting procedure to study scion/rootstock communication in grapevines 2018-2019
Karly Vial Civil Engineering Deluc Developing a Protein-Protein Interaction Assay Using Grapevine Protoplasts 2018-2019
Jessica Buser Microbiology Walton Vector-related Epidemiology for Grapevine Red Blotch-Associated Virus 2017-2018
Alexis Doyle BS Food Science Osborne Impact of Nitrogen Supplementation in the Vineyard versus the Winery on the Quality of Willamette Valley Pinot noir and Chardonnay 2017-2018
Rebecca Lake Horticulture Levin Re-evaluating pressure chamber methods 2017-2018
Justin Litwin Hort (Viticulture & Enology) Skinkis Symptomology and Vine Response to Red Blotch in the Willamette Valley 2017-2018
Joseph Orton Biology Deluc Developing a Model System to better Understand Rootstock-Scion interactions in Grapevines 2017-2018
Victor Puoci Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Deluc Training in Plant Genetic Engineering 2017-2018
Sam Hoffman FST - Fermentation Tomasino Developing sensory standards for stressed vine syndrome  2016-2017
Chase Jutzi FST - Fermentation Tomasino Causation of fruity aromas in wine 2016-2017
Keira Newell Veterinary Science Schreiner AMF in Grapevines 2015