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Judy and John W. McCarter, Jr. Global Health Internship Program

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

Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park provides the potential for interns to learn from experts in many of the key disciplines needed to study and apply new knowledge to wildlife health, emerging zoonotic diseases, veterinary medicine, ecology, molecular diagnostics, pathology, physiology and cryobiology, and GIS/Remote Sensing.

Learning Objectives: 

This is a paid internship opportunity wherein the intern will participate in the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program. Through this program, the intern will

  • Learn to identify clinical problems encountered with free-ranging and captive zoological species and to utilize resources necessary to address them
  • Learn to lead and conduct sampling missions internationally
  • Learn to develop and implement research projects involving wildlife, including management aspects (budgeting, reporting, permissions)
  • Learn to provide educational outreach and communications on One Health and conservation topics at the DC headquarters and in the field
  • Learn to collaborate on developing and improving models, surveillance, and response to wildlife disease outbreaks
  • Learn scientific writing and literature review skills through grant and manuscript preparation
  • Lend veterinary expertise to emerging infectious disease and One Health projects around the world

This internship is based in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian's National Zoo with the potential to be required to go to Front Royal, Virginia, periodically to visit the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) campus.  

  • Must hold a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM/VMD).
  • Must be interested in wildlife medicine and emerging diseases.
  • Must be available to devote 40-60 hours a week towards learning.  Work hours may occasionally include weekends and holidays.
  • Must have strong communication skills.
  • Must be able to engage within a team environment with staff, other interns, and a variety of volunteers.
  • Must be willing to be outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Must be flexible and have a good sense of humor.
  • Must be in good physical condition, able to stand, stoop, climb, and lift at least 50 pounds.
  • Must be fingerprinted and pass a background check.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who are comfortable with public speaking on and off microphone.
  • Strong preference will be given to candidates with experience working and traveling in developing countries in Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia.
  • Strong preference will be given to candidates with previous wildlife and research experience.
This is a paid internship. Not to exceed $600/week. Please note that no health insurance is provided.
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: 

A six month internship is available for the first part of the year (June 2018 to December 2018), with the likelihood of being extended another six months.

Application deadline(s): 
Sunday, April 1, 2018
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
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Degrees held or expected
  • Contact information fo two references (one must be from a current or a former supervisor)
  • 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 – McCarter Global Health”

For additional information, please email Dr. Lindsey Shields ( regarding the Global Health Internship. Phone calls will NOT be accepted.