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EEHV 2023 Fall Internship

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

The Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) Laboratory is the primary EEHV diagnostic lab for the United States. An intern will learn to monitor elephants for EEHV. The intern will learn how to optimize DNA preparations and qPCR assays on multiple sample types for EEHV, record results, laboratory management, record keeping, troubleshoot experiments, and write a brief report detailing his/her activities. The intern will also read scientific articles relating to the project and have the opportunity to attend virtual and in-person lectures and seminars at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. There is a possibility of learning about veterinary anatomic pathology, epidemiology, and clinical pathology.

Learning Objectives: 

The intern will learn to:

  • Perform qPCR on samples from DNA prep to PCR reaction setup and analysis
  • Record results in a lab notebook and on appropriate spreadsheets and prepare summaries of the results
  • Update the EEHV website and write reports from the lab
  • Complete a required brief report at the conclusion of their tenure
  • Perform other associated duties as assigned

The intern must be a college junior (or above) currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a life science or related field, a recent college graduate, or a veterinary or graduate student with some research background. The intern should have a sincere interest in life science research and plans for continued education or a career in life science or veterinary medicine. The incumbent must be able to dedicate 21-28 hours per week to this program. Hours and days are somewhat flexible. Attention to detail and manual dexterity to handle small tools, such as pipettors and reaction tubes, and to manipulate small or fragile specimens are required.

The intern must have strong communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment with staff, other interns, and a variety of volunteers. The intern should easily take directions, work well with others and have the ability to be independent. Strong preference will be given to candidates who have experience in a laboratory with a solid background in molecular biology. The selected intern must be fingerprinted, have a negative TB test, be vaccinated for tetanus and SARS CoV-2, and pass a background check. The Smithsonian and the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute are committed to a safe workplace and will require completion of lab safety, COVID safety, and face covering online courses and will need a recent negative COVID test.

This is a paid internship. A stipend of up to $640/week will be offered (dependent on education level, coursework, skills, hours worked, and length of internship). College credit is offered if desired; the intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. The intern will be responsible for all transportation costs, living arrangements, 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 and Conservation Biology Institute does not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

Interns will be at the Zoo for 21- 28 hours per week (schedule will be worked out with the chosen candidate). This is an internship for Fall 2023, exact dates to be determined.

Application deadline(s): 
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

Email with the following information:

  • Name, cell phone, email address
  • Professional resume or CV
  • A one-page statement of your interest in pursuing this position. The statement should mention relevant laboratory 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 names of reference (one must be from a current or a former supervisor) and contact information (phone/email)
  • Schedule of availability