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Internship at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Every summer since 1994 Smith students have conducted plant research at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. Students intern alongside Kew scientists on projects in molecular biology, conservation genetics, or bioinformatics. (See below for a project example). Student interns have the opportunity to be co-authors on scientific publications resulting from their research. This internship runs 12-weeks.

Funding for this internship experience comes from a generous endowment established in honor of Muriel Kohn Pokross class of 1934.

Marge Poma

  • Current Smith students (graduating seniors are ineligible to apply)
  • Students with an interest in molecular biology, conservation genetics, or bioinformatics.
  • Students who have basic lab skills and have taken foundational courses in biology, chemistry and biochemistry, and/or computer science (specific to students interested in bioinformatics projects).

  • A generous stipend
  • Funding for travel to and from Kew
  • Visa fees
  • Assistance from botanic garden staff in securing housing

Students work on projects in molecular biology, conservation genetics, or bioinformatics. How are projects assigned? Students rank their top selections and are assigned to one of their choices.

Project Example: Conservation genetics of plants from the UK Caribbean Overseas Territories

  • The intern will use methods in the molecular lab and bioinformatic analysis, with a focus on conservation. The project will be part of a research program focusing on understanding evolutionary relationships among plant groups, and using population level genetic data of threatened species, to contribute to inform conservation planning and delineate taxon boundaries based on morphological and molecular data. The student will help in ongoing research projects in the Caribbean, including "Tropical Important Plant Areas and Important Plant Species in Turks and Caicos Islands" and "Biodiversity metrics for conservation management in the British Virgin Islands."


Check out the 2024 Summer Projects.

Applications are due January 5th, 2024. To apply, fill out the Kew Application Form.

 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.

Have questions? Look for a Q&A Session in the fall, or reach out to Manager of Education Sarah Loomis