You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

USDA-ARS Biological Sciences Research Internship

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture Research Service (ARS), National Animal Disease Center (NADC) located in Ames, Iowa.

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.

Research Project: Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected candidate will conduct research on the transmission, differentiation, and pathobiology of prion diseases in livestock and laboratory animal models. This research group focuses on understanding the development of prion disease in natural host species (cattle, sheep, goats, deer), testing the potential for prion agents to pass between species, and developing new diagnostic methodologies. Activities will include the collection of ante- and postmortem samples, analysis of macro- and microscopic lesions, testing samples for abnormal prion protein, and the use of molecular techniques to characterize prion agents. 

Come Join Our Prion Disease Research Team!

Learning Objectives: Throughout the course of this research project, there will be opportunities to learn laboratory procedures such as western blot, enzyme immunoassay, immunohistochemistry, and in vitro assays for prion infectivity; to interact with scientists and technicians within the group to develop new projects; and to develop clinical skills with livestock and rodents.

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

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: November 2022.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for three months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE InformationThis 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 or master's degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within the last five years.

Preferred skills: 

  • Experience with laboratory assays such as immunohistochemistry, PCR, ELISA, and western blot
  • Ability to conduct research independently, as well as part of a team while building and nurturing collaborations with external research group