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Carnivore Gamete Biology Laboratory Management Internship

This internship has closed. To see open and upcoming opportunities, visit the internships page.

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival (CSS) is offering a laboratory management internship to teach a qualified and highly motivated individual cutting-edge research on rare and endangered species through CSS’s Department of Reproduction-Gamete Biology Research Laboratory. Interns will learn, under the supervision of postdoctoral fellows and research scientists, in vitro culture techniques, tissue processing and histology, cell metabolism analyses, and general laboratory management. This internship does NOT involve contact with animals.

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 140 mammal, fish, coral, urchin, algal, and bird species have benefited from this vast experience.

Learning Objectives: 

Interns will learn under the supervision of the Department of Reproductive Sciences staff. Learning objectives will include sterile culture techniques, tissue sample processing and analysis, record keeping, laboratory and equipment maintenance, data analyses, and data presentation.

This appointment provides the student with an increased understanding of gamete biology and reproduction, as well as experience in conservation research and medicine. Students will be given all the necessary training in order to work safely with chemicals and biological samples. Feedback will be given as needed as the student progresses through the internship. We will provide the student with recommendations for future internships/jobs as needed for a two year period.

Learning activities include but are not limited to:

  • Ovarian tissue, follicle and egg isolation and in vitro culture

  • Tissue histology

  • Fluorescence assays

  • Summarizing data and data analyses

  • Statistical analyses of biological and hormone data

  • Cataloging and inventorying supplies

  • Laboratory management – including cleaning, restocking and preparing reagents

  • MUST have a valid Driver’s license and be comfortable behind the wheel
  • Candidates should be comfortable handling biological tissues (i.e. not physically uncomfortable by the sight)
  • 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 possess organizational skills that can be applied to supply management and inventory.
  • Must be able to travel to and from internship site, or fly into Dulles International Airport (IAD).
  • Must be interested in wildlife medicine, conservation and research with zoo based animals.
  • Must be available to devote 40-60 hours a week, including some weekends and holidays, towards learning
  • Must be comfortable working with excel.
  • Must have strong communication skills.
  • Must be able to engage within a team environment with staff, other interns, and a variety of volunteers.
  • Must be flexible, self-motived and have a good sense of humor.
  • Must be comfortable with public speaking on and off microphone.
  • Must be fingerprinted and pass a background check.
This is an unpaid internship. Special consideration will be given to applicants who receive college credit for internship. Intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
Front Royal
The intern will be provided with free housing at CSS/SCBI for the duration of the internship, provided they adhere to dorm rules and regulations, and remain in good standing with the project lead.
The intern will be provided with free parking at CSS/SCBI for the duration of the internship, provided they adhere to the rules and regulations pertaining to the use of a personal vehicle on site, and remain in good standing with the project lead.
Term of appointment: 

This is a 6 month internship starting after mid or late March 2017, with the possibility of being extended for an additional 6 months. The start and end dates are somewhat flexible.

Application deadline(s): 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
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.
  • Two letters of reference (one must be from a current or a former supervisor)
  • 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: “Carnivore Gamete Biology Laboratory Management Internship”

IMPORTANT: Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit.” Your SOLAA-submitted application with references must be received by the deadlines as noted above.