The National Science Foundation (NSF) and The Hearst Foundations collectively awarded $711,656 to support research training for undergraduate students in The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center’s Summer Internship program. Students will have the opportunity through the funding to participate in a world class research environment in the area of plant and life science to obtain valuable research skills. The Center’s sought after Internship program is managed by two Principal Investigators, Dr. Leslie Hicks and Dr. Sona Pandey, and provides students with insight into the personal qualities of a good researcher, the steps to take on the road to becoming a scientist, and the broader implications of scientific discovery.

The NSF REU Site award supports research training for twelve undergraduate students for 11 weeks, during the summers of 2012-2016.  Students conduct a research project under the guidance of senior scientists at the Center in the areas of cell biology, molecular biology, structural biology, biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry, computational biology, bioinformatics, developmental biology, genetics, genomics, or plant pathology.

The Hearst Foundations one year grant of $50,000 expands the Center’s Internship program by approximately five students and will allow them to experience all aspects of modern scientific research, from design to experimentation to reporting. The research component of the Internship program is supplemented with additional educational and training activities including field trips and workshops in proteomics, microscopy, and tissue culture and transformation.

“These grants help expand our program by supporting additional interns to engage in an international research environment with a diverse set of research areas,” Dr. Leslie Hicks, Principle Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  “Our program hosts students from universities across the nation to gain hands-on experience in the lab and learn the use of a variety of technologies for research.”

The Center will be accepting applicants for the 2013 Summer Internship Program in November.  Roughly 125 interns have passed through the program since its inception in 2001.  The Center has been an NSF REU site since 2003.


About The Hearst Foundations

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations and institutions working in the fields of Education, Health, Culture and Social Service. Our goal is to ensure that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives.

The charitable goals of the Foundations reflect the philanthropic interests of William Randolph Hearst. The Hearst Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1945 by publisher/philanthropist William Randolph Hearst. In 1948, Mr. Hearst established the California Charities Foundation, renamed the William Randolph Hearst Foundation in 1951. Both Foundations are national private philanthropies operating independently from The Hearst Corporation.

The two Foundations are managed as one entity, sharing the same funding guidelines, leadership, and staff. Staff based in the headquarters in New York City review all proposals from organizations located east of the Mississippi River, and staff in the San Francisco office review requests from organizations west of the Mississippi.

In addition, the Foundation administers two operating programs, the United States Senate Youth Program and the Hearst Journalism Awards program.

About The National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” With an annual budget of about $6.9 billion (FY 2010), we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a notforprofit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science.  The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates and Howard Buffett Foundations.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center invites you to visit its website,; featuring interactive information on the Center’s research, scientists, news and public education outreach. RSS feeds and the brand new “Roots & Shoots” blog allow visitors to keep up to date with Center’s current operations and areas of research.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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