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Internship - Professor-PhD Summer 2019 in Environmental Microbiology

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is the premier research and development facility for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With more than 2,500 employees, $1.2 billion in facilities and an annual program exceeding $1.6 billion, the ERDC supports the Department of Defense (DoD), the US Army Corps of Engineers (Civil Works), and other federal, state, and local agencies. This opportunity is located in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Recognized as one of the most diverse engineering and scientific organizations in the world, the organization is home to subject-matter experts in a variety of mission areas including Soldier support, military installations, environmental research, water resources and information technology. ERDC is also home to the DoD High Performance Computing Center, ranked among the top in the world, and the Army Centrifuge Research Center, a facility that enhances the capabilities of researchers to address needs in physical modeling that span the full range of engineering applications. Additional unique attributes include an aquatics laboratory, a blast load simulator, a ship-tow simulator and many physical models.

For more information about ERDC-EL, please visit
The participant will assist with multiple projects focused on various aspects of microbiology which include host-chemical-microbiome interactions and microbial mediated contaminant transformations. The participant will gain experience with state-of-the-art techniques and equipment which will aid in their own laboratory work and mentorship of student researchers as well with knowledge to be passed on to their classes. Specific projects where this participant will be actively engaged include sampling, processing, and quantifying microbial community diversity, composition and activity in insect hosts through molecular techniques and high throughput sequencing. As part of this project contaminant levels in insect tissues and soils will be assessed through standard analytical methods with high performance liquid chomatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography (GC) instruments. The participant will also be engaged in a nectar chemistry project where nectar samples will be taken from the flowers of plants challenged with different chemicals and water regimes. Nectar quality will be assessed through various bioassays and analytical chemistry techniques such as HPLC and GC- Mass Spectroscopy. 

The candidate will receive mentoring from federal research scientists and technicians and assist in meeting research obligations with the opportunity to create publications and/or technical reports. Research opportunity is open for 2 months of funding that can be completed at any time from May - August 2019.

Appointment Length
This ORISE appointment is for a 2 month period. Appointments may be extended depending on funding availability, project assignment, program rules, and availability of the participant.

Participant Benefits
Participants will receive a stipend to be determined by ERDC-EL. Stipends are typically based on the participant’s academic standing, discipline, experience, and research facility location. Other benefits may include the following:

  • Health Insurance Supplement. Participants are eligible to purchase health insurance through ORISE.
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Training and Travel Allowance

Nature of Appointment
The participant will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, DOD, or any other office or agency. Instead, the participant will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with DOD or any other agency, this opportunity may require a suitability investigation/background investigation. Any offer made is considered tentative pending favorable outcome of the investigation.

PhD- professor of Microbiology, Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or related field.

Experience with both molecular techniques for DNA extraction, traditional PCR, and high throughput sequencing and with chemical instrumentation such as LC-MS, HPLC, and GC-MS analyses.