The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is pleased to announce the 2018 Summer Internship Program. IALR will host eight summer interns. The goal is to provide meaningful on-the-job training and real-world leadership development experiences in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and data analysis/research. Funding for the program is provided by the IALR Foundation. To be considered for the 2018 STEM Internship Program, candidates must be: a High School graduate with plans to attend college in Fall 2018; an undergraduate or graduate level college student; or a recent college graduate, within the last 12 months.

IALR is offering eight potential projects. Six of the internships require 224 hours, representing an eight (8) week commitment and two are 112 hour assignments (schedule to be determined by mentor based on project timelines). While an IALR internship is NOT an employment situation, the professional expectations are the same.  This is a paid experience; 8-week interns will receive a stipend of $2,750, paid in two equal installments ($1,375) after four weeks of demonstrated success. The 112 hour intern will receive $1,375 paid in two installments: $675 after successful completion of 56 hours and $700 after successful completion of the remaining hours. The anticipated weekly time commitment is 28 hours. The IALR Mentor will set the work schedule during the intern orientation. 

Project Descriptions: 

1.  Microbiology and Endophyte Research
(224 hours over 8 weeks)
Mentor: Scott Lowman, Ph.D., Chief Scientist

Feeding the world in 2050 requires major advances in plant productivity. The Intern will work with IALR scientists, exploring the use of beneficial bacteria to increase plant yields and stress tolerance. Lab work will include various aspects of plant biology, microbiology, molecular biology and chemistry. Tasks may include: inoculating various plants with beneficial bacteria, monitoring plant growth daily by analyzing images captured of the plant, isolating and identifying beneficial bacteria, creating time lapse videos of individual plant growth characteristics, PCR, and creating a presentation of data recorded.

2. Robotics, Computer Vision, and Data Analytics
(224 hours over 8 weeks) 
Mentor: Scott Lowman, Ph.D., Chief Scientist

Big data and computer vision are utilized at IALR to monitor plant growth and health. The intern will work with scientists, both in the lab and in the field, to monitor plant growth and health through image analysis and computer vision. The project will also include aspects of microbiology and plant biology in addition to coding and data processing. 

3.  Precision Agriculture
(224 hours over 8 weeks) 
Mentor: Samantha Smith-Herndon, Laboratory and Research Assistant

This internship focuses on the collection, analysis, and management of data acquired from remote sensing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) in an effort to support agribusiness in Southern Virginia. The selected student will serve as visual observer and copilot in field settings throughout periods of UAV (drone) operation. Other duties include:

  • assist in collecting and analyzing soil and vegetation samples
  • assist the remote pilot in command in loading and unloading equipment associated with the operation of the ATI AgBot, DJI Matrice 100, and DJI Phantom 
  • assist in the programming and calibration of drones and sensors
  • maintain detailed records in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration 
  • assist in the development of Standard Operating Procedures associated with drone/sensor operation and calibration 
  • travel between 1-2 hours of the Institute with Research Associate to visit farms and collect data

4.  Research and data analysis for the Southern Virginia region
(224 hours over 8 weeks) 
Mentor: Linda Hutson Green, Executive Director, SVRA

Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) is housed at IALR and works with the City of Danville and the counties of Halifax, Patrick and Pittsylvania to create a strong economy that benefits the citizens of the Southern Virginia Region by promoting the region through marketing and public relations efforts.  The SVRA intern will conduct research and analysis for the region and aide in communications of the information through social media and other methods.  As an integral part of the economic development team, the intern would need experience utilizing Excel, Word, and PowerPoint and enjoy collecting and analyzing data.  The intern needs to be sensitive with the use of confidential information.  While there is not a specific age or educational requirement, experience with collecting and disseminating data or utilizing social medial and Microsoft Office would prove beneficial. Specific tasks could entail:

  • assisting with research on demographics, industry sectors, and locality profiles;
  • maintaining a database of information for review and analysis;
  • cataloging news articles, including clipping, organizing and scanning into the computer distribution system, and collecting news feeds and search information;
  • researching regional, local and industry issues;
  • helping to maintain regional profiles of demographics and econometric information;
  • assisting with meetings and events; and  
  • completing other projects as assigned.   

5.  Information Technology and Network Administration
(112 hours over approx. 6 weeks)
Mentor: Tim Kruggel, Interim Manager of IT

The IALR IT intern will be involved in several projects. The task of managing a network and computer infrastructure is a challenging one.  It requires a constant effort to maintain a secure and safe environment for the servers and PC’s.  The IT intern will work with our staff specialist to deploy and gather PC workstation images from our computer labs as well as create packages of applications for installing and updating.  Additionally, the IT intern will help in our networking closets to ‘punch-down’ cables on our patch panels. The IT summer intern will be working with the physical aspects of the IALR network wiring infrastructure as well as the software configuration.  Attention to detail is extremely important as well as manual dexterity. The IT intern should feel comfortable utilizing a stepladder to access network cables.  In addition to this, the IT intern should be familiar with the Windows operating system and have a functional level of understanding with the Microsoft Office suite of tools.

6.  Marketing and Communications
(224 hours over 8 weeks)
Mentor: Linda Hutson Green, Executive Director, SVRA

The IALR Marketing and Communications Intern will work to assist with marketing and communications of technical and scientific information for the IALR.  Responsibilities may include:

  • Reporting on activities and events at the IALR involving STEM, Camps, Research Projects, and other areas that cross scientific, technical and STEM fields
  • Assist with photography and videography of summer STEM related events
  • Assist with data base of industries involved with research or in technical fields that align with IALR research needs
  • Assist with facility tours – specializing in a knowledge of STEM related activities and labs
  • Assist with technical writing
  • Provide research on technical journals and publications for the IALR

7.  Facilities Maintenance
(112 hours over approx. 6 weeks)
Mentor: Jeff Forlines, Building Maintenance Mechanic

The maintenance intern will work with a variety of HVAC and electrical equipment that are standard to the industry.  The intern will assist with facilities maintenance issues and may assist with potential renovation projects.  It is expected that the intern will: follow all safety rules and regulations set forth by IALR; have basic electrical skills and knowledge of volt/ohm and amperage electrical meters; possess the ability to work with drills, saws, and other small electrical hand tools.  The intern must be able to climb and work off of 6, 8, and 10-foot stepladders and lift up to 50 lbs.

8.  Talent Development: Quantifying Supply and Demand
(224 hours over 8 weeks)
Mentor: Julie Brown, Ph.D., Director of Advanced Learning

IALR is interested in designing talent development strategies aligned with economic development interests and existing business needs.  The summer intern will learn to utilize JobsEQ, a data tool that quantifies job openings by sector and education level.  The intern will develop a draft communications tool to be shared with the community, highlighting job openings.  In addition, the intern will identify a microcredentialing or digital badge system that can be used by students and job seekers to highlight their respective skills. The intern will develop at least one badge aligned with IALR programs.  The intern must be self-motivated.  It is expected that the intern has experience with Internet searches and the Microsoft Office suite. 

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

The application must be submitted online along with the two reference recommendations. Please submit all other documents by email attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Include “Your Name – Summer Internship” in the subject line.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: As part of the process, each individual is asked to submit a short personal essay (200-300 words). The essay should discuss your academic and career plans, STEM/research interests (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics), motives for applying for the IALR Internship Program, and how you feel this experience will further your intellectual, educational, and career goals.

FINANCIAL NEED STATEMENT (OPTIONAL): This is a short essay (200-300 words) that explains why you would benefit from receiving an internship. How are you currently financing your education? What difficulties have you faced when paying for your education? What other forms of financial assistance have you applied for and/or received? Are you having difficulty securing FT employment? (Please note that ALL applicants are welcome to complete this part.)

STEM DISCIPLINES:

  • Biological Sciences (molecular, cellular, and organismal biology, environmental science, health)
  • Computer and Information Science and Engineering (fundamental computer science, computer and networking systems, security, programming/coding and artificial intelligence)
  • Engineering (bioengineering, environmental systems, civil and mechanical systems, chemical and transport systems, electrical and communications systems, and design and manufacturing)
  • Geosciences (geological, atmospheric and ocean sciences)
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences (mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and materials science; accounting)
  • Education and Human Resources (science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at every level, pre-K to lifelong learning)

INTERNSHIP TIMELINE:

Deadline for completed application packet:  March 26, 2018 at 4:00pm (EST)
Candidate interviews (face to face or via Skype):  April 2 – 6, 2018
Intern notification of selection:  April 9, 2018
Mandatory orientation dates (ALL interns):  June 4, 2018 OR June 11, 2018 

INTERNS MUST COMPLETE THEIR TIME COMMITMENT BY AUGUST 10, 2018.  EIGHT-WEEK INTERNS ARE ALLOWED ONE WEEK OFF DURING THE PROGRAM FOR UNPAID VACATION (total time frame extended to 9 weeks). EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE WEEK, THE 8-WEEK INTERNSHIP MUST BE SERVED IN CONSECUTIVE WEEKS.


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