Corteva Agriscience ANZ Field Science Leader, Brian Husband, said the primary purpose of the internship was to give students research and development experience.
“The expectation is that students will be able to see R&D firsthand and be involved in the R&D,” Mr Husband said.
“We give students a project to work on where they can assist with the planning of it, they go out and do the work, and at the end of the season they present their findings to the Waireka team.”
The internship runs for 10 to 12 weeks and is open to any student undertaking study in the agricultural or biological sciences disciplines.
Second-year university student Bree Drinkwater is one of the two students undertaking the Corteva internship this summer.
Studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in biochemistry, through the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, Ms Drinkwater was looking for work experience that would give her a taste of the different career opportunities available in the science field.
“I wanted to do hands-on work but also wanted to be able to gain experience in research, so was looking for a diverse range of opportunities,” she said.
“I also wanted to see the knowledge I’ve learned in university applied in a practical sense.”
The hands-on work and research experience was also what drew Mitchell Bunning.
“It has turned out to be the perfect summer job,” Mr Bunning said.
Working on early-stage products and trialling whether they fit into the New Zealand and global markets, Mr Husband said the program not only benefits the students, but also plays an important role in ensuring the facility can get through its large research workload.
“One of the benefits of receiving the Callaghan Research Grant and having the students work within the facility is it allows us to conduct many research projects which we may not otherwise get done,” he said.
“Summer is a very busy time of year and it’s very much a bottleneck for us, so having the students participate in the research is great for all involved.”