US National Arboretum



Research Internships
6 months, full time, beginning late summer or early fall

Interns will work directly with one of the USNA’s research scientists. The majority of time is spent in the lab. The intern will participate in all aspects of the experiments. Compensation for the research intern will be approx. $14.56/hr.

Applicants need to have either completed at least 24 hours of relevant course work or have acquired one year of practical experience in a lab setting. Experience in plant pathology, microbiology, sterile technique and the ability to work independently are very important.

Available Positions:

Bio–Safe Pesticide Development: More environmentally friendly alternatives to synthetic pesticides are needed to ensure sustainable production of high quality ornamental plants. 'Biorationals', plant extracts derived from plants that are naturally resistant to a broad spectrum of pathogens, are a potential substitute for the synthetic pesticides currently used for disease control. It is necessary to screen many different plant extracts in order to identify biorationals that are effective against the most important organisms causing disease in ornamental plants, including a wide variety of soil-borne fungi. In addition to screening for effectiveness in control of the disease organism, it is also important to test for lack of phytotoxic effects on the ornamental plants that are to be protected, as productivity and visible quality of ornamentals are highly important.

Essential oils and other plant extracts will initially be tested in vitro for effective growth inhibition of laboratory cultures of selected fungal pathogens including Rhizoctonia solani using 'poison food', paper disk plate assay, and liquid suspension culture methods. Extracts determined to be effective in laboratory tests will then be tested for phytotoxicity and disease suppression on plants grown in growth chambers or greenhouse experiments.

The intern will participate in all aspects of these experiments – preparing media, inoculating cultures, measuring inhibition, determining disease progression using standardized disease ratings, and analyzing data.

To apply for the Year-Long Internships:

Applications for the six-month research internship must go through the ARS Human Resources Department. The announcement and information link is here. Applications are due no later than August 25th, 2008. [A PDF preview of the announcement and application details can be found here].

To learn more about the other various types of internships, requirements, and how you may apply,
please click on the links provided below.

Research Internships
Summer Horticultural Internships
Part-Time Horticultural Internships
Marketing Internship
Year-Long Internship
Internship page

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Internship Coordinator:
(202) 245-4563 or

Optional Form 306, (Declaration for Federal Employment): If you are selected for any of these positions, you will be required to complete this form before an offer may be made.

Selective Service System:
Males over age 18 who were born after December 31, 1959, must have registered with the Selective Service System (or have an exemption) to be eligible for Federal employment.

EEO Policy Statemnt: The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.

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Last Updated   August 7, 2008 4:04 PM

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