Science Writing and Communications Internships
Summer Science Writing Internship (Maryland)
Project Supervisor: Kristen Minogue, Science Writer
Deadline: February 15, 2020
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: blogging, social media, Web updates, newsletters,and media outreach. 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 about SERC scientists, interns and volunteers. It also maintains social media accounts on Facebook (Smithsonian.SERC), Twitter (@SmithsonianEnv), and Instagram (smithsonianenvironment). Its main product, the On The Edge newsletter, highlights the most important stories from SERC scientists and educators.
The summer 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 creating content for social media, helping produce the summer newsletter and updating 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 One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are essential to include with the essay part of the application.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, minorities and non-U.S. citizens 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 total 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).
Coast-to-Coast Science Writing Internship
(Maryland & California, Summer through Fall)
Project Supervisor: Kristen Minogue, Science Writer
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2020
Duration: 18 weeks (May/June to September/October 2018)
Start Date: Between May 6 and June 10
Location: Edgewater, Md. and Tiburon, Calif.
Gain hands-on experience with environmental communication on both sides of the United States! The coast-to-coast science writing intern works 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.
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 and other sources 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 along the Pacific studying invasive species, oyster restoration and other critical conservation issues. The intern will write about SERC’s West Coast scientists and pitch stories to California media. While in California, the intern will work under the onsite supervision of 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 Pacific Standard Time Friday, February 15, 2019. One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are also essential to include for the application to be considered. Total length of all writing samples should be no longer than 10 pages.
This internship is open to undergraduate and master's students, and recent graduates up to one year after graduation. The Smithsonian is an equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities and non-U.S. citizens are encouraged to apply.
Questions? Send an email to SERC Science Writer Kristen Minogue at ScienceWritingIntern@si.edu.