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USDA-ARS Research Opportunity in Chemistry and Microbiology

Paid Internship

a month ago


*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and Location: An entry level research training opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), Peoria, Illinois. 

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

The goal of the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) Research Unit is to enhance food safety by conducting research to develop strategies to control fungal disease in cereal crops and eliminate the risk of harmful fungal contaminants in food and feed.

Research Project: MPM scientists conduct research in genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant pathology to produce information and technologies to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. The participant will have the opportunity to collaborate with this team of scientists specifically on research aimed at characterizing the diversity of fungi and mycotoxins in wheat and corn. 

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will gain experience in microbiology: field sampling, microbial isolation and fungal biomass quantification using molecular techniques. Furthermore, the participant will have the opportunity to learn standard analytical chemistry techniques including Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) for the detection and quantification of fungal metabolites.

Mentor(s): The mentor(s) for this opportunity is Martha Vaughan ( If you have questions about the nature of the research project, please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 22, 2023. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The current stipend range for this opportunity is $37,696 - $42,022 per year depending on education and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in one of the relevant fields.

Employer Job ID: USDA-ARS-MW-2023-0358


  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, or Master's Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
  • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
  • Life Health and Medical Sciences (48 )
  • Other Physical Sciences (12 )


ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy asset that enables America’s scientific competitiveness by training the next generation of STEM experts; conducting scientific and technical reviews; and evaluating radiation exposure, environmental contamination, and worker health. ORISE is managed by ORAU, a university consortium of more than 150 major Ph.D.-granting academic institutions and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. ORAU has been working with government agencies, universities, and corporate entities since 1946 to advance scientific research and education, protect health and the environment, and strengthen national security.
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Skills you'll need for this internship

    rna isolation
    dna quantification
    mass spectrometry
    plant pathology


provided by employer

What happens after you send in your application?

ORISE has not provided an expected interview date. Due to the volume of applications, ORISE has indicated that they will not follow up unless you are selected for an interview.

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Career Paths

People who completed this type of internship end up in the following types of jobs

Top majors

That get hired for this type of internship

  • Biology17%

  • Chemistry13%

  • Biochemistry6%

  • Chemical Engineering6%

  • Biotechnology5%

  • 137 other majors49%

People who did this kind of internship end up at the following companies

  • Genentech
  • Pfizer
  • Merck
  • National Institutes Of Health
Typical benefits offered for paid internships

(National average offered by employers)



Relocation Assistance




Housing Assistance

(avg. $2,892)




Travel Stipend

(avg. $978)




Tuition Reimbursement




Medical Insurance




401(k) Company Match




Paid Holidays


Estimated Monthly Living Expenses

For Peoria, IL | $2,870/mo

  • Housing/Rent$988

  • Miscellaneous$917

  • Food$404

  • Transportation$283

  • Utilities$278


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