Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI) Undergraduate Scholars Program

The Oregon Wine Research Institute (OWRI) at Oregon State University offers an annual competitive program to fund undergraduate research internships in areas related to viticulture, enology, and economics. The goal is to provide highly-motivated undergraduate students with the opportunity to learn and actively participate in research related to grape and wine production. 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.

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, OR. 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 here.

Qualifications:

  • You must be a current student enrolled at an institution of higher education (post-secondary) within the US or internationally.
  • Degree areas should be related to food science, horticulture, plant science, biochemistry, chemistry, engineering, economics, environmental science, or an agricultural/environmental field of study.
  • Interest in working in a research environment that is either field- and/or lab- based.

Before applying, be sure to contact potential mentors and discuss potential projects. A full list of faculty involved in the OWRI can be found here. This is a necessary step toward determining who you’d like to work with.

To apply: Send the following items by email attachment to the faculty member with whom you would like to work. Be sure to reference the OWRI Undergraduate Scholars Program.

  • Cover letter: address your 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.
  • Transcripts from your post-secondary educational institution. 
  • A list of three professional reference contacts (name, title, phone, and email). Do not include reference letters.

Questions? If you would like more information about this program, please contact the OWRI program coordinator, Denise Dewey at Denise.Dewey@oregonstate.edu 

Undergraduate Scholars

Name Degree Program Lab Project Theme/title Year
Keira Newell Veterinary Science Schreiner AMF in Grapevines 2015
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
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 (V&E option) 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
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
Max Brau Microbiology Qian Effect of grapevine red blotch disease (GRBD) on polysaccharide in grapes and wine 2019-2020
Lauren Clark FST- Enology and Viticulture Tomasino Smoke impacts to wine quality 2019-2020
Gabriela Griffin Mechanical Engineering Levin Dendrometer for remote measurement of vine water status 2019-2020
Jui-Chieh Lee Bioengineering Deluc Developing an efficient methodology to generate genetically edited grapevine material 2019-2020
Elijah Shumway Elec & Computer Engineering Walton

Pied Piper- Behavioral device using tremology to monitor and manage insect pests in vineyards

2019-2020