iDigBio Natural History Collections Summer Internship 2021

Tue, 2021-01-05 11:31 -- maphillips

Synopsis of Program:
iDigBio is the national coordinating center for NSF’s 10-year Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) program, which is guided by the vision to digitize and mobilize hundreds of millions of vouchered natural history museum specimens for research. These digitized data constitute a primary platform for “Big Data” research in the biodiversity sciences. Once aggregated, they are freely available for education, outreach, and other Broader Impacts activities. The goal of this program is to leverage the existing collections network created by iDigBio and ADBC to engage undergraduate students from underserved communities with authentic research experiences in natural history collections (NHCs) with the goal of exposing them to the variety of career opportunities and required skill sets related to the biodiversity sciences. In this effort, we are offering 10 summer internship positions at the Florida Museum of Natural History collections in Gainesville, Florida in 2021.

Program Description:
The iDigBio Summer Internship program will provide funding for undergraduate students from accredited institutions to work within a partnering natural history collection (see below for lab descriptions) over an 8-week period during the summer of 2021. Interns will be expected to help with the digitization, curation, and research efforts in their lab, with options to complete their own research project. Interns will participate in virtual and in-person meet-ups with their cohort to build professional skills including, but not limited to: grant writing, scientific poster designs, and scientific writing throughout their cohort year (April - December 2021). Interns will also receive funding to attend a professional meeting in 2021 to disseminate their research and experience to the greater science community. Interns will also have the option to participate as peer mentors for subsequent cohorts.

Application period is from January 1-February 28, 2021. Apply today!
 

Award Details
Anticipated Type of Award: Internship

Estimated Number of Awards: 10
iDigBio expects to award 10 Summer Internships per fiscal year under this program solicitation pending availability of funds.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $6,300
Per award (Internship), pending availability of funds.
iDigBio plans to provide a stipend of $4,800 to the Intern and up to $1,500 for travel and meal expenses for conference attendance and participation.

Eligibility Information:
Internship applications must be submitted by the prospective Intern. Confirmation of current registration at an accredited institution (2 or 4- year college/university) at the time of the Internship acceptance, no later than March 20, 2021. Prospective Interns must enroll in a non-profit university, college, or other institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located, in the United States, its territories, or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that offers degrees in STEM no later than the fall of the year the award is accepted. All Interns from the date of Acceptance through Completion or Termination of the Internship must be enrolled in a degree-granting institution accredited in, and having a campus in, the United States, its territories, or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Students attending community colleges or Minority Serving Institutions are especially encouraged to apply. 

Applicant Eligibility:
Applicants must self-certify that they are eligible to receive the Internship. To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following eligibility criteria by the application deadline:

  • Enrolled at a non-profit university, college, or other institution of higher education accredited in, and having a campus located, in the United States, its territories, or possessions, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that offers degrees in STEM.
  • Have never earned a Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral or terminal degree in any field

Limit on Number of Applications per Applicant: 1

Application Preparation and Submission Instructions:
To apply for the iDigBio Summer Internship program, please complete the application. Note that this is a multi-component application that requires you to complete all portions to be considered. Application period is from January 1-February 28, 2021.
Required components:

  • Fill out application
  • Personal Statement (3 page limit)
  • Research Statement (2 page limit)
  • 2 Reference Letters
  • Academic transcripts

Submission Details
The internship application can be found here. 

Personal Statement: Please describe your educational and professional development plans and career goals. Describe your personal, educational, and other experiences that motivate you to apply for this internship.  Include specific examples of any research and/or activities in which you have participated.  Please note that your application will still be considered even without previous experience in research. Page limit-3 pages single spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, 1-inch margins.

Important questions to ask yourself when writing your statement:

  • Why are you interested in participating in this internship program?
  • What examples of leadership skills and unique characteristics do you bring to this program?
  • What strengths do you have that make you a qualified applicant?
  • What barriers have you had to overcome to get to this point of your educational career?
  • What barriers do you foresee having to overcome to achieve your educational, professional, and career goals? 

Research Statement: After reading through the lab descriptions below, write a statement about your top 3 choices.  Please note that we will try to place our selected participants in their top choices, but some labs may be more popular than others, and not all may get their first choice. Please describe your interest in your choices. Include a short research project idea that you may have based on the descriptions provided. Discuss the potential of the research to advance knowledge and understanding of the science as well as the potential for broader impacts on society. Please note that your application will still be considered even without previous experience in research. Page limit-2 pages single spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, 1-inch margins.

Important questions to consider when writing your statement:

  • What issues in the scientific community are you most passionate about?
  • What technical knowledge and skills would you like to learn through this research opportunity?
  • How do your interests fit into the importance of broader impacts on society?

Character Reference Letters: Please have reference letters from TWO (2) mentors that can attest to your character (academic mentor or other) submitted to Jeanette Pirlo (idigbiointernships@floridamuseum.ufl.edu; please attach as PDF) by Feb 28, 2021. The subject line should read: "Last Name_First Name_iDigBioSummerInternship_Reference_Referees'LastName". The reference letter should provide details describing the nature of the relationship with the applicant, the applicant's potential and prior experiences that will benefit from this internship experience, statements about the applicant's academic potential, and any other information that will be helpful for the review panel to evaluate the application. Reference letters must be sent from mentors' email address, not directly from the applicants. Late reference letters will not be accepted under any circumstances. In addition, you will be able to provide up to 3 reference writers name and email information below.

Improving your chances of obtaining strong reference letters:

  • Choose references that will speak to your abilities and potential, not based on their title.
  • Provide referees sufficient time to write you a strong letter.
  • Discuss and share your application and statements with them.
  • Have backup references in case your primary references cannot submit a letter.

Academic Transcripts: Your transcripts provide an opportunity for the evaluators' to view the courses you've taken, allowing them to determine your level of preparation for the expected work. Please submit your UNOFFICIAL Academic Transcripts to Jeanette Pirlo (idigbiointernships@floridamuseum.ufl.edu; please attach as PDF) by Feb 28, 2021. The subject line should read: "Last name_First Name_iDigBioSummerInternship_Transcripts".

Find more information here

This application is modeled after the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Application. Please note that you can save your application and return to it within the application period (Jan 1- Feb 28, 2021). Please submit any questions regarding the Internship Program to Jeanette Pirlo (idigbiointernships@floridamuseum.ufl.edu).