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Wildlife Endocrinology Internship

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

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival is seeking an intern to assist in its wildlife endocrinology lab. The internship focuses primarily on assisting with the day-to-day tasks that are essential for continuous operation of a high volume laboratory. Work will also include assisting with the lab’s research. Interns will receive training on laboratory skills and reproductive endocrinology research methods.

Please note: This internship does NOT involve working with animals.

The Center for Species Survival is a leader in the study of rare and endangered species. Its faculty is diverse, with specialties in reproductive physiology, endocrinology, cryobiology, embryology, molecular biology and behavior. Staff scientists have pioneered important concepts in reproductive biology for threatened and endangered species and created new conservation tools, including new approaches for noninvasive monitoring of hormones, artificial insemination and cryopreservation.

Learning Objectives: 

This internship provides a unique opportunity to learn skills pertaining to endocrinology and daily operation of a conservation focused laboratory. Interns will receive training under the supervision of the Department of Reproductive Sciences laboratory staff.

This opportunity entails general laboratory tasks, such as light equipment maintenance, processing of samples, record keeping, QA/QC, data analyses and data presentation. Interns will gain first-hand experience in the operation of a laboratory — from ordering supplies to preparation of buffers/media, as well as assisting staff scientists in ongoing research. Interns will receive training on good laboratory practices, micropipette use and laboratory use of radionuclides.

This internship appointment will provide the selected candidate with an understanding of endocrinology and reproduction, and research techniques for those fields, with a focus on conservation. Some of the research samples that the selected intern might expect to work with are from moose, grizzly bears, Andean bears, Asian and African elephants, marmosets and African lions.

The intern will learn about:

  • Cataloging and organizing research samples
  • Inventorying lab supplies
  • Laboratory management, including preparing materials/reagents and restocking
  • Laboratory equipment maintenance
  • Wildlife endocrinology research (immunoassays)
  • Data entry and analyses

Candidate should have completed at least three years of undergraduate coursework, including at least two semesters of laboratory work.  Intern should be efficient, organized, and possess strong quantitative and computer skills. Intern should be interested in conservation and research with ex situ animals. They must be able to engage in a team environment with staff and other interns. The selected applicant must agree to fingerprinting and pass a background check.

This is an unpaid internship. Special consideration will be given to applicants who receive college credit for internship. Intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
Front Royal
The internship will be located at the SCBI’s Front Royal, Virginia, campus. This is an unpaid position, and interns are responsible for all living expenses. The selected candidate will receive free dormitory-style housing on-site at SCBI's Center for Species Survival in Front Royal, Virginia, for the duration of the internship, provided intern adheres to dorm rules and remains in good standing with the campus community.
Parking will be provided on campus.
Term of appointment: 

This six-month internship is scheduled to begin Sept. 12, 2019, and end March 12, 2020. Interns are expected to commit to 40-50 hours per week.

Application deadline(s): 
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

Go to: In the login box, select ‘create an account’ and complete the fields to set up your account. 

 Information that will be requested in SOLAA includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • 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,
  • Contact info for two references

Once you create your account and after you provide the information above, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. Select:

  • Type of appointment: “Internship”
  • Unit of interest: “National Zoological Park”
  • Program: “National Zoological Park Internship Program”
  • Project: “Wildlife Endocrinology Internship”

IMPORTANT: Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit.” Your SOLAA submitted application must be received by the deadlines as noted above. All candidates must submit application materials through SOLAA. Applications through any other channels will not be accepted.