Interns & Fellows


Q: How do I apply? 
A: Register at the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments system (SOLAA). Once you have set up an account, click "Start Your Application" and select "Smithsonian Environmental Research Center" from the Office/Museum/Research Center drop-down menu. "Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Internship Program" will then appear under the search results. Click the green "Apply Now" button.

You will need to provide an essay, CV or resume, academic transcript (unofficial is acceptable), and two letters of recommendation. 

Q: What are the application deadlines?
A: Winter/Spring projects (January - April): November 15 
     Summer projects (May - August): February 15
     Fall projects (September - December): June 1

Q: Are these paid internships? 
A: Yes! Selected candidates will receive a stipend of $600.00 per week. 

Q: Can I receive academic credit?
A: The Smithsonian awards no academic credit for studies conducted at the Institution. However, SERC is eager to assist in establishing mechanisms for universities to award credit to students. Representatives of colleges and universities wishing to develop formal agreements should contact the Office of Fellowships & Internships. Students are encouraged to work out direct arrangements with advisors and departments. 

Q: Can I live on campus?
A: There is limited on-site dormitory space available for $105.00 per week. SERC does not supply board, but the dorms are equipped with full kitchens. We can accommodate up to 24 residents. 

Q: Do I need to bring a car?
A: SERC is located about 10 miles south of Annapolis, MD. We recommend interns bring a vehicle for personal transportation, if possible. SERC has a fleet of vehicles available for work purposes. 

Q: What should I include in the personal essay?
A: Describe your interest in environmental studies, why you are interested in interning at the Smithsonian, and any relevant background experience. You may also use this section to describe your future career goals and how a SERC internship will help you. Essays for all internships should be no longer than 4 double-spaced pages. 

Pro tip for personal essays: Don't just talk about your past experience. Show us how this internship would give you something new! Smithsonian internships are meant to be learning experiences, especially for students who have had fewer opportunities outside schoolwork. Let your application reviewers know how this experience would benefit you beyond another line on a resume.

For science writing applicants only: You must also include 1-3 published or unpublished writing samples as part of the essay portion. Additional writing samples for the science writing internship should be no more than 10 pages (not including the personal essay). Multimedia samples are also welcome, though not required, as long as at least one writing sample is written. Include multimedia samples as links in the personal essay, or email them to Kristen Goodhue. A wide variety of writing samples are accepted, and they don't have to be published. Email Kristen Goodhue at if you have any questions about this. She gets these questions often, and is happy to help!