USDA-ARS Student Internship - Food Technology

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

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A complete application consists of:

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline
4/28/2023 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA student research opportunity is available with the Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

Research ProjectThe Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit develops technologies that optimize the nutritional and health benefits, functional properties, and sensory qualities of agricultural commodities, thus, enhancing their utilization. The participant will take part in research involving the biochemical mechanisms that lead to desired physical traits of protein extrudates.  

Research activities will address USDA-ARS project objectives. These include:

  • Objective 1: Resolve the underlying biochemical mechanisms involved in effective texturization of plant proteins to enable increased commercial use of bean-based ingredients. [NP306, C1, PS1A, 1C]
  • Objective 2: Develop innovative methods for texturization of plant-based proteins and assess the effects of these technologies on food product quality and sensory characteristics to enable the development of new products.

Learning ObjectivesWhen completed with the internship, the participant will be able to characterize proteins chemical and physical traits. The participant will to define the biochemical parameters responsible for texturization of plant proteins for meat extenders and analogs.

Mentor(s)The mentors(s) for this opportunity is Brennan Smith ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for three months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a bachelor's degree in one of the relevant fields.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (2 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (1 )