CSU students gain unparalleled experiences in Germany as DAAD RISE interns

CSU student Tatum Flatt spent the summer working as an intern at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology in Germany as part of the DAAD RISE program. An information session on DAAD RISE is scheduled for Nov. 10 from 4-5 p.m. in Lory Student Center Room 300.

Tatum Flatt, a third-year honors student at Colorado State University, learned advanced laboratory techniques while enjoying the sights of one of Europe’s largest countries over the summer.

Flatt, majoring in biomedical sciences with a concentration in environmental public health, spent 12 weeks in Schmallenberg, Germany, 100 miles north of Frankfurt as part of the prestigious DAAD RISE — Research Internships in Science and Engineering — program.

Flatt’s internship was at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, where she worked closely with international graduate and doctorate students. There, she ran a range of toxicity tests on fish embryos to see if the chemicals had an effect on their immune systems.

“The experience is helping me achieve my professional goals by giving me valuable hands-on lab experience that helped me secure a lab job this semester,” she said. “It also further improved my communication and teamwork skills by working through a language barrier and collaborating on projects.”

DAAD RISE Interns from CSU

Katie Chism, College of Natural Sciences

Florencio Guzman Diaz, Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Tatum Flatt, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Hailee Nolan, Warner College of Natural Resources

Hunter Ogg, College of Natural Sciences

Anna Parry, College of Natural Sciences

Braden Pate, College of Natural Sciences

Flatt was one of seven CSU students to participate in the DAAD RISE, which offers undergraduate students from North American, British and Irish universities the opportunity to complete a summer research internship at top German universities and research institutions.

The 2022 cohort marked an institutional record for number of students from CSU, according to the Office for Scholarship and Fellowship Advising.

As part of the program, DAAD — which stands for German Academic Exchange Service in English — matches students with a host university or institute based on their area of interest, such as biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences or engineering. Students also receive a monthly stipend for three months to help cover living expenses, with host universities and institutes providing housing assistance.

Student experiences

Hunter Ogg, an honors student majoring in biochemistry and data science, used advanced microscopy to study the roles of the cell membrane and cytoskeleton of oligodendrocytes in neurogenesis in Bochum, Germany, through the DAAD RISE program.

Another honors student, Katie Chism, who is majoring in chemistry with a specific interest in organic chemistry and polymers, researched polymers to make an adhesive bone gel as an alternative to metal plates and screws during surgery.

In addition to gaining unparalleled experiences, some of the students had the opportunity to explore Germany. Flatt remembers the first time she did a solo weekend trip, riding many buses and trains to get to Berlin.

“I explored for the weekend and went on an amazing walking tour and learned about the rich history of the city,” she said. “This experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in research and experiencing a different country and culture firsthand by living and working there.”

CSU students interested in applying for the program can contact Mary Swanson, program director of the Office for Scholarship and Fellowship Advising, at mary.swanson@colostate.edu. An information session on DAAD RISE is scheduled for Nov. 10 from 4-5 p.m. in Lory Student Center Room 300.