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SCBI Summer Veterinary Research Internship

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

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Department of Conservation Medicine is accepting applications for a veterinary student research internship for the summer of 2022. This is an opportunity for veterinary students to learn about and participate in clinical research of endangered species. It is open to veterinary students who have completed a minimum of one year of veterinary training and are actively enrolled in the study of veterinary medicine.

The selected intern will have the opportunity to collect, organize and analyze data, apply this data toward clinical investigations, and prepare and present findings in an educational format. Interns will also gain experience communicating and collaborating with clinicians, technicians and research staff. This is a remote internship, and all meetings and training will be conducted via video conference.

Headquartered in Front Royal, Virginia, SCBI plays a leading role in the Smithsonian's global efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists. The Department of Conservation Medicine at SCBI functions to optimize the health and wellbeing of the animal collection housed at SCBI, provide veterinary expertise and support for SCBI-based research programs, and advance the health and welfare of zoo animals and wildlife locally and globally through departmental-based research, skilled mentorship and service in professional organizations.

Learning Objectives: 

Students will either be assigned a primary research project or will choose from a short list developed by the SCBI veterinary team and may also be assigned smaller projects as appropriate. Potential projects include database management for Species Survival Plans (SSPs) advised by SCBI veterinarians, preparation of survey responses for other SSP managers or veterinary advisors, data entry and management for long-term clinical research projects, or literature searches for ongoing clinical cases or investigations.

The selected intern will:

  • Learn to collect, organize and analyze data from medical records
  • Learn to interpret or apply data toward clinical investigations
  • Learn about clinical investigation design and implementation
  • Prepare a short abstract and present findings for veterinary, research and husbandry staff
  • Potentially primary or co-author a manuscript or presentation at a wider conference, depending on the topic
  • Participate in clinical rounds, preventive medicine meetings and research planning meetings, as available
  • Participate in didactic learning opportunities from veterinarians and veterinary technicians based on time and staff availability, with the goal to have at least one opportunity with a veterinary technician and at least two with a veterinarian.

Interns will meet weekly with their mentor for training and to review their progress.

  • Internship is open to veterinary students who have completed a minimum of one (1) year of training and are actively enrolled in the study of veterinary medicine.
  • Interest in zoo and wildlife medicine and research
  • Flexible, reliable, self-motivated, with good time-management skills
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status
  • Ability to pass a federal background check
  • Computer access for video conferencing, to include access to broadband internet, computer and microphone
  • Familiarity with Word, Excel, PowerPoint
This is an unpaid internship.
Front Royal
This is a remote internship. The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements.
This is a remote internship.
Term of appointment: 

10-12 weeks starting late May to early June. Start and end dates are flexible.

Application deadline(s): 
Monday, January 31, 2022
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
  • Two letters of reference 

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 - Summer Veterinary Research 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.

Questions about this internship should be directed to Dr. Kristi Delaski at