Career Opportunities

JCVI/SSEC Education Internship (Unpaid, For-Credit Position)
Requisition Code:EDUC1312
Location:Rockville, Maryland
Department:Education/Mobile Lab
Job Responsibilities

The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) is a dynamic non-profit research organization using science to impact the world. Our research groups focus on human genomic medicine, infectious disease, plant, microbial and environmental genomics, synthetic biology and biological energy, bioinformatics, and software engineering. We are looking for self-motivated, inquisitive minds to work with us in asking and finding the answers to questions that progress the field of genomics.

The mission of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) is to transform the teaching and learning of science for K-12 students and teachers across the globe by building awareness for inquiry-based science education, providing Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER), and developing curriculum and professional resources that draw on the breadth and depth of the Smithsonian's collections and research.

This position will be a joint-internship between the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) in Washington D.C and the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, MD. This internship will be an ideal opportunity for those interested in science education. Upon completion of this internship, the student will have acquired real-world experience working alongside scientists in a professional laboratory and will be able to apply that knowledge to further understand and contribute to international curricula that aligns with the U.N.’s Global Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).

The internship will last for 8-12 weeks during the Fall 2017 academic semester. The student will be required to work at SSEC and JCVI up to 4 hours per day, for a total of 20 hours per week. We encourage full participation, but we will work with you to accommodate reasonable time commitments to fit your class schedule.

This is an unpaid position.
Students should discuss with their education institution the opportunities to receive internship credit.

Projected Position Outcomes

At the JCVI, the intern will work with JCVI Scientists and staff to acquire knowledge and laboratory-based skills on projects that are geared towards the development of strategies against pathogenic bacteria and/or mosquito-borne diseases.  The intern will learn diagnostic techniques and current research being done in the field.

The outcomes acquired during this internship at the JCVI can include, but are not limited to:

•Knowledge of general laboratory practices (aseptic techniques, micropipetting)
•Knowledge of bacterial cultivation 
•Molecular techniques (DNA extraction, PCR, primer design, cloning)
•Bioinformatics tools for genome analysis
•Synthetic biology methodologies

At the SSEC, the intern will work with educators, researchers, staff, SSEC partners, and experts in the field of global science education to support the development and rollout of the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s international curriculum module called, “Zika!” which helps students understand mosquito-borne diseases through inquiry-based science education methods. 

The outcomes acquired during this internship at the SSEC can include, but are not limited to:
•Gain an understanding of global science education as it relates to the UN Global Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). 
•Research new resources to enhance the “Zika!” curriculum module.
•Assist with development of educational programming (media, blogs, lessons) that focus on mosquito-borne diseases using JCVI content.
•Assist with reviewing teacher field-test feedback on the “Zika" curriculum module and make recommendations for revisions.  
•Assist in communicating directly with field test teachers across the globe.
•Learn the basics of educational program development building strong communication skills and best practices in partnerships and collaborations.  


•Enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program at the time of application.  
•Strong written and verbal communication skills.
•Experience in science, science education, or teaching is an advantage.
•Proficiency in writing and speaking Spanish is a plus.

Application Process

Students will apply through JCVI’s online portal.  In one complete file (Word or PDF), please submit the following:

•A cover letter
    •Please include how this opportunity will fit into your career or educational goals as well expand upon relevant experience
•A resume or CV
•A writing sample 
    •Can also provide a link to a blog and/or website

JCVI will review your application and select candidates to move forward. Selected candidates will be contacted by the SSEC for the next steps, which will include a phone interview by SSEC program staff and a federal background investigation.

Once you have been selected, you are required to enter an internship application in the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA).  You will create an account on this site.  After you have created an account, you can begin your application and select your program choice of interest (JCVI/SSEC Internship).  You can view your application status in SOLAA at any time. Do not send any application materials directly to the SSEC.

Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V