Undergraduate Research Experience Internships
Plant Genome Research Program Internship (NSF REU)
Bioinformatics (NSF REU)
Innovative Agricultural Technologies (USDA REEU)
Programmable Plant Systems (NSF REU)
For over 20 years BTI has been inspiring undergraduates to discover how a career in research can have a positive impact on our world. Learn more about how research can be applied to protect the environment, enhance human health, and improve agriculture.
Undergraduate researchers who participate in our NSF & USDA funded programs will gain knowledge of plant systems, plant genetics and genomics, digital agriculture and scientific research by working closely with their research mentors in a laboratory setting. Participating undergraduates will learn the latest molecular biology techniques and bioinformatics tools while working on a supervised, independent research project within the framework of the assigned laboratory’s research program.
All programs are available through one application – Learn more here.
High School Research Internships
Since 2001, BTI has provided High School students the opportunity to participate in hands-on real world research projects for 7 weeks each summer. The goal of the program is to introduce students to plant science and computational biology during the summer of their junior year to provide them with valuable insight about their future career and major. If you are interested in spending the summer engaged in full-time research for 7 weeks at BTI and Cornell, please review the program information, eligibility, and application tips here.
High School Workforce Advantage Program Internships
Launched in the summer of 2019, the BTI Workforce Advantage Program is a unique, immersive seven-week internship that provides high school students with work experience in varying operational areas in order to build a workforce development pipeline equipped to support scientific research “beyond the lab.”
As part of the program, each high school intern is appointed a mentor to assist and guide them in their selected area of work, which have included positions in BTI’s Procurement, Information Technology (IT), Finance, Lab Services, Greenhouse, Computational Biology, and Mechanical departments. The interns work alongside and share in many of the same professional development activities as their mentors to gain new, and hone existing, skills.
The Workforce Advantage Program interns also attend Lunch and Learn Sessions. For example, a local CPA firm taught the importance of student loans, tax forms, credit cards, credit scores and interest rates, and BTI’s Information Technology team explained internet scams and email etiquette. At the end of the internship, reference letters are provided to each student, highlighting their accomplishments. These tools and professional guidance prove invaluable to the participants, helping them to become well rounded and successful individuals as they progress on their career journey.
Read the stories of former Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) interns!
An Oberlin University undergraduate majoring in Biology and minoring in Rhetoric and Composition, Emily Humphreys joined BTI’s Plant Genome Research Program summer intern program in 2020. In addition to utilizing the program’s primary purpose of gaining research experience and learning about scientific careers, Emily approached the communications team to gain additional scientific writing experience on top of her regular workload. Emily wrote two press releases as well as four blog posts, deftly weaving scientific internship topics with her personal thoughts and experiences during the pandemic.
Originally from Elmira, NY, Brandon was an undergraduate REU intern in Maria Harrison’s lab in 2017, when he studied transcription factors involved in the symbiosis between arbuscular mycorrhizae and the barrelclover plant with Penelope Lindsay as his mentor. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Cortland, he entered the Ph.D. program at Cornell, where he is working to use synthetic biology to create plants that act as biotic sensors. Brandon also spent time in the Van Eck lab in 2018-2019, during which he mentored a PGRP intern in goji berry transformation.
“Working at BTI has solidified in me a passion in conducting research driven towards helping people.”
Emmanuel spent his summer in the Giovannoni Lab researching cold tolerance in tomato hybrids. Emmanuel has a strong interest in botany that intersects with his love of photography outside of the lab.
“I wanted to gain the skills to become a scientist and eventually use them to bring about good to human and plant life. My passion for plant science has greatly evolved and strengthened; this is my chosen career path.”
Internships are funded by the National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Undergraduates Award #1358843, individual faculty grants, and the generosity of donors including the Emerson Foundation , Ithaca Garden Club, John Ben Snow, the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County, Rheonix, Triad Foundation Inc, Yunis Realty , and many individual donors.