Posted: November 22, 2022

The Penn State Endowed program in the Molecular Biology of Cacao is pleased to announce the 2023 Summer Internship Program for underrepresented undergraduate students supported by the Plant Genome Program of the National Science Foundation.

The application deadline is Friday, December 30th, 2022 at 5:00 pm EST.

Internship dates: June 4 - 16, 2023

Location: Penn State - University Park campus

Description: This two-week course will introduce the participants to the contemporary challenges in biology research of Theobroma cacao, the chocolate tree. Topics include plant genetics, molecular biology, biotechnology and bioinformatics research. The curriculum consists of lectures and hands-on laboratory experience. Interns will learn basic molecular biology techniques (DNA extraction, cDNA synthesis, molecular cloning and others) and will conduct a specific research project, the results of which they will be encouraged to present at the end of the internship, at a mini-research symposium. Experiences will also include journal clubs, graduate student/career panels and opportunities to interact with faculty and staff in the plant sciences and related disciplines. 


The candidates must be:

  • Enrolled full-time in a Life Sciences related B.S. degree at Penn State.
  • Have completed basic biology courses (e.g BIOL 110, CHEM 110, BMB 251)
  • Be proficient in oral and written English
  • Belong to an underrepresented group (women, persons with disabilities, and three racial and ethnic groups—Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians or Alaska Natives)

Students graduating in May 2023 or earlier are not eligible.

Financial support:

Participants Stipends: $1200 (total amount for the course)

Participants Room and Board:  

  • Housing will be provided as needed in Penn State Residence Halls
  • Meal plan will be provided to all participants

How to apply:

Applicants should submit a cover letter stating their interests and qualifications related to the internship, an unofficial Penn State transcript, and a resume detailing educational experiences and relevant course and/or laboratory work. Please, submit your documentation by email to Dr. Siela Maximova ( All applicants must state in the subject line of the email: Cacao Internship 2023.

The application deadline is Friday, December 30, 2022 at 5:00 pm EST.

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Thomas (

Social Media

Social Media