IDigBio Natural History Collections Summer Internship Program
- 1 Important Information
- 2 General Information
- 3 Award Information
- 4 2020 Partnering Natural History Collections Descriptions
- 5 Eligibility Information
- 6 Application Preparation Instructions
- 7 Application Completion Status
- 8 Application Preparation and Submission Instructions
- 9 Application Review Information Criteria
- 10 Additional Program Information
- 10.1 Tentative Monthly Webinar Series
- 10.2 Award Administration Information
- 10.3 Terms and Conditions
- 10.4 Responsible Conduct of Research
- 10.5 Research Involving Human Subjects
- 10.6 Research Involving Vertebrate Animals
- 10.7 Legal Rights to Intellectual Property
- 10.8 Reporting Requirements
- 10.9 Annual Activities Report
- 10.10 Program Evaluation
This Reference Guide has been modeled from the NSF GRFP Reference Guide (2019).
This cycle's application deadline (receive by 11:59p) February 29, 2020
Solicitation covers Cohort 1 – March-Dec 2020
Applications must be submitted through this link. Additional components (letters of reference and academic transcripts) must be submitted to Jeanette Pirlo (email@example.com) by the application deadline (Feb 29, 2020).
Applications are due at 11:59p on Feb 29, 2020. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.
Reference letters are due at 11:59p on Feb 29, 2020.
Program Title: iDigBio Natural History Collections Summer Internship Program (iDB-SIP)
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. iDigBio strives to further opportunities in education, outreach, and broadening participation in collections science. In this effort, we are offering 10 summer internship positions at the Florida Museum of Natural History collections in Gainesville, Florida.
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 2020. 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 (March - October 2020). Interns will also receive funding to attend a professional meeting in 2020 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.
- Molly Phillips, iDigBio Education, Outreach and Diversity Coordinator
- Jeanette Pirlo, Recruitment Coordinator
- Adania Flemming, Program Assistant
- Gil Nelson, iDigBio Director (PI)
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.
Each internship consists of 8 weeks of support during a 7-month period. 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.
2020 Partnering Natural History Collections Descriptions
We have 6 partnering Natural History Collections laboratories from the University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History open for internship positions for the 2020 Summer Cohort. You will have a chance to select your top 3 choices below. Please carefully read the lab descriptions below.
Laboratory of Molecular Systematics & Evolutionary Genetics - Soltis Lab: Florida is part of a biodiversity hotspot and is home to ~4000 species of plants. These plant species form unique and complex communities that are the basis for the iconic ecosystems of Florida, from the Everglades to the sand hill scrub. How will this immense diversity of plant life respond to climate change? Will species go extinct or move to new habitats? Will current protected areas be adequate to protect plant communities in the future, or will new conservation areas be needed? Using computational methods, natural history specimens collected over the past few centuries, and phylogenetic trees built from DNA sequence data, this research explores the underlying abiotic environmental variables (temperature, precipitation, soil composition) that govern a species’ distribution, investigates where species might occur under alternative climate scenarios, and discovers whether or not the species are likely to occur on protected lands. This real-world research will have consequences for conservation of Florida’s biodiversity.
The position will involve building and using phylogenetic trees constructed from DNA sequence data and will also introduce students to modeling approaches using digitized herbarium specimen data. Work will be conducted in the field and in the Florida Museum’s Herbarium and Molecular Lab.
The successful applicant will have a passion for plants and for conservation of biodiversity. The student need not have molecular or computational skills prior to the internship, but familiarity with DNA extraction techniques and PCR will be helpful for lab work, and a basic understanding of ecology and experience with R will be helpful. Through the internship, the student will gain foundational skills in both molecular phylogenetics and ecological niche modeling.
Herpetology Laboratory - Blackburn Lab: Our work in the Division of Herpetology involves numerous and diverse projects spanning all aspects of amphibian and reptile biology. Participants in the collections-based 2020 summer internship program will assist with the identification, curation, accessioning, and digitization of museum specimens. Successful applicants will display strong attention to detail and the ability to work carefully with fragile and scientifically valuable specimens. Interns will gain knowledge regarding the anatomy, taxonomy, ecology, evolution and distribution of reptiles and amphibians, and they will gain experience with various databasing, georeferencing, and imaging software programs.
There is also a possibility for interns to participate in field activities and collaborative research projects. Curatorial project ideas include but are not limited to:
1) Tissuing skeletal and frozen specimens of various reptiles and amphibians, 2) Curating a large collection of crocodilian tissues, and 3) Curating and accessioning a large collection of Eastern diamondback rattlesnake rattles and organs.
Invertebrate Paleontology Laboratory - Kowalewski Lab: Interns will be assisting with two research projects. The first focuses on understanding the historical ecology of Florida’s freshwater springs and rivers through the comparison of live, dead, and fossil mollusks. Hundreds of samples have been collected from multiple locations across Florida during the past few years and are stored at the Florida Museum. Numerous projects are underway using these samples including analyzing the taphonomic pathways affecting freshwater mollusks and tracking recovery of molluscan communities following Hurricane Michael.
The second project focuses on molluscan shell samples taken from Kane’ohe Bay in Hawaii. Numerous samples were taken and are stored at the Florida Museum. Once identified and counted, these shells from the ‘death assemblage’ will be compared with those from the ‘live assemblage’ collected by the Invertebrate Zoology Division from the same sites. Through comparison, long term changes in community structure and historical ecology can be tracked in the Bay, including impacts from humans and the environment.
The position will require identification, organization, analysis, and curation of molluscan shell material from the two projects. With assistance, these samples can then be curated into the Florida Museum Invertebrate Paleontology collection as projects are completed. The successful applicant will display strong attention to detail and ability to work carefully with fragile fossil specimens. Prior experience with paleontological specimens is appreciated, but not required. They will gain experience working with molluscan fossils from multiple environments, experience with museum databasing software, and participate in the publication of research upon the project’s completion.
Florida Program for Shark Research - Naylor Lab: Sharks have an excellent fossil record composed primarily of isolated teeth. Different species of sharks have different shaped teeth, so, in theory, it should be possibly to trace species lineages of sharks over time through the fossil record using their teeth. However, there is extensive variation in tooth shape within species. For example, the upper jaw teeth tend to have different shapes than do the lower jaw teeth, and teeth also vary in shape in different parts of the jaw. These sources of variation confound lineage tracing through the fossil record.
In order to better interpret the fossil record of sharks’ teeth, it would be useful to know which jaw (upper or lower) or which part of the jaw a particular tooth came from. In order to do this, we need to have a reference set of teeth from different parts of the jaw, for each species.
This project will set out to obtain CT scans of the dried jaws from as many different species of shark as are available to scan. The person filling the position will CT scan extant sharks’ jaws and/or specimens from the fish collection at the FLMNH and segment out and label the teeth for each species. These 3D data will be added to the website www.sharksrays.org as a new feature to help researchers in paleontology better interpret the fossil record of isolated sharks teeth.
The successful applicant will need strong attention to detail. Prior anatomical experience with shark anatomy while helpful, is not required. The successful candidate will gain knowledge about the anatomy of sharks as well as experience working with CT data and segmentation software.
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory - MacFadden Lab: The research focuses on the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT); a period of time ~34 million years ago when global temperatures fell dramatically. Sediments from this period are well preserved in parts of Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. The Florida Museum has an extensive collection of, primarily, fossil mammals from rocks that preserve the EOT in Nebraska. Ongoing research on these specimens pertains to the adaptation of mammalian taxa, in terms of body size and morphology, to this climate event.
This position will require the identification, curation, and research of a large donation of fossil mammal specimens from Nebraska. This impressive donation was made to the Florida Museum several years ago, but until now the resources to incorporate these fossils into the vertebrate paleontology collection at the Florida Museum were lacking. These specimens will provide further data, and comparative specimens, to ongoing research efforts relating to the effect of the Eocene-Oligocene climate event on the mammalian fauna.
The successful applicant will display strong attention to detail and the ability to work carefully with fragile and scientifically valuable fossil specimens. Prior paleontological or anatomical experience or knowledge, while a plus, is not required. The successful candidate will gain knowledge on mammalian taxonomy and anatomy, as well as experience working with museum databasing software. There is also a possibility for the candidate to participate in field activities and an independent research project.
Biodiversity Informatics - Guralnick Lab: Are you interested in data sciences and Museums and wonder where the intersection is? Join the Guralnick Lab at the Florida Museum to work on potentially two overlapping projects, each a very different view on that intersection. The first project is all about climate change and how the timing of plant leaf-out and plant flowering varies in response to these changes. Our group is pioneering the science and tools for looking at phenology using both imaged herbarium specimens and citizen science photographs from iNaturalist. Your work would entail annotating images to report on phenology and work on a small project where you could examine phenology changes over time and in relation to changing climates. We are excited to also get you involved in training in how machine learning may be used to scale up our understanding of phenology change across all flowering plants.
A related project is much more focused on citizen science and how to develop citizen science projects that support two themes in the lab - phenology and documenting color and color variation across species and environments. You would work with Guralnick Lab members to build citizen science projects using the Notes from Nature platform and learn how such projects get built, how to engage with volunteers, and use a variety of tools for outreaching with those volunteers.
Both tasks require collaboration with member of the lab, attention to detail, and working with data tools. You will learn how to use tools such as R and Python, and you will be able to take a small project from start to finish. Your work can not only lead to writing up your own short paper, but also you will produce and publish data that support reproducibility in science.
Organization Limit: 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, 2020. 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.
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:
- 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.
Undergraduate students may apply once per cohort year.
Limit on Number of Applications per Applicant: 1
An eligible applicant may submit only one application per cohort year.
Detailed Eligibility Requirements: Described in detail below are the eligibility requirements for the iDigBio Natural History Collections Summer Internship Program (iDB-SIP): (1) degree requirements, and (2) field of study. Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire program solicitation carefully to ensure that they understand all of the requirements. Applicants must self-certify that they intend to participate in the iDB-SIP cohort for that application cycle, and that they meet all eligibility criteria.
1. Degree Requirements: Applicants are eligible to apply as undergraduate students at an accredited academic non-profit institution.
2. Field of Study: Internships are awarded for research in Natural History Collections. Interns do not have to be majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education, but are strongly encouraged to have an active interest in STEM related fields. If awarded, Interns must be enrolled in a part-time or full-time degree program at an accredited non-profit academic institution for the Fall 2020 academic school year.
Application Preparation 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 27-February 29, 2020.
Applications must be received by 11:59p Eastern. Applications received after this deadline will be returned without review.
All reference letters must be submitted electronically by the reference writer to Jeanette Pirlo (firstname.lastname@example.org; pdf format; subject line “ApplicantLastName_ApplicantFirstName_iDB-SIP_Reference_RefereesLastName”) and must be received by 11:59 Eastern Time on February 29, 2020. Two character reference letters are required for applications to be reviewed. Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify a third refence writer in case someone cannot submit a letter. If fewer than two reference letters (one or none) are received by the reference letter deadline, the application will be returned without review.
Applicants must submit the following information through the Qualtrics Application Module: Personal Information, Education, Lab Preference, Personal Statement, Research Interest Statement, name and email of Reference Writers, and Personal Goals/Expectations for this internship. Unofficial academic transcripts, and two (2) character reference letters must be submitted to Jeanette Pirlo (email@example.com) in PDF format. Review of the application and reference letters is based solely on materials received by the application and reference letter deadline.
Applicants must follow the instructions in the Qualtrics Application Module for completing each section of the application. The statements must be written using the following guidelines:
• Standard 8.5’ x 11” page size • 12-point, Times New Roman font • 1” margins on all sides • Single-spaced (approx. 5 lines per inch) or greater line spacing. Do not use line spacing options such as “exactly 12 point,” that are less than single spaced.
Compliance with these guidelines will be judged based on the document as it appears in the Qualtrics Application Module after it is uploaded. Applicants are strongly encouraged to proofread and upload their documents early to ensure compliance. Applications that are not compliant with these format requirements will be returned without review.
The maximum length of the Personal Statement is three (3) pages. The maximum length of the Research Interest Statement is two (2) pages. The page limits include all references, citations, charts, figures, images, and lists of publications and presentations. Applicants must certify that the two statements (Personal and Research Interest Statement) in the application are their own original work.
In the application, applicants must list all of the baccalaureate institutions they currently attend or have attended in the past with a start date prior to the Fall 2020 term. Transcripts are required for all institutions listed. At least one transcript must be included for the application to be accepted.
Transcripts must be submitted electronically to Jeanette Pirlo (firstname.lastname@example.org; PDF format) by the deadline. Applicants should redact personally-identifiable information (Student ID number, Social Security Number, etc.)
Application Completion Status
Applicants should use the Application Completion Status document to ensure all application materials, including character reference letters, have been received by the iDigBio team before the deadlines. For technical support, please email email@example.com.
Withdrawal of iDigBio Natural History Collections Summer Internship Program: To withdraw a submitted application, the applicant must withdraw their application by emailing Jeanette Pirlo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Preparation and Submission Instructions
Application Preparation Instructions: To apply for the iDigBio Summer Internship program, please complete the following application. Note that this is a multi-component application that requires you to complete all portions to be considered. Application period is from January 27-February 29, 2020.
Required components: A. Fill out application B. Personal Statement (3-page limit) C. Research Statement (2-page limit) D. 2 Reference Letters E. Academic Transcripts
A. Online Application: Please answer the questions in the online application by following the link: https://ufl.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d5V4Pf6aHZPSewZ
B. Personal Statement: Please describe your educational and professional development plans and career goals. Describe your personal, educational and 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:
1. Why are you interested in participating in this internship program? 2. What examples of leadership skills and unique characteristics do you bring to this program? 3. What strengths do you have that make you a qualified applicant? 4. What barriers have you had to overcome to get to this point of your educational career? 5. What barriers do you foresee having to overcome to achieve your educational, professional, and career goals?
C. 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:
1. What issues in the scientific community are you most passionate about? 2. What technical knowledge and skills would you like to learn through this research opportunity? 3. How do your interests fit into the importance of broader impacts on society?
D. Reference Letters: Please submit reference letters from TWO (2) mentors that can attest to your character (academic mentor or other) submitted to Jeanette Pirlo (email@example.com; please attach as PDF) by Feb 29, 2020. The subject line should read: "ApplicantLast Name_ApplicantFirst Name_iDB-SIP_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. You will be able to provide up to 3 reference writers name and email information below.
Improving your chances of obtaining strong reference letters:
1. Choose references that will speak to your abilities and potential, not based on their title. 2. Provide referees sufficient time to write you a strong letter. 3. Discuss and share your application and statements with them. 4. Track submission of letters through the Application Completion Status Tracker at http://bit.ly/iDB-SIPAppTracker 5. Have backup references in case your primary references cannot submit a letter.
E. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org; Please attach as PDF) by Feb 29, 2020. The subject line should read: "Last name_First Name_iDB-SIP_Transcripts".
Application Submission: Application must be submitted through the Qualtrics application portal. Additional components (Reference Letters and Academic Transcripts) need to be submitted via email to Jeanette Pirlo (email@example.com). All components of the application must be received by 11:59p Feb 29, 2020. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. a. Reference Letters: Applicants must submit two (2) letters of reference from academic mentors. Letters of reference must be attached as a PDF to the email. Subject of email should say: "ApplicantLast Name_ApplicantFirst Name_iDB-SIP_Reference_Referees'LastName". Reference letters must be sent from mentors' email address, not directly from the applicants. Late reference letters will not be accepted under any circumstances. b. Academic Transcripts: Applicants must submit UNOFFICIAL academic transcripts from all institutions attended. Transcripts must be attached as PDF to the email. Subject of email should say: "ApplicantLastName_ApplicantFirst Name_iDB-SIP_Transcripts".
Application Review Information Criteria
Applications are reviewed by the iDigBio Summer Internship Program Officers and Internship Mentors. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the applicants. Selection of a Lab of Interest determines, but is not limited to, the internship lab fellow is placed, if awarded a Fellowship.
Merit Review Criteria:
iDigBio Coordinators will review applications for, but not limited to:
a. Completed online application
b. Completed Personal Statement
c. Completed Research Statement
d. Letters of Reference from 2 referees
e. Academic Transcripts
Each application will be reviewed independently following the National Science Foundation’s Merit Review Criteria using all available information in the completed application. In considering applications, reviewers are instructed to address the two Merit Review Criteria as determined by the iDB-SIP Program Officers – the Personal Statement and the Research Statement. Applicants must include separate statements on their Personal Statement and their Research Statement in order to provide reviewers with the information necessary to evaluate the application with respect to both Criteria as detailed below.
The following description of the Merit Review Criteria is provided in below:
All iDB-SIP proposals are evaluated through the use of the Personal and Research Statements.
The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria prior to the review of a proposal.
When evaluation iDB-SIP proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, and what benefits to society can be determined if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the Fellows’ contribution may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against tow criteria:
- Personal Statement: The Personal Statement criterion encompasses the potential to broaden representation in Museum Collections Science, and STEM; and
- Research Statement: The Research Statement criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge and to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.
The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:
- What is the potential to broaden representation in Museum Collections?
- What leadership skills or unique characteristics does the applicant bring to this program?
- To what extent does the applicant suggest or explore transformative concepts?
- What is the potential to advance knowledge?
- What benefit to society could be provided?
Application Review and Selection Process
The application evaluation involves the review and rating of applications by iDB-SIP Coordinators and Internship Mentors.
The primary responsibility of each reviewer is to evaluate eligible iDB-SIP applications by applying the Merit Review Criteria described in section VI.A and to recommend applicants for iDB-SIP Internships. Reviewer are instructed to review the applications holistically, applying the Merit Review Criteria and noting iDB-SIP’s emphasis on demonstrated potential for significant broadening of representation in Museum Collections science and STEM careers in general. After Internship offers are made, applicants are able to review verbatim reviewer comments, including the names of the reviewers.
Additional Program Information
Tentative Monthly Webinar Series
- March: Orientation Webinar
- April: Science Communication Through Social Media
- May: Participant’s Choice
- June: Participant’s Choice
- July: Designing your Conference Poster
- August: Pre-Conference Check-In
Award Administration Information
Notification of the Award: iDigBio-Summer Internship Program applicants will be notified of the outcomes of their applications by mid- March of the competition year. iDigBio publishes lists of Internships on the iDB-SIP website at https://www.idigbio.org/content/idigbio-natural-history-collections-summer-internship-2020 in mid-March.
Award Conditions: An iDigBio-Summer Internship Program Fellowship award consists of the award notification letter that includes the applicable terms and conditions and Fellowship management instructions.
The Applicant must accept or decline the fellowship by April 1 of the competition year by emailing Jeanette Pirlo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Failure to comply with the deadline and acceptance of the Fellowship Terms and Conditions by the deadline will result in recovation of the Fellowship offer and render the applicant ineligible to re-apply.
iDigBio will award the iDB-SIP grants to the Fellow at the start of the summer internship in a bi-weekly manner.
Terms and Conditions
Awardees must formally accept and agree to the terms and conditions of the Internship award. Acceptance of the Internship constitutes a commitment to pursue a summer internship in their assigned laboratory. Acceptance of an Internship award is an explicit acceptance of this commitment and assurance that the Intern will be duly enrolled in a baccalaureate program indicated in their application at the beginning of the academic year AFTER the summer internship concludes. Fellows are expected to make satisfactory progress towards the completion of their internship project. In cases where Interns have misrepresented their eligibility or have failed to comply with the Internship Terms and Conditions, the Internship will be revoked.
Responsible Conduct of Research
It is the responsibility of the Intern, in conjunction with the iDB-SIP lab, to ensure that all academic and research activities carried out in the US comply with the laws or regulations of the US in which the academic and/or research activities are conducted. These include appropriate human subject, animal welfare, copyright and intellectual property protection, and other regulations or laws, as appropriate. All academic and research activities should be coordinated with the appropriate US government authorities, and necessary licenses, permits, or approvals must be obtained prior to undertaking the proposed activities.
In response to the America COMPETES Act, all Interns supported by iDigBio (and subsequently the NSF) to conduct research are required to receive appropriate training and oversight in the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research.
Research Involving Human Subjects
Projects involving research with human subjects must ensure that subjects are protected from research risks in conformance with the relevant Federal policy known as the Common Rule (Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR 690). All projects involving human subjects must either (1) have approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) before issuance of an iDigBio award; or (2) must affirm that the IRB has declared the research exempt from IRB review, in accordance with the applicable subsection, as established in 45 CFR § 690.104(d) of the Common Rule. Interns are required to comply with this policy and adhere to the organization’s protocol for managing research involving human subjects.
Research Involving Vertebrate Animals
Any project proposing use of vertebrate animals for research or education shall comply with the Animal Welfare Act [7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq.] and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the Secretary of agriculture [9 CRF 1.1-4.11] pertaining to the humane care, handling, and treatment of vertebrate animals held or used for research, teaching, or other activities supported by Federal awards. In accordance with these requirements, proposed projects involving use of any vertebrate animal for research or education must be approved by the submitting organization’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before an award can be made. For this approval to be accepted by iDigBio, the organization must have a current Public Health Service (PHS) Approved Assurance.
Projects involving the care or use of vertebrate animals at an international organization or international field site also require approval of research protocols by the US grantee’s IACUC. If the project is to be funded through an award to an international organization or through an individual internship award that will support activities at an international organization, iDigBio will require a statement from the international organization explicitly listing the proposer’s name and referencing the title of the award to confirm that the activities will be conducted in accordance with all applicable laws in the international country and that the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals will be followed.
Legal Rights to Intellectual Property
iDigBio claims no rights to any inventions or writings that might result from its internship grants. However, interns should be aware that iDigBio, NSF, another Federal agency, or some private party may acquire such rights through other support for particular research. Also, interns should note their obligation to include an Acknowledgement and Disclaimer in any publication.
Acknowledgment of Support and Disclaimer
All publications, presentations, and creative works based on activities conducted during the Internship must acknowledge iDigBio-Summer Internship Program support and provide a disclaimer by including the following statement in the Acknowledgements or other appropriate section:
“This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation iDigBio-Summer Internship Program under Grant No. DBI-1547229. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”
Annual Activities Report
Interns and mentors are required to submit an Annual Activities Report by March 1st of the year AFTER the award. The Report will be sent directly from iDigBio.
iDigBio conducts evaluations to provide evidence on the impact of the iDB-sIP on individuals’ educational decisions, career preparations, aspirations and progress, as well as professional productivity; and provide an understanding of the program policies in achieving the program goals. Additionally, it is highly desirable to have a structured means of tracking Interns beyond graduation to gauge the extent to which they choose a career path consistent with the intent of the program and to assess the impact of the iDB-SIP has had on their intern education experience. Accordingly, Intern recipients may be contacted for updates on various aspects of their educational careers, professional activities and accomplishments, participation in international research collaborations, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program. Interns and their mentors agree to cooperate in program-level evaluations conducted by iDigBio and/or contracted evaluators.