Summer Internship at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Every summer since 1994 two Smith College students have worked as interns at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, in molecular biology and conservation genetics. Both learn state-of-the-art scientific techniques and meet noted scientists from around the world. Kew scientists expect a full 12 weeks of work from each intern. Both student interns have the opportunity to be co-authors on scientific publications resulting from their research. See List of Publications .

Applications should be submitted to the Manager of Education in the Botanic Garden office (see information below on the application process). Applicant information is forwarded to Kew, where scientists select the two students best suited to their summer projects. Funding for student airline travel to England, and expenses related to getting a visa, as well as a $6500 stipend to cover living expenses comes from an endowment established in honor of Muriel Kohn Pokross class of 1934. The usual cost for each student's living expenses is around $300 per week for the 12 weeks. Please note that you must have a valid passport when you apply for the internship. Once decisions are made and students are awarded the internship, they must immediately begin the visa application process. This will take a few months and requires a valid passport.

Learn more: Kew Internship Q&A Session Slide Deck

The Application Process:

Applications are due January 6th 

Kew Internship Application Form

Email the following to Sarah Loomis:

  • A concise letter of intent, up to two pages in length (one page is fine), describing how the research experience at Kew will benefit you and fit with your career plans.
  • A standard scientific resume including a detailed summary of the following:
    a. list of relevant courses taken in biology, chemistry, biochemistry
    b. list of laboratory skills learned in various courses
  • A transcript of your coursework (unofficial printout is fine)
  • Letters of reference from two faculty members (please have faculty email these directly).

For more information contact:
Sarah Loomis, Manager of Education


The Kew internship shaped my scientific career. I had done research at Smith before starting the internship, but never as a full-time job. During my time at Kew, I realized, “Yes! This is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life!”


Elizabeth McCarthy, Class of 2006