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Felid Endocrinology Internship

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

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's felid reproductive team is seeking an applicant for consideration to serve as an intern for the 2022 spring/summer session (six months, April to September). This internship provides the opportunity for the selectee to gain experience in practical laboratory techniques for processing biological samples for endocrine analysis. 

The intern will support ongoing research projects on felid reproduction, with a focus mostly on cheetahs and clouded leopards. This is an unpaid internship opportunity wherein the intern will support SCBI's Department of Reproductive Sciences at the Front Royal, Virginia, campus.

Learning Objectives: 

The intern will:

  • Learn alongside professional staff the basic techniques of biological sample handling and processing
  • Learn data entry, sample and database management  
  • Learn how to extract steroid hormones from biological samples
  • Study and follow laboratory safety guidelines, operations and polices
  • Learn how to assay biological samples to determine concentrations of steroids in feces and urine
  • Interact with scientists, students and staff conducting research across numerous taxa and disciplines
  • 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 (especially Excel)
  • Must be available to devote a minimum of 20 hours a week, with willingness to be available outside normal business hours, including weekends and holidays
  • Good written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to be an effective team member, often with minimal supervision
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to be flexible when changes occur
  • Intern must be fingerprinted and pass a background check
  • Previous internships or other experience in a laboratory setting
  • Interest in learning about carnivore reproduction with aspirations to advance in the wildlife or zoo research field
  • Experience with exotic carnivores or wildlife animal care

Safety Plan

  • The intern must wear appropriate face coverings, as outlined by the SI/SCBI policy, at all times.
  • The intern will participate in social distancing of 6 feet among staff whenever possible
  • The intern will not conduct activities over the lunch break and will be provided a place to eat lunch socially-distanced from other staff members.
  • Prior to conducting intern activities, the intern will complete all required safety training modules.
  • The intern will NOT report to the SCBI campus if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness that have been associated with COVID.
  • The intern will take COVID related safety training online, ahead of reporting to SCBI for the first time.
  • All appointees must be fully vaccinated for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized (or, for international remote interns, a WHO-recommended) COVID-19 vaccine or have an approved Reasonable Accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements. Please see additional information regarding reasonable accommodations here.
This is an unpaid internship.
Front Royal
Intern must be able to find their own housing for the intern position term. Additionally, the intern must provide their own transportation to and from the SCBI campus as there is no mass transit in Front Royal. SCBI is located off the highway, so biking/hiking is not feasible.
The intern will be provided with free parking at SCBI/Center for Species Survival 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: 
Part-time (20 hours/week) internship September 2021 to February 2022
Application deadline(s): 
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to: Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" 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
  • Degrees held or expected
  • Two names and contact information for professional references (including email and phone number; one must be from a current or a former supervisor). If applications are not complete, including references provided with the online application, they will not be considered.

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: "SCBI - Felid Endocrinology 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.