Bioinformatics

P2EP Summer Internship Applications Available

December 08, 2016

Finals and Winter Break may be top of mind, but summer is just around the corner! Have you considered a P2EP internship? Apply now for an exciting summerp2ep of science at the N.C. Research Campus. Remember, the application deadline is March 3, and there are several attachments that must be included. Applications for the P2EP summer internship program must be completed online through the N.C. State Jobs website.

UNC System Students, apply here.
Non-UNC System Students, apply here.

Application FAQs

1. Why are there different applications for UNC System students and Non-UNC System students? The UNC General Administration has provided funding support for students who attend any of the 17 campuses that are part of the UNC System. We encourage students of Non-UNC System schools to apply for P2EP as well, however, you must contact the program manager, Ebony Powers Watermann, to discuss how you can secure the necessary funding. Previous interns have had tremendous success securing grant funds or college support to underwrite this internship experience.

2. Is housing provided? No. We can provide information about affordable dormitory housing at UNCC. All costs associated with accommodations and parking (at UNCC or elsewhere) are the responsibility of the intern. You may also secure temporary rental housing in the area at your expense.

3. What if I have a vacation planned this summer? Interns are considered temporary employees of N.C. State University, and as such, receive no leave benefits. All leave, whether for illness or vacation, will be unpaid. Planned leave should be discussed with your mentor and the program director at the earliest possible date. Excessive leave or tardiness will not be tolerated and may lead to termination.

4. How do I login to the NCSU Jobs site? Previous users will need to login with their user name and password. New users will need to create an account. Once the account is set up, confirmation will be sent via the email address provided in the account profile. Use this user name and password to apply.

5. How do I find the job listing on the site?

    • Use the direct links: UNC System or Non-UNC System
    • Search by Job number (UNC System: 11ASO749, Non-UNC System: 11ASO750)
    • Search by Job title, “Research Technician”

6. Can I begin the application process, save and return later? If you begin applying, but do not finish attaching all of your documents, the documents that you have attached will be held in the system, and your answers to the Supplemental Questions will be saved. When returning to complete the application, review your answers to the Supplemental Questions, check your application for errors, then certify your application. However, it is encouraged that you secure all necessary attachments prior to beginning the application process. After you have successfully completed your application (documents, uploads, answered questions, etc), you will receive a confirmation number based on the job you have posted for. Save this confirmation for your records. Deadline for this posting is March 3.

P2EP In a Nutshell

Duration: Monday, May 22 – Friday, August 4, 2017 (11 weeks)
Location: North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, N.C.
Expectations: P2EP is a paid internship program. Interns are expected to work 40 hours per week (Monday through Friday), and be properly prepared and engaged in all internship activities.
Structure: Interns will be divided into small groups with a faculty advisor and a graduate student mentor. Some research teams conduct functional genome sequence assembly in tandem with plant pathways research for specific food crops (banana, blueberry, broccoli, oats, pineapple, and strawberry). Other teams focus on bioinformatics; mining data to further contribute to a research knowledge base. As the program concludes, each team will give an oral presentation of their research and present a scientific poster at the P2EP Summer Research Symposium.

Internship Eligibility

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at an accredited North Carolina college or university, and have completed coursework related to the mission of P2EP.
  • Maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. Students with lower GPAs in good standing with their respective institutions may be considered.
  • Provide at least one recommendation letter from academic faculty on university letterhead.
  • Be available to interview as part of the admissions process via Google Hangout or in person.

About P2EP

The Plant Pathways Elucidation Project (P2EP) involves numerous research endeavors with an overarching theme of plant pathways. Plant pathways are a series of chemical reactions in a plant that help make compounds that are necessary for survival and adaptation. Ultimately the pathway leads to a new product, such as an amino acid, phytochemical or a type of fiber. These compounds are often beneficial to human health when consumed. The P2EP research involves the genetic mapping, sequencing and annotation of fruits, grains and vegetables. Using bioinformatics, the P2EP teams will be compiling data to populate a knowledge base dedicated to plant pathways research from around the world.

P2EP Projects

Interns will be assigned to one of the following project teams:

1. Metabolomics is an efficient omic approach to investigative stress-responsive metabolites that allow plants to adapt to extreme environments. Meanwhile, phytoalexins are secondary compounds produced by plants in response to infection or stress. Many of them have been proven to provide a multitude of health benefits, such as antioxidants and anti-cancer activities. The interns in the wild sweet potato group will conduct metabolomics comparisons between halophyte and glycophyte sweet potato wild relatives to understand the metabolite and pathways involved in salt tolerance, as well as identify phytoalexins induced by salt stress. Results will facilitate developing salt-tolerant sweet potato cultivars with high nutrition profile.

2. Interns in the Knowledge-Based Discovery Group will help curate, validate and explore the P2EP Knowledge Base. They will assist in the discovery of the underlying molecular mechanisms behind the health benefits of plant-based foods. This project will help develop a web portal to allow public access to the P2EP Knowledge Base (except for proprietary data) for discovery browsing and visualization for P2EP researchers and the scientific community.

3. Participants will research objectives relevant to diploid and/or tetraploid blueberry mapping populations and the blueberry genome. Objectives may include determination of the genetic/genomic basis of specific metabolite profiles (e.g., particular anthocyanin species in the profile, sugar accumulation profiles, or accumulation of anthocyanins in the interior berry fruit pulp versus the skins) and identification of candidate genes responsible for diversification of anthocyanins.

4. Participants help characterize the banana genome (wild types and cultivated genotypes) and use this backbone of information to 1) characterize pathways that lead to novel carotenoid and/or flavonoid (anthocyanin), dopamine accumulation in some genotypes, and 2) determine the genetic basis of apparent resistance to black sigatoka disease demonstrated in some wild banana selections.

5. Participants will help establish genomic resources and develop new genomic tools for the pineapple crop, and use these assets to 1) characterize pathways that lead to significant metabolites accumulated in pineapple and 2) determine the genetic basis of resistance to relevant fungal diseases and/or nematodes. Dole has access to a vast range of pineapple biodiversity to facilitate this research quest, and these tissues will be fully available to the selected candidate.

6. Fruits and vegetables contain important, complex mixtures of compounds that confer health benefits to humans. The metabolomics interns will focus on extracting and identifying the compounds and regulatory genes in blueberries using advanced association mapping software, JMP Genomics. The interns will also be learning and analyzing NMR and HPLC-MS results. The results of this internship and research will aid future research on the agronomic development of more nutritious blueberries with improved consumer-preference.

More questions? Contact Ebony Powers Watermann, P2EP Program Manager or visit p2ep.org.

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