Brit Verrico interning at American Chestnut Society

Internships with real-world applications

Experiential learning is a critical part of knowledge acquisition and intellectual development, so trainees in the Quantitative and Evolutionary STEM Training (QuEST) Program for Doctoral Students will complete a semester-long, applied internship during their third year, selected from a diverse list including dozens of government, non-profit, industry, start-up, and international partners.

The internships are designed in ways that trainees can make a lasting contribution to the partnership organization, develop an applied perspective on global challenges and solutions, gain valuable insight into the culture and expectations in a non-academic setting, generate or analyze data that could contribute to a chapter of their Ph.D. dissertation, and for the trainee to build a network of interpersonal relationships and experiences that can lead to employment using their diverse skills.

Research on the cutting edge

Pathogens, pests, and invasive species often quickly evolve resistance to control measures, while the capacity for rapid evolution may be limited in some crops and wild populations. At both extremes, the application of evolutionary and quantitative approaches is necessary for effective and creative solutions to these global challenges that have far-reaching ecological and societal consequences. Major QuEST research efforts focus on three areas: emerging infectious diseases and modeling for prediction; rapid evolution in response to antibiotics, pesticides, and global change conditions; and pathogen interactions that affect food security and ecosystem health. These research themes draw on the strengths of more than 35 faculty in more than eight academic units at UVM. As a QuEST trainee, you'll be at the core of innovations in collaborative research. 

Raquel Lima presenting internship findings at Vermont Dept of Health

Experience that's in Demand

QuEST's training program is designed to provide broad opportunities for trainees during and after completion of the program. Training reflects national priorities to build a diverse and inclusive workforce adept at: statistics, data visualization, modeling, informatics, leadership and teamwork; develop an ability to use rapidly growing climate and genomic data to model and predict evolutionary adaptive capacity, ecosystem shifts, and epidemiological outbreaks; and understand the threats and capacity for adaptation to more frequent and severe global challenges. We support each trainee to build a network of interpersonal relationships and experiences that can lead to employment using this dynamic skill set.

Internship Preparation Check List for Trainees