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EEHV Laboratory Summer Internship-qPCR

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

The Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus Laboratory is the primary EEHV diagnostic lab for the U.S. An intern will assist with a learning opportunity in partnership with BodeVet, Inc. by participating in a project on elephant blood compatability. The intern will also learn how to monitor elephants for EEHV.

The intern will learn how to store and analyze samples for blood compatibility, optimize DNA preparations and qPCR assays on multiple sample types for EEHV, record results and write a brief report detailing the activities.

Learning Objectives: 

The intern will learn about laboratory management, record-keeping, biobanking introductory cross-matching in transfusion practices and how to troubleshoot experiments. The intern will also read scientific articles relating to the project and have the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Up to one week will be spent at a laboratory in Rockville, Maryland, learning about blood transfusion technology and how to evaluate the presence of blood antigens.

Intern learning opportunities will include:

  • Performing qPCR on samples
  • Recording results in a lab notebook and on appropriate spreadsheets and preparing summaries of the results
  • Processing samples for blood compatibility testing
  • Updating the EEHV website and write reports from the lab
  • Completing a required brief report at the conclusion of their tenure
  • Performing 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, or a veterinary 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 at least 35 hours per week to this program.

Length of shifts will be determined by the needs of the study, and schedules may vary. 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 and pass a background check.

This is a paid internship. A stipend of up to $5,000 will be offered (dependent on education level, coursework, skills 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 the Smithsonian Institution do not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

Interns will be at the Zoo for 35-40 hours per week (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) with one week dedicated to lab experience at a veterinary biopharmaceutical company in Rockville, Maryland. This is an eight-week internship beginning in summer 2019, exact dates to be determined.

Application deadline(s): 
Sunday, April 7, 2019
Internship Category: 
How 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 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). If you have letters of reference already, they can be uploaded.
  • 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: “Rock Creek—EEHV Laboratory Summer 2019 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.

For additional information regarding this internship, contact Erin Latimer at Phone calls will not be accepted.