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Plant Genetics and Biotech Research | Turrialba, Costa Rica

More photos of this internship may be found here.

Take part in genetics and biotech research on topics like seed reproduction, propagation, and preservation.  This research is conducted at an internationally respected organization operating in and around the Caribbean doing research, graduate education, and community engagement.  Genetics and biotech research at this site has implications for food security and sustainable agriculture initiatives.

Internship Start Dates:

  • Flexible start dates at the beginning of any academic term.

Duration of Internship:

  • 10-12 weeks, minimum.

This well-respected international organization works towards sustainable agricultural management and natural resource conservation in Caribbean Rim countries  Headquartered in the agricultural province of Cartago, Costa Rica, this organization combines scientific research and exploration, graduate education programs, and outreach efforts to local communities to address broader issues of sustainability.

Exact job duties will vary based on current projects and intern candidate’s qualifications.

Examples of genetics and biotechnology research projects through CATIE have included (subject to change):

  • Biotechnology of Coffee
    • Micro-propagation processes
    • Multiplication of F1 coffee hybrids
    • Somatic embryogenesis
    • Cryopreservation of seeds and different vegetative propagules
  • Conservation of Genetic Material and Production:
    • Plant reproduction and propagation
    • Seed bank management
    • Interface with production and food security

Academic Background:

Biology, genetics, biotechnology, horticulture, and/or related fields.

Skills / Experience:

Willingness to learn new skills and to take the time to learn them well.

Language Requirements:

Intermediate to advanced Spanish is required.  Depending on the specific project(s) an intern will undertake, the level of Spanish required may be intermediate or advanced.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees: $525
  • International Travel: $800-950
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400*

* Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: covered in Host Site Fee
  • Food: $300 ($75/wk)
  • Local Transportation: $120 ($30/wk)
  • Recreation: $150 ($37.50/wk)
  • Personal Expenses: $120 ($30/wk)

Additional Expense Information

The Host Site Fees Includes:

  • Housing
  • Access to facilities and labs relevant to your project.
  • Administrative costs
  • On-site support

Housing in on-campus apartments are arranged by the host site.  It typically includes three bedrooms, a shared kitchen, solar area for drying clothes and bathroom.  Candidates should expect to have a shared bedroom, although they may have single-occupancy rooms.  Interns may need to supply their own basic items like bedding, kitchen utensils, etc.

Check out pictures from this internship.


Fall | Winter | Spring | Summer

Application Deadline

Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15

Basic Requirements

-See Qualifications and Requirements section