Job Type: Paid Internship
Salary Details: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.
Deadline: Apr 28, 2023

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) located in Beltsville, Maryland.

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 the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

Research Project: The selected applicant will use systematic approaches to study various economically important plant-parasitic nematodes. The applicant will use existing software and the USDA Nematode Collection database to expand the data and specimens in the collection and use this data for research and nematode identification. The applicant will participate in research to determine the systematics of agriculturally important nematodes. Methods will include processing of soil samples, isolation of nematodes from soil, preparation of slides and microscopic identification. In addition, the selected applicant will conduct research with diverse collections from around the world housed in the USDA Nematode Collection, preparing permanent mounts, entering data, including final identifications, and analyzing host and geographic information. The project requires knowledge and methodologies in preparation, mounting and remounting of slides, for the USDA Nematode Collection, microscopy and data entry into the computerized database.

Learning Objectives: The participant will learn laboratory methodologies for:

  • Taxonomical and morphological characteristics of plant-parasitic nematodes
  • Curation of plant-parasitic nematodes
  • Methodologies in preparation, mounting and remounting of slides.
  • Entering data into the computerized database

MentorThe mentor for this opportunity is Zafar Handoo ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: As soon as a qualified candidate is identified. Start date is flexible and will depend upon a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The initial appointment is 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.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

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 have received a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion before May 1, 2023. 

Preferred skills:

  • Knowledge of plant pathology, entomology, ecology of soil microorganisms and/or nematology
  • Skill in microscopy or drawing would be beneficial/positive in consideration but not required
  • Experience with soil microorganisms or vegetable crops
  • Nematology training
  • Excellent computer skills

Please apply at this link: