Intra-College Experience in Creative Research in Experimental and Applied Microbiomics (ICECREAM)

Intra-College Experience in Creative Research in Experimental and Applied Microbiomics (ICECREAM)


ICECREAM is an intensive, full-time research experience for Rutgers, Princeton, and NJIT rising sophomore undergraduate students. Students are matched with faculty mentors from a diverse array of microbiome-scientific disciplines that include areas of ecological, social, behavioral, environmental and health (medical, dental, nursing, public health) sciences. Participants learn about the process of research by working with their mentors in the laboratory and by participating in library workshops, data analysis, seminars, and social events. Summer experiences often lead to involvement in research projects during the subsequent academic year(s). A priority of ICECREAM is to increase interest among members of underrepresented minority (URM) groups in biomedical science, in general, and the microbiome, in particular.

ICECREAM 2023 (June 14th-August 9th)

Rising sophomores selected for this opportunity will spend the 8-week summer session engaged in research. Each participant will receive a stipend of $3,800. The program is a full eight weeks starting mid-June until early August. The program culminates in a public poster session, where each student will present their research to faculty, lab-mates, fellow students, friends, and family, possibly in conjunction with other summer research programs.

Eligibility and Requirements

Students must be at least rising sophomores at one of the three NJ ACTS participating colleges (Rutgers, Princeton, or NJIT). No previous experience in research is necessary, and there is no minimum GPA; the most important criterion is an interest in learning about the process of microbiome research and developing original scientific data. To be eligible, students must be full-time and in good academic standing at one of the three schools. 

The Admissions Committee will evaluate applicants and select interviewees based on their academic records and the compatibility of their interests with faculty projects. Mentors may reach out to applicants, and all finalists will be notified by end of April.

ICECREAM is a full-time commitment. Participants cannot take any summer classes or hold employment during the program period. Participants will be required to attend all program sessions.

You will need to submit the following in the online application form:

  • Answers to a few questions describing your interest in the program and your future career plans. 
  • A resume, which should include information about employment history, internships, research experiences, and any organizations and/or activities you have partaken at your school, or in the community.
  • Your most recent transcripts.

How to Apply:

Application Form 2023 ICECREAM June 14 – August 9, 2023

Thank you for your interest. Please contact for any questions. 

Current list of mentors and labs

  • Modupe Coker, PhD | Rutgers School of Dental Medicine; Rutgers School of Public Health | Coker Research Lab 

         Project Title: Immune-microbe interactions in the oral cavity

        Project Title: Riverine microbiome for understanding fecal pollution and water borne pathogens

        Project Title: Systems biology of antimicrobial resistance

  • Martin Blaser, MD | Center for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine; Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine | Blaser lab 

        Project Title: Effects of antibiotics on early life development

  • Liping Zhao, PhD | School of Environmental & Biological Sciences | Zhao lab 

        Project Title: Food and Microbiome Interactions in in vitro model

  • Lea Ann Chen, MD | Robert Wood Johnson Medical School 

        Project Title: Host-Microbiome Interactions in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Nan Gao, PhD | School of Arts & Sciences - Newark | Gao lab 

       Project Title: Colonization competition between probiotics and pathobionts