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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 (SCBI) is seeking an intern to support ongoing research projects on felid reproduction, focusing mainly on cheetahs and clouded leopards.  Interns will gain experience in practical laboratory techniques for processing biological samples for endocrine analysis.  This is a paid opportunity based at the SCBI's Department of Reproductive Sciences at our Front Royal, Virginia, campus.

Learning Objectives: 

Through this internship, the intern will:

  • Learn alongside professional staff basic techniques of biological sample handling and processing
  • Learn data entry, sample and database management  
  • Learn how to extract steroid hormones from biological samples
  • Learn and follow laboratory safety guidelines, operations, and polices
  • Learn how to assay biological samples to determine concentrations of steroids in feces and urine
  • Have the opportunity to 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 Microsoft 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
  • 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:

  • Intern must follow all applicable COVID-19 protocols as set forth by the Smithsonian Institution
  • Intern will have access to a dedicated computer and radio while performing animal care duties
  • Prior to conducting animal care activities, intern will complete all required safety training modules
  • Intern will not perform duties when SCBI is closed for weather events
  • Intern will not report to the SCBI campus if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness that have been associated with COVID-19
  • Intern will take COVID-related safety training online, ahead of reporting to SCBI for the first time
$650 per month.
Front Royal
Dormitory housing is provided on site at SCBI. From July through September, there is no charge for on-site housing. From October through December, the cost of housing is $9 per day to be paid by the intern.
The intern will be provided with free parking at SCBI 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: 

From July to December 2023.

Application deadline(s): 
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
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
  • 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.

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.