Student Opportunities

The Food Protection and Defense Institute provides research and classroom opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. The opportunities provide holistic food defense education experiences taught through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, research communities, and scholarly skill development.

Man and a woman at a poster sessionCurriculum Development

FPDI has a wealth of information and materials available to build additional curriculum opportunities across all levels of the education spectrum. Content areas include food defense, food safety, public health, emergency preparedness, and critical thinking among others. 

Paid Research Opportunities

FPDI provides a number of paid research opportunities for students based on current research project needs. You can find these opportunities by signing up for our mailing list.

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

The following courses delivered by FPDI instructors are currently offered at the University of Minnesota.

Food Defense: Prepare, Respond, Recover

University of Minnesota VMED 5920, 3 credits, In-Person

This course is intended to provide a foundation for students to understand the basic principles of preparedness and emergency response that are utilized to plan for, respond to, and recover from a food disaster.  

Seminar in Food Protection and Defense

University of Minnesota VMED 5921, 1 credit, Hybrid Online and In-Person

Explore current issues and research activities impacting global food defense. Tap into FPDI’s monthly webinar series to learn from leading experts from the food industry, governmental agencies, and research institutions. The course also features an engaging in-person component using the flipped classroom model.

Emergency Preparedness: A Public Health Perspective

University of Minnesota PUBH 5231, 2 credits, Online

Gain awareness of preparing for and responding to all-hazard events—both natural and man-made. This course provides a wide-ranging introduction to the public health’s core competencies. Students will look at the purpose, history, organizations, functions, tools, and activities used in the field.

Applied Critical Thinking in the Workforce

University of Minnesota PUBH 7200, 1 credit, In-Person

This course aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in complex work environments that involve critical decision-making, involvement with multiple agencies, and may be politically driven. This course has been designed to fill a gap identified by government agencies and private industry indicating there are a paucity of employees with critical thinking, decision-making, and negotiating skills. These skills are difficult to teach out of textbooks and require real- world settings to practice. This course will have didactic and significant application components where students will gain valuable experience in applying the skills and knowledge learned.

Data Driven Decision Making

University of Minnesota PUBH 7200, 1 credit, In-Person

This course aims to provide knowledge and equip students with techniques to transform data into information that decision makers can use in order to make time critical decisions. It has been well documented that decision-making during a crisis is difficult as information is limited and established procedures may not be followed, thus increasing the amount of stress on individuals required to make those decisions. To improve crisis decision-making data collection, analysis, and synthesis on abundant and wide-variety of data are required in order to make an informed decision. This course will have didactic and application components where students will be able to apply the skills knowledge learned.

More course and degree offerings are in development. Be sure to revisit this page for updates.

Contact Deb Freedman at freedman@umn.edu for more information on Student Opportunities.