BTI Internships

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.

Learn more here.

Internship Spotlights

Read the stories of former Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) interns!

Emily Humphreys poses with a plant

Emily Humphreys

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.

Brandon Williams stands with a plant in a growth chamber

Brandon Williams

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 Gonzalez working in a lab

Emmanuel Gonzalez

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.”

NSF Logo
Fred-Emerson-Foundation logo
Ithaca Garden Club Logo
John Ben Snow logo
Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County Logo
Rheonix Logo
Triad-Foundation Logo
Yunis Realty Logo

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.



Boyce Thompson Institute
533 Tower Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14853