Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Summer Internship Program at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

The Danforth Center is a highly collaborative institution and interns find an interactive and supportive atmosphere. The goal of this unique program is to give each student insight into the research environment, as well as to teach valuable research skills. Center staff work to facilitate connections among interns and their scientific colleagues through discussion forums, informal lunches, social gatherings and through the Center's daily "tea time".

The program spans eleven weeks each summer. The 2018 Summer program dates are May 21 - August 3, 2018 (applications are due February 9, 2018).

Students from universities across the nation are matched with a scientist who is a senior researcher at the Danforth Center. Interns learn about a diverse set of research areas including:
  • Abiotic Stress
  • Biofortification
  • Bioenergy
  • Bioinformatics and genomics
  • Bioremediation
  • Cell Biology
  • Cellular Signaling
  • Development
  • Enabling Technologies
  • Metabolic Pathways/Engineering
  • Structural Biology
  • Translational Plant Science

During the first week of the program, interns and mentors work together to design a project for the summer session. For more information on mentors and their specific research focus, visit the research areas page.

Throughout the 11 weeks, students will:
  • Gain hands-on experience in the lab and learn the use of a variety of technologies for research.
  • Attend workshops in the Center's state-of-the-art support facilities, including Bioinformatics, Integrated Microscopy, Phenotyping, the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, and the Tissue Culture and Transformation Facility.
  • Participate in career pathway discussions with experienced researchers and take field trips to local universities and industries with plant or life science focuses.
  • Attend weekly seminars on issues related to biotechnology. These discussions are structured to give students insight into the social, political, and economic implications of current research--and to allow them to share their opinions, as well.
  • At the end of the summer session, each intern will present a summary of his/her research in the Center's AT&T Auditorium before an audience of scientific peers. A brief written report is also required
Interns are expected to:
  • Be present for the full eleven-week period.
  • Work at least 40 hours per week during this time. 
  • Turn in a research paper at the end of the program.
  • Attend the all-day symposium on the final day of the program and give a 10-12 minute presentation.

The REU program pays a total stipend of $7,474 for the eleven week period. Interns will receive stipend payments on every other Friday. Stipends for interns who are funded by sources other than REU may vary from this amount.

Candidates for the program:
  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associates degree. Students who have received their undergraduate degree (or will receive a degree before the program dates) and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are not eligible for the REU program.
  • Must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.**
  • Should be majoring in a plant or life science field and have relevant coursework. Prior research experience is not required.
  • Must be able to work at least 40 hours per week for the entire eleven week term.
Students who have already participated in the program are not eligible to reapply. Those students are encouraged to work with their previous mentors regarding rehiring.

For more information or to apply please visit: