Applications Available for Elite Undergraduate Internship Program at N.C. Research Campus

Only 30 undergraduate students from North Carolina colleges and universities will be selected to participate in an intense, 11-week internship program, the Plant Pathways Elucidation Project (P2EP), at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis, N.C. Applications are now available from the program website,

Applications are due March 1, 2016 and the selection process will include a Skype interview. The start date of the 2016 summer program is May 16.

P2EP involves numerous research endeavors with an overarching theme of plant pathways. Plant pathways are the series of chemical reactions in a plant that produces compounds and amino acids, phytochemicals or fiber that are necessary for the plant’s survival and adaptation and may benefit human health. The P2EP research involves the genetic mapping, sequencing and annotation of these pathways in 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.

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, strawberry and sweet potato). 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 in July.

Professional development modules, guest lectures, and team-building exercises are interspersed with research work during the summer session. Past intern, Jonathan Fabish, a student at N.C. A&T State University, said, “I learned an amazing amount of genetics and statistics in a very short time. I am very happy to leave with a thorough conceptual understanding of many concepts that originally felt out of my reach.”

Questions about the program or application process should be directed to Ebony Powers-Watermann, P2EP program manager, 704-250-5451 or

Direct links to online application (hosted by NC State Jobs website):

UNC-System Students

Non-UNC System Students

About P2EP

P2EP is a collaborative training and education program designed to advance research on key crops while preparing students for successful careers in STEM fields. In three years, P2EP received over $3 million in funding allowing 84 interns to receive training in advanced fields of scientific inquiry and supporting the programs of seven graduate students. Sponsors are David H. Murdock Research Institute, Dole Nutrition Institute, Duke Energy Foundation, General Mills, Inc., Holiday Inn – Kannapolis, Linguamatics Ltd., N.C. Biotechnology Center, N.C. Research Campus, N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute, Turner Construction, UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Services Division, and UNC General Administration. For more information, visit