Science Writing and Communications Internships
Summer Internship (Maryland)
Project Supervisor: Kristen Minogue, Science Writer
Deadline: February 15, 2018
Duration: 12 weeks
The science writing internship is for anyone who loves learning about science and sharing it with nonscientists. Communications at SERC covers a wide range of activities: media outreach, Web updates, newsletters, social media and blogging. In addition to pitching stories to mainstream media outlets, the communications desk also keeps in touch with the larger Smithsonian communications offices on the Mall. It manages the look and content of the SERC homepage (www.serc.si.edu) and the Shorelines blog, which hosts stories on the research and discoveries of SERC scientists. It also maintains social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter (@SmithsonianEnv), Tumblr and Instagram (smithsonianenvironment). Its main product, the Shorelines newsletter, highlights the most important stories from SERC scientists and educators.
Internship: The science writing intern will gain experience with all facets of SERC communication. Main priorities include going out in the field with research scientists and interns, taking photos and writing blog pieces about their projects. Other responsibilities include working with the SERC communications officer to manage SERC’s social media accounts, produce the summer newsletter and update the SERC website. The intern will also gain exposure to the wider world of Smithsonian communications through monthly meetings on the Mall.
Desired Qualifications: Strong scientific background (natural sciences coursework; not required to be a science major) and skill writing about science for a nonscientific audience. One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are essential to include with the essay part of the application. Ability to use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) required; familiarity with photo editing software, Wordpress and HTML a plus. This internship is open to undergraduate students, master's students, and recent graduates up to one year after graduation. The Smithsonian is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Apply online through the SOLAA portal. For the science writing internship, writing samples explaining science in a public-friendly way must be included in the essay portion of the application. Writing samples should be no more than 10 pages, and may be published or unpublished. View full instructions in our FAQs.
Questions? Contact SERC science writer Kristen Minogue (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Summer-Fall Bicoastal Science Writing Internship (Maryland & California)
Project Supervisor: Kristen Minogue, Science Writer
Deadline: Feb. 19, 2018
Duration: 18 weeks (May/June to September/October 2018)
Start Date: Between May 14 and June 11
Location: Edgewater, Md. and Tiburon, Calif.
Gain hands-on experience with environmental communication on both sides of the United States! The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is the Smithsonian’s headquarters for coastal research, with scientists who study climate change, invasive species, conservation and other environmental issues shaping the 21st century. SERC is seeking a communications intern to work for 18 weeks, from summer through mid-autumn, covering the work of SERC scientists in Maryland and California. The intern will start at SERC’s Chesapeake Bay headquarters in Maryland, receiving training in SERC science communications. After six weeks, the intern will travel to San Francisco Bay to cover the work of SERC marine biologists in California for the remaining 12 weeks. Travel funds from Maryland to California are included. This internship is open to undergraduate students, master's students, and recent graduates up to one year after graduation.
Part I: Chesapeake Bay
The intern will spend the first six weeks at SERC’s headquarters in Edgewater, Md. Here, the intern will interview SERC scientists in the field and the lab and write about their work. This first part of the internship will introduce the intern to the main features of SERC science communications: writing articles for the SERC Shorelines blog, preparing posts for SERC’s social media and assisting with the production of SERC’s quarterly newsletter On The Edge, under the mentorship of SERC science writer Kristen Minogue.
Part II: San Francisco Bay (SERC-West)
For the final 12 weeks, the intern will work in Tiburon, Calif., with the West Coast section of SERC’s Marine Invasions Research Lab. SERC’s Tiburon branch (a.k.a. “SERC-West”) is hosted at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center, a marine field station at San Francisco State University's Romberg Tiburon Campus. The marine biologists of SERC-West work in San Francisco Bay and traverse the Pacific Coast studying invasive species, oyster restoration and other critical conservation issues. While in California, the intern will cover the work of SERC’s West Coast scientists while exploring and developing communication strategies within the Pacific market. During the California part of the internship, the intern will work under the onsite supervision of research ecologist Andrew Chang and correspond regularly with Kristen Minogue via video conferencing.
Desired Qualifications: Strong scientific background (natural sciences coursework; not required to be a science major) and skill writing about science for a nonscientific audience. Ability to use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) required; familiarity with photo and video editing software, Wordpress and HTML a plus.
To apply: Send a cover letter, resume with references (name, title and contact information) and unofficial transcript(s) to ScienceWritingIntern@si.edu by 11:59 PST Monday, February 19, 2018. One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are also essential to include for the application to be considered. The Smithsonian is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit http://serc.si.edu. Questions? Send an email to SERC Science Writer Kristen Minogue at ScienceWritingIntern@si.edu.