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Animal Reproductive Endocrinology Internship

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is offering a support internship to assist with ongoing research on rare and endangered species. Interns will receive training under the supervision of a research fellow in the fields of animal behavior and endocrinology (through Animal Care Sciences at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Species Survival).

The Smithsonian is a world leader in the study of rare and endangered species. The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute faculty 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 cryopreserved biomaterials. More than 60 mammal, fish, coral, urchin, algal and bird species have benefited from this vast experience.

Learning Objectives: 

Intern will assist with and gain first-hand experience in:

  • Data entry, summarizing data and data analyses
  • Inventory of research samples and supplies
  • Laboratory management, including cleaning, restocking and preparing reagents
  • Ex-situ conservation research, answering fundamental biological questions while working alongside experienced researchers
  • Refined ethological skills and resulting data collection
  • Aspects of interacting with behavioral observers
  • 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 the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (Front Royal, Virginia).


Completion of undergraduate coursework in related field of study, including at least two laboratory-based courses is required. Candidates should be efficient, organized and possess strong computer skills (must be proficient in Excel) and organizational skills that can be applied to data management. Intern must be able to travel to and from internship site, which will rotate between the Smithsonian's National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and have flexible hours three to five days a week at varied locations. Intern must be in good physical condition and able to lift at least 50 pounds. Individuals will be subject to fingerprinting and a background check. Intern must have a negative TB test. A trial week is required prior to applicant acceptance into the program (this ensures that the internship activities are understood by the selectee).

This is an unpaid internship. College credit is offered if desired; intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
No lodging is available, and individual is responsible for their own transportation.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution do not provide free parking to interns. There is limited parking at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia.
Term of appointment: 

This is a six-month internship. Interns must be able to intern flexible hours at least three to five days per week at varied locations including both Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.  Deadline to apply is March 15 and individuals will be contacted after that time for phone interviews.

Application deadline(s): 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Washington DC
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to: Select "Don't have an Account? Create An Account." Complete the information to create an account.

Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • Professional resume or CV
  • 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
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • One  letter of reference (one must be from a current or a former supervisor) and two names of references that can be contacted. 
  • Schedule of availability.

Once you create your account and provide the information above, 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: “Animal Behavior and Reproductive Endocrinology Internship”

IMPORTANT: Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit.”