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Felid Endocrinology Internship

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's felid reproductive team is seeking an applicant for consideration to serve as an intern for the 2019-2020 fall/winter session (six months, Sept.-Feb.). 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 primary focus on cheetahs and clouded leopards. This is an unpaid internship opportunity with on-site government housing (dormitory, non-smoking, no pets and additional codes of conduct apply) wherein the intern will support SCBI's Department of Reproductive Sciences at the Front Royal, Virginia, campus.

Learning Objectives: 

The intern will:

  • Learn basic techniques of biological sample handling and processing alongside professional staff
  • 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 40 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
  • 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
  • Intern must be fingerprinted and pass a background check
This is an unpaid internship.
Front Royal
On-site government housing (dormitory, non-smoking, no pets and additional codes of conduct apply) at SCBI's Front Royal, Virginia, campus.
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: 
Sept. 9, 2019 to Feb. 28, 2020
Application deadline(s): 
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to: solaa.si.edu. 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 on-line 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.