The Rodale research internship is an opportunity to get hands-on experience with field and lab agricultural research.
The internship teaches aspiring researchers about organic regenerative agriculture, field research design, sampling and laboratory protocols, and basic data analysis. Rodale Institute’s research focuses on innovative methods for reducing weed and pest issues, soil erosion, fossil fuel use, and greenhouse gas emissions; heightening nutrient and water use efficiencies; improving soil health; and increasing food security. Interns will work on all active projects and are critical to the completion of essential day-to-day research activities. The internship also includes access to educational material such as Rodale webinars and field events and discussions with consultants, scientists, and educators.
Rodale’s Research Trials:
- Farming Systems Trial (FST) – the oldest continuous trial in the US comparing organic and conventional farming systems.
- Vegetable Systems Trial (VST) – comparing the impacts of organic and conventional farming practices on nutrient density in vegetables and linking nutrient density to soil health parameters.
- Integrated Weed Management Trials – studying organic methods to manage weeds, combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools.
- Industrial Hemp Trials – investigating best agronomic practices for growing industrial hemp in PA and using it as a tool in organic farming systems.
- Additional field, greenhouse, and laboratory studies are also conducted.
Interns spend most of their time conducting field and lab work. Responsibilities vary throughout the year, with a heavier emphasis on field work in the summer and fall and more lab work and maintenance in the winter. Interns typically perform the following tasks under the supervision of research technicians:
- Collect and process soil, plant, insect, grain, and produce samples using industry-standard protocols.
- Conduct soil analyses including bulk density, compaction, infiltration, etc.
- Conduct plant analyses including weed identification, stand counts, vegetable system pest scouting, etc.
- Lay out experimental field plots using GPS mapping, in-field measurements, and flagging.
- Assist with greenhouse seeding/transplanting and in-field transplanting.
- Tend and maintain field, greenhouse, and/or high tunnel experiments (using hand tools, weedwhackers, mowers, occasional weekend watering, etc.).
- Enter data precisely and in a timely manner for statistical analysis and interpretation.
- Complete and present an individual research project. Interns will work in conjunction with the project Principal Investigator on data analysis and presentation.
- Undergraduate or graduate degree, or undergraduate student with good academic standing from an accredited college or university
- A strong work ethic, initiative, and motivation
- Attention to detail and a high level of care
- The ability to work well individually and in a team environment
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Interest in regenerative agricultural issues, practices, and/or research
- Willingness to work indoors and outdoors in all weather conditions
- All applicants considered regardless of qualifications
- Location: Rodale Institute Headquarters, 611 Siegfriedale Road, Kutztown, PA 19530
- Compensation: Interns will be paid $10/hour if receiving housing, or $12/hour if not receiving housing. Organic produce from the farm is occasionally available during the growing season.
- Housing: Limited communal on-site housing is available for interns. You must notify us in advance if you need on-site housing.
- Schedule: Interns work full-time for 12-16 weeks. Internships are available for winter, summer, or fall (see chart below). Start and end dates are somewhat flexible.
- Deadlines: Application deadlines are listed below. If you miss a deadline or are interested in an internship that does not meet the minimum duration, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, as exceptions can sometimes be made based on the needs of the research department.
|Internship Season||Timeframe||Application Deadline|
|Winter||January – April||October 1|
|Summer||May – August||February 1|
|Fall||August – December||June 1|
- Application Materials:
- Cover letter (including dates of availability and contact information for 3 references)
- Resume or CV
- Official or unofficial transcript(s)
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity or handicap.