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Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program

Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program

Program Description:

  • Eight week internships in plant biology, plant pathology, or weed science
  • Gain experience in conducting research on special projects
  • Additional programs will be offered related to laboratory safety, graduate education, and career opportunities
  • Benefits include housing, assistance with transportation costs, and $3,600 stipend
  • Program dates will be based on students availability (typical program dates are June 1 - July 30)


  • Completed two years college level study in one of the life sciences by June of when the internship program starts
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0.
Projects and Application:
A. Maize Biodiversity Underlying the Immune Response – Dr. Guri Johal
The specific purpose of this project is to explore natural diversity in maize for functional variation of the immune response to pathogens. It involves crossing an ‘autoimmune mutant’, in which a disease resistance gene of the R type is ectopically expressed, to diverse maize inbreds (of the diversity panel) and then evaluating their F1 testcross progenies for the expressivity of the hypersensitive response (HR) using various measures and assays. The Phenotypic data thus obtained is correlated with the genotypic assessments of these lines to identify and map natural genes and QTL capable of modulating the HR response.

B. Molecular Genetics of Plant Immunity to Fungal and Bacterial Pathogens – Dr. Tesfaye Mengiste

C. Practicing Plant-Pathogen Interactions – Dr. Kiersten Wise

Diseases of plants can have a significant impact on the economy, especially when they affect important food and grain crops like corn, soybeans, and wheat.  It is important to understand how pathogens infect plants so that we can manage them in a sustainable and economical way.  In this summer internship, students will conduct research to understand the interactions between plants and pathogens.  Students will get experience with both laboratory and field techniques and learn about how our disease management practices impact and improve society and agriculture.
D. Plant Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – Dr. Nancy Emery

Click here to begin the application process



Tyson McFall, Academic Advisor
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Purdue University
915 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN  47907-2054

Phone: (800) 276-5541 or (765) 494-0352

Graduate Programs: "Preparing Students for a Changing World"


For information about graduate education opportunities in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Purdue University, please visit our web page:


If you would like to tell us about yourself and your career interests so we can provide you with more specific information please complete the Request for Information form.