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The David Bohnett Cognitive Fellow

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

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is currently recruiting for a funded, 1-2 year candidate for "The David Bohnett Cognitive Fellow" position at the Great Ape House and Think Tank. Think Tank is a unique exhibit that focuses on the nature of "thinking" as a biological process, rather than focusing on a particular animal species or habitat. It combines the appeal of orangutans, monkeys, and other charismatic species with an interactive exploration of the question: "What is thinking?"

Learning Objectives: 

The successful fellow will conduct independent research in primate cognition, with access to orangutans, gorillas, gibbons, guenons, and lemurs. The fellow will also have an opportunity to highlight their research through scheduled research demonstrations at the Think Tank, where possible involving the Zoo's orangutans and/or guenons.

All research will occur in a dynamic zoo setting, and the appointed fellow will need to be a flexible team player. Safety protocols for researchers must be strictly adhered to at all times.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in psychology, biology, anthropology or related field and must either be a current graduate student or post-doc. Previous experience working with non-human primates and/or experience developing and implementing experimental methods involving animals in a dynamic setting is preferred. The candidate must have the ability to work a regular schedule, 40 hours a week, including weekends. The stipend in this 1-2 year position is competitive based on experience and may be supplemented with a budgeted allowance to go towards research supplies and/or health insurance.

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.
Washington DC
The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo does not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

1-2 years.

Application deadline(s): 
Friday, February 12, 2016
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: “”

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.