Spend a paid summer with the MSU Department of Research Centers and receive a unique opportunity in on-farm research and outreach experience, mentorship by faculty and a chance to bolster your resume and agricultural applied science experience. Paid internships are available at four MAES Research Centers for MSU, MSU-N or MSU-B students. Each intern will serve eight weeks or more during the summer semester.  On-site housing is available at some of the centers. Research Center student interns will assist with various research projects, farm and ranch related tasks, data analysis and more. Should internship credits be desired, credit approval through the students’ academic department will be led by the student requesting the credits. Tuition credits are not included in the scholarship, but can be discussed with the internship leader. 


montana map of research centers


To Apply

  • Submit a letter of interest including your full name, major, year in school, and contact information.
  • Include a <300 word essay on why you are interested in a Research Center internship and which Research Center internship program you would like to apply for. A list of Research Center internships (and their internship leaders) can be found below. 
  • You must submit application materials directly to the specific Internship Leader's email address corresponding with the respective center's internship program. 
  • You may apply for more than one internship, but you must do so by individually applying for each program you are interested in. 
  • Screening of applications will begin on April 15, 2018 until internship candidates are selected. 

Research Center Internship Programs 

Northern Agricultural Research Center: Havre, MT   *Housing possibly available
Internship Leader Contact: Dr. Maryse Bourgault, maryse.bourgault@montana.edu, 406-265-6115

Program: The Cropping Systems and Agronomy group is looking for a summer intern. We have experiments looking at nutrition, crop rotations and root development with pulses, canola, and cereals. Hands-on training and mentoring will be provided in crop physiology methodologies such as destructive samplings, monitoring of soil water and root tracing as well as in statistical analysis and writing skills for a producer audience. Job duties mainly include assisting in data collection and plot field maintenance. Work will be both indoors and outdoors, often conducted as a team. Ability to follow instructions, read plot maps and accurately record data is necessary. For those interested, this experience will give a unique insight into a career in agricultural research. Internship credits are possible and encouraged, but approval needs to be sought by the student. Learning objectives will be determined by discussion between the PI and the student-intern, preferably before the start of the internship. Hours are normally 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m., however there may be some evening and weekend hours necessary. Minimum of 8 weeks, up to 16 weeks and potential for part-time work during the academic year. Please include desired and available dates in the application. Must have a driver’s license and be able to lift 50 pounds. 

Western Triangle Agricultural Research Center: Conrad, MT  *Housing not available
Internship Leader Contact: Dr. Gady Reddy, gadi.reddy@montana.edu, 406-278-7797

Program: Summer interns will have opportunities to work and learn skills on the following areas:

1. Technical know-how on developing Montana agriculture management practices including pest management and varietal evaluation of various crops grown in the Golden Triangle area of Montana.
2. Field trials on evaluation of several integrated pest management practices encompassing biopesticide, pest monitoring and biological control of wheat steam sawfly, wireworms, wheat midge, flea beetles and cabbage seedpod weevils, pea leaf weevil, pea weevil and alfalfa weevil.
3. Direct interaction with Montana agriculture producers.
4. Work on the effects of differing systems on crop and variety performance under diverse environments represented across the Western Triangle Agricultural Region of Montana and potential fit of other materials, concepts and techniques with various cropping systems employed for cereal crop production.
5. Some monitoring of soil moisture data loggers under Low Energy Sprinkler Application (LESA). Learning plans could include a short write up about IPM and how biopesticides fit into IPM or a short write up and graphing soil moisture data from the LESA experiment.  

Central Agricultural Research Center: Moccasin, MT  *Housing available
Internship Leader Contact: Dr. Patrick Carr, patrick.carr@montana.edu, 406-423-5421

Program: The internship program is designed to provide students with a broad experience at an agronomic research facility. The focus of the experience is to give student interns applied experience working in agronomic research alongside faculty and professional staff. Student interns will be given hands-on training and experience in the varied research and associated responsibilities that exist at the center, with a particular focus on alternative crops and cropping systems along with soil microbiology. Part of this research experience will involve the students and faculty jointly agreeing on their (i.e., the student’s) greater involvement in one, and occasionally two, field experiments where the students will take a particularly active role in contributing to the research. Student interns will meet regularly with faculty and professional staff to discuss ongoing research as well as applied agronomic research more generally. Our objective and expected outcome is that student interns will leave the research center with a good understanding of the operation at the center and the demands and rewards of conducting applied research at off-campus research facilities. While the focus of the internship program is research, students will be exposed to other activities germane to the mission of the research center. Student interns will occasionally participate in non-research activities that are common at off-campus facilities so they better appreciate the expectations placed on faculty and staff at centers like CARC.

Eastern Agricultural Research Center: Sidney, MT  *Housing available
Internship Leader Contact: Dr. Frankie Crutcher, frankie.crutcher@montana.edu, 406-433-2208

Program: The Eastern Ag Research Center in Sidney is seeking a highly motivated student with an interest in plant pathology to join us for a summer internship focused on sugarbeet disease management. This internship will incorporate both field and laboratory based learning opportunities. Field responsibilities will include assisting with sugarbeet field trials, which consists of data collection, plot maintenance, rating for disease, and collecting plant samples for disease identification. The student will also receive laboratory training in isolation of plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi from tissue, preparation of growth media, preparation of chemicals and/or inoculum for lab or field use, maintenance of cultures, and using molecular techniques involving DNA. Additionally, there will be several opportunities to interact with local farmers and industry. Funding has been obtained to extend the internship past the advertised 8 weeks and on-site housing may be available.

For more information the Department of Research Centers, or for further questions about summer internships, contact Dr. Darrin Boss at dboss@montana.edu or call 406-265-6115.