Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Animal Behavior and Reproductive Endocrinology Internship

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival is offering a support internship to assist with ongoing research on rare and endangered species. Interns will receive training under the supervision of a graduate research fellow in the fields of animal behavior and endocrinology.

The Department of Reproductive Sciences is a world leader in the study of rare and endangered species. The department faculty is diverse, but specializes in reproductive physiology, endocrinology, cryobiology, embryonic/molecular biology, behavior, and the tools associated with assisted reproduction. Staff scientists have pioneered important concepts in reproductive biology for threatened and endangered species and created new conservation tools, including new approaches for noninvasive monitoring of hormone profiles; artificial insemination; implementation of a “mobile laboratory research” unit; and databases to track cryo-preserved biomaterials. More than 60 mammal, fish, coral, urchin, algal, and bird species have benefited from this vast experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Data entry
  • Summarizing data and data analyses
  • Inventory of research samples and supplies
  • Laboratory management including cleaning, restocking, and preparing reagents

Students will gain first-hand experience in:

  • With ex situ conservation research answering fundamental biological questions while working alongside experienced researchers from the Smithsonian.
  • The operations of a laboratory from ordering supplies to material preparation
  • Activities will entail research both at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo (Washington, D.C.) and Conservation Biology Institute (Front Royal, Virginia).


  • Completion of at least three years of undergraduate coursework in related field of study, including at least two laboratory-based courses.
  • Candidates should be efficient, organized, and possess strong computer skills (must be proficient in Microsoft Excel).
  • Organizational skills that can be applied data management.
  • Must be able to travel to and from internship site which will rotate between NZP and SCBI.
  • Must be able to work flexible hours at least three days a week at varied locations.
  • Must be in good physical condition and be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
  • Individuals will be subject to fingerprinting and a background check
  • Must have a negative TB test
  • A trial working day is required prior to applicant acceptance into the program (This assures that the internship activities are understood by the selectee)


This is an unpaid internship. College credit is offered if desired. The intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.


Rock Creek and at SCBI Front Royal


No lodging is available. Individual is responsible for their own transportation.


The National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution does not provide free parking to interns. There is limited parking at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia.

Term of Appointment

This is a Fall 2014 internship beginning in September. Interns must be able to work flexible hours at least three to five days a week at varied locations including both Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.

Application Deadlines

Fall (September 1 through November 30): Applications due August 25, 2014.

To Apply

To apply, go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html. Then select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here." When you complete the information to create an account, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. You will select:

  • Type of appointment: “Internship”
  • Unit of interest: “National Zoological Park”
  • Program: “National Zoological Park Internship Program”
  • Project: “Rock Creek-Center for Animal Care Sciences; SCBI-Center for Species Survival (Repro; Husbandry)
  • Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information (Mandatory)
  • Resume or CV summarizing education (including current academic status) and employment experience. (Mandatory)
  • A one-page statement of your interest in pursuing this position. The statement should mention relevant experience, career goals, your reasons for wanting this internship, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your statement is very important during application evaluations. (Mandatory)
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Two letters of reference, including at least one academic reference.
  • Schedule of availability.

Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit” and when your references have been received (your SOLAA submitted application and references must be received by the deadlines as noted above).

For additional information

Questions about this internship should be directed to the fazioj@si.edu, or general internship questions to Athena Mylonas.