Opportunities

The Chicago Botanic Garden is excited to offer a variety of opportunities for people to engage in research in the fields of plant biology and conservation. Learn more about each program and how they provide the opportunity to help address the current issues facing our planet such as the impacts of climate change, fragmentation, restoration and other conservation topics. 

Opportunities vary throughout the year and some have specific requirements to participate.  

Summer REU: Genes to Ecosystems

Education level: Undergraduate
Term: Summer
Length: 10 weeks
Compensation: Paid

The Chicago Botanic Garden hosts a full-time ten week (mid-June to mid-August) research experiences for undergraduates (REU) program. This program provides research training to undergraduates on a range of topics in plant biology and conservation (PBC), spanning genetic to ecosystem levels of inquiry. One key goal of this program is to broaden and support diversity in the sciences, particularly by increasing the participation of groups underrepresented in STEM.

We provide budding scientists opportunities to grow personally and professionally through:

  • Professional-development workshops
  • Field trips to local partner research institutions
  • Participation in a near peer mentorship network (Science Career Continuum)
  • Training in scientific communication
  • Presentations at local research symposia

Click here to learn more about this opportunity. 

Pollination Ecology Research Assistant

Education level: Undergraduate, BA or MA degree, students in between undergraduate and graduate programs
Term: Summer
Length: 9-13 weeks
Compensation: Paid

The ILER-CARADONNA LAB is looking for students with fieldwork experience to be part of an experimental plant demography project at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Gothic, CO, USA (https://www.rmbl.org/). The project addresses how pollinator declines will affect plant population dynamics in multiple plant species. Main tasks include measuring demographic vital rates on individual plants (size, reproductive status, etc.), applying pollination treatments (hand pollinations and bagging flowers/inflorescences), pollinator observations, and other general ecological fieldwork tasks. 

Multiple positions are available. The start date is somewhat flexible beginning in late May/early June and runs for up to 13 weeks depending on specific start date.

Click here to learn more about the Pollination Ecology Research Assistant position 

Lake Forest College Internship

Education level: Undergraduate
Term: Fall
Length: 4 weeks
Compensation: Unpaid, college credit

Through a partnership with Lake Forest College the Chicago Botanic Garden provides mini-internships for students enrolled in the College's Plant Biology course. These internships are once a week for four weeks in the fall and restricted to students enrolled in the Plant Biology course at Lake Forest College.

Mentors and interns can click here to learn more.

High School Partnerships

Education level: High School
Term: Year round
Length: Variable
Compensation: Unpaid

The Science and Conservation department at the Chicago Botanic Garden partners with various high school programs throughout the year. Partnerships include the Chicago Botanic Garden's College First program, Stevenson High School's SPARK program, and Evanston High School which provide opportunities for young scientists to gain knowledge and skills in plant biology and conservation research.