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Interdisciplinary Research Based on Scientific Collections

Scientific Collections (SciColl) is an international initiative hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.  SciColl’s mission is to promote research that depends on scientific collections across disciplinary boundaries.

Project Description:  Intern will work on several projects involving research on scientific collections and networks of collections in different disciplines (e.g., earth sciences, biomedicine, anthropology/archaeology, biology) with the goal of building a public knowledge-base.  The intern would also focus a portion of his or her time to an independent research project under one of SciColl’s four focal research initiatives: Food Security, Environmental Change, Human Migration, or Zoonotic and Human Diseases.  Additional tasks will include: moderating website traffic devoted to scientific collections; assisting with content management and website maintenance; general web- and literature-based research; and assisting with other programmatic activities.  Specific duties include:

  • Compiling information on scientific collections in a variety of disciplines
  • Researching and reporting on advances in one of the four research initiatives
  • Assisting in the maintenance of the SciColl website using HTML
  • QA/QC and input verification of database records
  • Additional literature-based and web-based research on scientific collections

Intern Qualifications: Applicants should be advanced undergraduates or recent college graduates in biomedicine, environmental science, archaeology or anthropology with strong skills in web-based research, data management, and great communication.  To be eligible, interns must have at least a junior standing, graduated within 6 months of applying for the internship, or plan to return to school within 6 months of completing the internship.  SciColl seeks candidates that are energetic; can communicate clearly through their writing; are highly organized, detail-oriented, thorough in following through on tasks; and enjoy multitasking and working internationally.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Discover different types of scientific collections held within NMNH and beyond
  2. Explore topics of interdisciplinary science utilizing collections
  3. Improve writing and literature-based research skills

Award Package: $400 per week

Time Frame: Ten weeks (maximum)

How to Apply:  Please email a cover letter that includes which research initiative you are most interested in pursuing, a resume, a short writing sample (e.g., a biology term paper) and three references to scicoll@si.edu.  Please note that only complete applications will be taken into consideration. Please write ‘Internship – SciColl’ in the subject line.