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NCAUR Student Internships
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 2024 NCAUR Student Internship Applications are currently closed.


Please check back for details on next years openings


Labs Hosting Interns in 2024 


The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research is excited to announce the return of the Student Internship Program for the year 2024. NCAUR is committed to training student researchers and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in STEM. 

Are you an aspiring student researcher who wants to utilize their interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field to help make a difference in the world?  Then the Student Internship Program hosted by the USDA – ARS – NCAUR in Peoria, IL wants you!

When you join the Student Internship Program, you’ll be part of one of seven distinct research units at NCAUR that tackle agriculture’s biggest questions using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches from chemistry and biology to physics. Prior research lab experience is not necessary, as all new techniques will be taught to you, but an enthusiasm for science is essential!  

Research students who secure a spot in the Student Internship Program are guaranteed to be mentored by a research scientist who will guide you in a specific research area underpinning one of the USDA’s diverse missions. All participants will develop necessary laboratory skills to design and perform a research project, organize, and present your findings, participate in weekly workshops focused on career preparation and development, enhance their professional network and so much more!

The internship will last for 8 weeks, tentatively from 6/3/2024 to 7/26/2024.  Students will receive a biweekly gross wage of approximately $1,200.00, which is the Federal General Schedule (GS) 3 level.  Students will work full time (40 hr/week) and will be responsible for housing and transportation to and from work.  Arrangements will be made with Bradley University, 1 mile away, to offer affordable housing options.

Ready to Apply?


  • Applicants must have completed at least two semesters of college by the start of the internship
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered with Selective Service
  • Successful adjudication of fingerprint check by designated date (date to be announced)
  • Must be a U.S. citizen

GS 3 Requirements: 

Successful completion of at least 1 year of study that includes at least 6 semester hours in any combination of scientific or technical courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. 

This is not a Pathways Internship. USDA/ARS is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

Application Materials 

  1. Submit the application materials via email to Erica Goett (
  2. Student Application Form: 
  3. Cover letter: Express why you are interested in an internship at NCAUR
  4. Resume
  5. Official transcript: You may submit an unofficial transcript with your application, but an official transcript will be needed (timeline to be announced)
  6. Have one STEM professor fill out the recommendation form: 

Examples of previous summer interns who participated in the NCAUR Internship Program




"I really liked how open and friendly everybody was. Even though this building is full of introverts, everyone I talked to was incredibly nice and didn't make me feel stupid for asking a MILLION different questions. Both about what I was doing with my research, as well as their path to getting here and other career advice."  

"Having 1 student to a lab was the right call. For me, it gave me the opportunity to really be immersed in the experience because I had that continual one-on-one."

"I think that being allowed to do research was the coolest part about this internship. I thought that I would barely be able to do anything but in reality I had days where my SY told me a task and I followed the instructions and made my plates and streaked my colonies. It was nice to know that we could actually work in the lab and do hands on experience because I have not had this kind of opportunity."

"Thank you so much for giving me a great experience with the USDA and chemistry jobs in general. This was my first time working in a science field, although I've wanted to for a while. This will be insanely helpful for my future and I cannot thank you enough."

"I genuinely appreciate this experience. I've seen this building a million times and wondered what was happening inside. I would have never guessed a giant government think tank."