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Internship Criteria and Protocols

Detailed procedures and criteria for internship applicants and mentors.

1) Interns are research associates, either college students or postgraduates, who are seeking experience and mentoring in biological science or associated fields at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. The tenure of an internship is three to four months, generally equivalent to a single-semester grading period at most postsecondary institutions. To be an intern (rather than a regular service volunteer), the candidate should meet at least five of the following seven criteria:

  • Serve a minimum 3-month internship
  • Be a college student or career-oriented postgraduate
  • Be project-oriented
  • Produce a product (in-house presentation, report, or paper)
  • Work from 8 to 40 hours/week if possible, a minimum of 80 hours total
  • Meet the intern requirements set by the sponsoring educational institution - credit seeking
  • Desire an opportunity to be mentored by  FWRI staff

2) The goals of the internship will be determined by mutual agreement between the student, the sponsoring professor (if applicable), and the FWRI principal investigator. Those goals will be outlined within the Internship Contract, which additionally outlines the number of hours per week that the student agrees to work, a general outline of the hours and days per week to be worked, and other obligations incurred by each of the signing parties as a component of the internship.

3) In addition to the internship contract, the student will be expected to submit a volunteer enrollment form and other paperwork deemed necessary by the signatories of the contract or by the administrative offices of the home institution or the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. The internship is not authorized until all paperwork has been signed, submitted, and approved by the intern coordinator and the Institute Director (or the Director's designee). As soon as possible after beginning the internship, interns should submit to the intern coordinator a digital photograph and a short biography  to be included on the 'Meet the Interns' Web page.

4) The intern coordinator will assist with advertising the internship program, with  receiving and managing internship applications, with  distributing applications to appropriate FWRI staff, and with any other aspect of the program as necessary or as requested by FWRI staff. Staff should submit requests for interns directly to the intern coordinator and should include a statement of the opportunities and obligations specific to the internship they are offering. The intern coordinator will use both the information in these requests from staff and in the information submitted by the intern applicants in determining which intern applications should be given to which staff.

5) After the intern coordinator distributes the intern applications to FWRI supervisors, the supervisors are welcome to contact and select intern candidates on their own. The intern coordinator will arrange and host an end-of-semester seminar series, the date of which will be determined by the supervisor and intern coordinator.  Each intern will be expected to present a 10- to 12-minute summary of their accomplishments during the tenure of their internship, plus entertain questions for 3-5 minutes immediately following their individual presentation. Seminar presentations at field laboratories, in lieu of a presentation at the St. Petersburg lab, are acceptable. Although a manuscript describing the activities and outcome of the research experience may be substituted for the seminar, a seminar presentation is encouraged as part of the educational process.

6) The spirit of the internship program is one of mutual benefit. The intern expects to learn new tasks and acquire new capabilities, and the principal investigator expects to receive competent assistance on a viable research project. Although internships are unpaid positions, the experience gained by the student will be invaluable in future career pursuits.