Undergraduate Learning Experiences in working with Big Data in Agriculture

A 9-week summer internship supported by USDA-NIFA

Undergraduate Summer Internship

The Undergraduate Learning Experiences in working with Big Data in Agriculture Internship summer program aims to provide undergraduate students classroom and experiential learning experiences in working with big data relevant to agricultural research and extension.

Big data is being collected at scales previously unimaginable and is transforming research and extension in agriculture. Consequently, there is tremendous demand for scientists who have deep domain knowledge in the life sciences, skills in quantitative thinking, as well as sufficient abilities to communicate and work effectively within transdisciplinary teams. To help prepare students for the needs of the current workforce, we will provide students a hybrid course that integrates classroom learning experience with research experience.

Students will learn fundamentals to gain familiarity with skills and ethics of computational biology and train in research and extension labs to work with real world BIG datasets relevant to agriculture. Students will learn in peer cohorts and be mentored by groups of scientists who are linked on the basis of sharing common research interests.

Students will get first hand experience to gain an understanding of the scientific process, the appropriate use of quantitative methods, and an ability to work in teams and communicate effectively across disciplines.


Each student awarded with an internship will receive a stipend of $1500 in addition to travel support and on-campus room and board.

Who can apply?

Undergraduate students from any US institution are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to students from traditionally underserved minorities, first-generation college students, and students from institutions with limited research opportunities.

Application deadline

Applications are due by April 1, 2019. Decisions will be made by the end of April.

Summer Internship

In an 9-week summer program (June 17 through August 16, 2019) students will: 

  • Receive training in basic command line operations, data and software best practices, and application of FAIR data principles
  • Be mentored by cohorts of faculty
  • Analyze big data generated via use of cutting-edge technology and informatics facilities
  • Learn to work with data in team and individual settings
  • Learn communication and presentation skills
  • Showcase their work to the public at an end-of-program symposium
  • Expand their personal and professional network
  • Receive a stipend, and support for travel as well as room and board