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Summer Internships

The DLC offers summer internship positions that provide students with experiential learning opportunities in field research, animal husbandry, animal welfare, fossil collection, and communications. We are currently accepting applications for the summer 2022 internship program. Applications and all required application materials are due by March 4, 2022. This is an unpaid internship program, though we do have funding for a small number of intern positions for summer 2022. See below for more details.

If you have general questions regarding internships at the DLC, please check out our Intern FAQs or contact Erin Hecht (DLCinternships@duke.edu). We will host virtual application workshops over Zoom on January 25 and February 5, where prospective applicants can drop in and ask any questions about the application process or the intern program in general. See below for the Zoom links for those optional workshops.

Application requirements include:

1. Completed online application

2. Two letters of recommendation, sent directly from the author

3. Current resume

4. Writing sample and portfolio (for the Communications Internship application only)

5. Supplemental application materials for paid positions (see below)

Please send all documents in PDF form with your last name in the file name. 


Paid summer internship positions

Funding is available for a small number of intern positions for summer 2022, with the purpose of reducing financial barriers to students pursuing experiential learning opportunities in STEM. These paid positions are open only to students who received need-based financial aid during the previous academic year. Compensation is $15/hour and students in the paid positions must work a minimum of 30 hours per week, with the opportunity to work up to 40 hours.

It is also possible to receive academic credit for the internship, although some schools may not give course credit for paid positions. Be sure to check with your institution if you plan to apply for one of the paid positions and also hope to get course credit.

To be considered for one of the paid positions, please make sure to indicate your intent on the internship application AND submit the following supplemental materials, alongside the other required application materials, to DLCinternships@duke.edu:

1. Statement of Financial Need: Please write a 200-word statement detailing how a paid position would benefit you financially and make it possible for you to participate in the DLC summer internship program.

2. Student Aid Report: Please provide the SAR summary produced after submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form from the previous academic year. Click here for more information about the Student Aid Report.

Paid internship position offers will go out at the same time that offers are made for the unpaid internship positions. If you apply for a paid position but are not selected, you will still be considered for an unpaid position in the same department.


Application workshops

These optional Zoom workshops are an opportunity for prospective applicants to drop in and ask any questions about the application process or the intern program in general:

Click to join DLC Internship Application Workshop 1 on Tuesday, January 25 from 2-3PM EST

Click to join DLC Internship Application Workshop 2 on Saturday, February 5 from 11AM-12PM EST


Internship questions

Internship FAQ

DLC Internship Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to multiple DLC internships?

You are welcome to apply to a maximum of two DLC internships. If you are a finalist for both internships, the intern managers will review your skills and decide which department will extend an offer.

If I am applying to multiple internships at the DLC, do I need to submit different references/letters of recommendation for each application?

For candidates applying to more than one internship, you may submit the same letters of recommendation for each internship application or you can submit different letters of recommendation for an internship if the letter of recommendation highlights strengths and experience for a specific internship.

To whom should my references address my letters?

Applications are reviewed by the internship coordinator for each department. If you applied to the husbandry internship, the letter should be addressed to the “Husbandry Internship Coordinator.” If you applied to the field research internship, then “Field Research Internship Coordinator” would be appropriate, etc..

How will I know if my application is complete?

You will receive an email letting you know that your application is complete once all application materials have been submitted, including both letters of recommendation and a current resume. If you are applying to the Communications Internship, please see the internship description for the additional application requirements. If you apply right before or at the deadline, it may take us a few days to process your application materials and contact you, so be patient!

I see that I am required to obtain certain immunizations if selected for an internship opportunity. Will the DLC pay for this?

No, all immunization costs are up to the intern. All immunizations requested are for your safety as well as the safety of the animals.

Is housing provided for DLC interns?

No, the DLC internship program does not provide housing or a housing stipend for interns. While you must find your own housing, selected interns will be given access to several housing search resources for the Durham area.

Is transportation provided?

No, selected interns must have their own transportation to get to and from the DLC.

Is this a paid internship program?

This is an unpaid internship program, though we do have funding for a small number of intern positions for summer 2022. Scroll to the top of the internship page to read details about the paid positions and what supplemental application materials are required to be considered for one of those positions. A majority of the internship positions will be unpaid. If you apply for a paid position but are not selected, you will still be considered for an unpaid position.

Is there an age restriction for interns?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants must either be currently attending college or graduated within the last three years.

What file format is best for resume and letter of recommendation submissions?

PDF format is preferred for resumes and letters of recommendation. Please include your last name in the file name for submitted documents. Those application items must be emailed to DLCinternships@duke.edu by the application deadline for an application to be complete. For the communications internship, submission instructions for the digital portfolio are included in the internship description.

I am interested in applying to the summer internship program, but can't start on May 31st or I am unable to attend the August 6th Summer Intern Symposium. Are the internship term dates flexible? Will I be considered for the internship if I am unable to be present for the full extent of the internship or attend the Intern Symposium?

Unfortunately not. All summer interns must be available to start on May 31st and work through August 6th. Attendance and presentation of an intern project at the August 6th Intern Symposium is a requirement of the internship. Interns also must be present every Tuesday from 12-1PM during the internship term for weekly seminars.

How will I hear if I have been selected?

Complete applications will be reviewed after the March 4th, 2022 deadline. Only candidates who are selected to receive a phone interview will be notified by March 14th. All candidates who receive a phone interview will be notified of the final decision by March 25th, 2022.

I applied for a position but was not accepted. Can I apply again?

Absolutely! If you were not selected for the upcoming internship term, we encourage you to resubmit an application for a future internship term.

Do you still have questions about applying for the summer internship program?

Join us for one of the following optional Zoom application workshops, which are an opportunity for prospective applicants to drop in and ask any questions about the application process or the intern program in general.

Click to join DLC Internship Application Workshop 1 on Tuesday, January 25th from 2-3PM 

Click to join DLC Internship Application Workshop 2 on Saturday, February 5th from 11AM-12PM

NOTE: If you have allergies, please be aware that the DLC keeps peanuts, peanut butter, and tree nuts onsite for lemur food and training rewards. Some internship types, such as Husbandry and Field Research, are more conducive to coming into contact with nuts than other internships types are.


Internship descriptions and applications

Field Research Internship

The Duke Lemur Center is looking for participants for our Summer 2022 Field Research Internship program. The Field Research Internship program serves to introduce students to lemur research and data collection. The internship provides opportunities in research for interested undergraduate students who have no prior research experience and/or do not have a faculty mentor.

Interns will be introduced to the fundamentals of behavioral ecology data collection in a field setting and will collect data as part of an on-going study of behavior and forest utilization by the free-ranging lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center, contributing to long-term research goals. Interns will be required to complete an independent project within this larger research scope. Interns can expect to gain experience in research design, ethogram development, individual identification, inter-observer reliability, sampling techniques, data collection, and data entry and analysis, among others. Please note that physical contact with the lemurs is not allowed and will not be tolerated.

This program is intended for individuals who are genuinely interested in learning the research process, but who lack prior experience and/or opportunity to otherwise do so.  The summer research program requires a 10 week-commitment starting Tuesday, May 31st and ending Saturday, August 6th, 2022. Weekly schedules can be flexible, but requires 20 hours of on-site training and/or data collection each week, Monday-Friday.

Interns will be required to present their project results (oral or poster presentation) as part of a DLC Intern Symposium on Saturday, August 6th, 2022.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants must either be currently attending college or graduated within the last three years. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written and oral instruction, have effective communication skills, and work well both independently and as part of a team. Applicants must possess the ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment.  Intern will be observing free-ranging lemurs in the Center's outdoor Natural Habitat Enclosures and will be exposed to many insects such as ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes as well as potential contact with plants that can cause itchy or painful rashes, and possibly, to snakes.  DLC staff will train volunteers to minimize exposure to insects, avoid snakes, and identify rash producing plants.

This is an unpaid position*. Housing and transportation are not provided. Interns must have their own transportation to the DLC.  Proof of a current negative TB test, documentation of two doses of the measles vaccine (or MMR or measles titer), and health insurance is required.

To apply to the Field Research Internship, please complete and submit the application below. Applications will be accepted through March 4th, 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. A current resume and two letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline for an application to be complete. The application allows you to list the contact information for two references. The listed contacts should send letters of reference directly to the Student Program Coordinator, Erin Hecht (DLCinternships@duke.edu). The applicant should also send their resume to DLCinternships@duke.edu.

Click here to submit an application for the Field Research internship.

Husbandry Internship

The Duke Lemur Center is looking for participants for our 2022 Summer Husbandry Internship program who are interested in gaining animal care experience at a research and conservation center for rare and endangered prosimian primates. Nestled on 100 acres in Duke Forest, the Lemur Center houses over 200 lemurs and bush babies across 13 species—the most diverse population of lemurs on Earth, outside their native Madagascar. Interns will be responsible for assisting in the daily care and maintenance of the Center’s collection of primates.

Duties include:

-Assisting the Technician staff with the daily care of lemurs

-Assisting with the daily cleaning of animal areas, kitchen and service areas

-Daily diet preparations

-Assisting the Technician staff with daily enrichment and behavioral observations

-Assisting DLC’s staff with data entry, filing and updating animal records

-Performing other duties relating to the Center’s goals and mission statement as required

The Husbandry Internship requires a 30-hour a week commitment for a ten-week period, starting Tuesday, May 31st and ending Saturday, August 6th, 2022. The internship schedule will be for five consecutive days each week with one of the days being a weekend day. Interns will be required to present their project results (oral or poster presentation) as part of a DLC Intern Symposium on Saturday, August 6th, 2022.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants must either be currently attending college or graduated within the last three years. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written and oral instruction and have effective communication skills. Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds. Applicants must possess the ability to adapt to an ever-changing work environment and be available to work weekends and holidays. Public speaking skills are highly encouraged. Interns will be working in the Center’s outdoor Natural Habitat Enclosures and will be exposed to ticks, chiggers and rash producing plants.

This is an unpaid position*. Housing and transportation are not provided. Interns must have their own transportation to the DLC. Proof of full COVID vaccination (including a booster), current negative TB test, documentation of two doses of the measles vaccine (or MMR), and health insurance is required.

To apply to the internship program, please complete and submit the application linked below. Applications will be accepted through March 4th, 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

A current resume and two letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline for an application to be complete. The application allows you to list the contact information for two references. Two letters of recommendation from the listed references must be sent directly by the author to the Student Program Coordinator, Erin Hecht (DLCinternships@duke.edu). The applicant should also send their resume to DLCinternships@duke.edu.

Click here to submit an application for the Husbandry internship.

Animal Welfare Internship

The DLC is looking for participants for our Summer 2022 Animal Welfare Internship program. This program will introduce interns to the science of animal welfare and how the science is applied to fulfill the DLC's mission of advancing prosimian husbandry, research and education.

Animal Welfare Interns will gain a holistic understanding of the multi-dimensional assessment of welfare and the contributors to optimal welfare including, but not limited to, animal husbandry, medical care, environmental complexity, social structure, enrichment and operant conditioning.

The program will include introductory instruction in animal welfare, animal enrichment, lemur behavior, operant conditioning and data collection. Interns will be required to design, complete and present an independent project with a welfare focus. Additionally, interns will create and complete species specific welfare assessments.

The Animal Welfare Internship requires a consecutive ten week-commitment starting Tuesday, May 31st and ending Saturday, August 6th, 2022. The internship requires 20 hours a week. Work hours will be from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Monday – Thursday.

Interns will be required to present their project results (oral or poster presentation) as part of a DLC Intern Symposium on Saturday, August 6th, 2022.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written and oral instruction and have effective communication and interpersonal skills. Applicants must be able to lift 30 pounds.

Strong preference will be given to applicants who are majoring in Animal Science, Animal Behavior, Biology, Zoology, or related fields.

A portion of the program will be spent collecting fresh browse for the colony. While collecting browse, interns may be exposed to many bothersome creatures, such as ticks, chiggers and mosquitoes. There is also the potential for contact with plants that can cause itchy or painful rashes. Snakes may be encountered. DLC staff will train volunteers to minimize exposure to insects, avoid snakes, and identify rash producing plants.

This is an unpaid position*. Housing and transportation are not provided. Interns must have their own transportation to the DLC. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (including a booster), current negative TB test, documentation of two doses of the measles vaccine (or MMR or measles titer), and health insurance is required.

To apply to the Animal Welfare Internship, please complete and submit the application below. Applications will be accepted through March 4th, 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. A current resume and two letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline for an application to be complete. The application allows you to list the contact information for two references. The listed contacts should send letters of reference directly to the Student Program Coordinator, Erin Hecht (DLCinternships@duke.edu). The applicant should also send their resume to DLCinternships@duke.edu.

Click here to submit an application for the Animal Welfare internship.

Communications Internship

The DLC is looking for participants for our Summer 2022 Communications Internship. The Communications Internship provides an opportunity to learn about all facets of the Duke Lemur Center, as well as to hone writing and design skills and -- as a final project -- to develop a portfolio-worthy publication with guidance from the DLC's Director of Communications. The internship also includes tasks ranging from photography and design to marketing, blogging, and social media.

Highly creative, artistic, driven individuals with an aptitude for writing and design are perfect candidates for this position. A solid grasp of documentary photography and the principals and elements of design is highly desired. Design experience, including familiarity with the Adobe Creative Suite, is a plus. Applicants should possess a strong desire to learn, an openness to receiving and responding to feedback and creative direction, and an ability to work independently with minimal supervision. The intern is expected to provide his or her own laptop and digital camera with lens/lenses.

The Communications Internship requires a consecutive 10-week commitment starting Tuesday, May 31st and ending Saturday, August 6th, 2022. The internship requires 20 hours a week. Work hours will be 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

Interns will be required to present their final project as part of a DLC Intern Symposium on Saturday, August 6th, 2022.

FINAL PROJECT: Working closely with the Director of Communications, the Communications Intern will assist in the creation of a full-color printed magazine showcasing the history and three-pronged mission (research, education, conservation) of the Duke Lemur Center. In doing so, the intern will consult with various departments, shadow and interview staff, write articles in an appropriate style, gather images, create illustrations or infographics, and assist with editing. This is an excellent opportunity to build self-confidence, practice project management, and hone writing and design skills while producing a final project worthy of a professional portfolio. Past issues of the DLC magazines can be viewed at lemur.duke.edu/magazine.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Internship responsibilities may vary based on the interests and professional goals of the selected intern. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following--

-Researching stories, including online research and interviewing and shadowing DLC staff

-Assisting with electronic newsletters, including planning, research, writing, photography, and layout/design

-Producing short, compelling videos to better tell the DLC story (concept development, scripting, storyboards, filming, post-production/editing)

-Writing, publishing, and sharing engaging content on the DLC website and blog

-Designing flyers, graphics, webpages, and other marketing materials for special events, tours, and general brand awareness

If the intern desires, the Director of Communications will assist him or her with creating a professional website to showcase the intern's photographs, articles, and other projects (digital portfolio).

APPLICATION: In addition to the application and letters of reference, applicants should submit a digital portfolio of relevant work (photos, design, etc. – maximum of 10 pieces) and two writing samples.

Ideally, at least one writing sample should demonstrate the applicant’s ability to research a topic, then pull everything together into a coherent and engaging narrative for the general (non-scientific) public; for example, a research-based blog post or newspaper article.

Digital portfolios should be sent either (1) via link to the applicant’s personal website; (2) via link to a dedicated Dropbox folder; or (3) by attaching a single PDF file. If submitting via Dropbox, all images must be in JPEG format with a maximum file size of 3.0 MB per image. If submitting a selection of your work via PDF, we suggest a couple of pages totaling no more than 2 MB.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants must either be currently attending college or graduated within the last three years. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written and oral instruction and have effective communication and interpersonal skills. Applicants must be able to lift 30 pounds.

This is an unpaid internship*. Housing and transportation are not provided. Interns must have their own transportation to the DLC. Proof of current health insurance is required. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (including a booster), a current negative TB test, documentation of two doses of the measles vaccine (or MMR or measles titer), and health insurance is required.

To apply to the Communications Internship, please complete and submit the application below. Applications will be accepted through March 4th, 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. A current resume, two letters of recommendation, writing samples, and your portfolio must be received by the deadline for an application to be complete. The application allows you to list the contact information for two references. The listed contacts should send letters of reference directly to the Student Program Coordinator, Erin Hecht (DLCinternships@duke.edu). The applicant should also send their resume and other application materials to DLCinternships@duke.edu.

Click here to submit an application for the Communications internship.

Division of Fossil Primates Internship

The Division of Fossil Primates at the Duke Lemur Center is looking for aspiring paleontologists to participate in our Summer 2022 Fossil Lab Internship Program. The Internship is an opportunity to work in an active paleontological research lab that maintains over 30,000 specimens, including the largest collection of primate fossils in North America. The internship provides opportunities for independent research as well as collaborative research in the collection.

Interns will be introduced to curatorial methods, fossil preparation and conservation, molding and casting techniques, digital fossil preparation, surface model generation, photogrammetry, and archival research. Interns can also collaborate on exhibit design and fossil-based community outreach. The Division of Fossil Primates maintains an extensive digital museum on the website MorphoSource, and there are multiple, on-going projects that utilize fossil scans to explore the ecological context of our earliest primate relatives. Interns would be encouraged to develop projects that build and explore these datasets. Interns can also assist in research and identification of fossil material from our extensive subfossil lemur collection from Madagascar, and the generation of digital dissections of microCT scanned comparative specimens.

This program is intended for students with a strong interest in the inner-workings of museums, and that have an interest in developing research questions based on biological collections, with a special focus on students that have limited access to biological and fossil collections at their home institutions. Technical skills in fossil and digital preparation are not required, though a comfort learning new skills and software programs is necessary. Interns should be prepared to lift up to 30 pounds and should be aware that some work may require handling noxious chemicals in controlled settings.

The spring internship program requires a 10-week commitment starting Tuesday, May 31st and ending Saturday, August 6th, 2022. Weekly schedules can be flexible. The lab is open 9-5PM Monday-Friday with an expected 20 hours of on-site curation and research.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and either be currently attending college or graduated within the last three years. Applicants must have the ability to understand and follow written

and oral instruction, have effective communication skills, and have the ability to adapt to an ever-changing work environment.

This is an unpaid position*. Housing and transportation are not provided. Interns must have their own transportation to the DFP. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (including a booster) and health insurance is required.

To apply to the Fossil Lab Internship, please complete and submit the application below. Applications will be accepted through Friday, March 4th, 2022. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. A current resume and two letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline for an application to be complete. The application allows you to list the contact information for two references. The listed contacts should send letters of reference directly to the Student Program Coordinator, Erin Hecht (DLCinternships@duke.edu). The applicant should also send their resume to DLCinternships@duke.edu.

Click here to submit an application for the Fossil Collection internship.


Thanks to all of our 2019 summer interns!

Congratulations to 2015 Summer Husbandry Interns Brittany Blackwell and Danielle Lynch for joining our team of full-time primate technicians!

 

 

“I absolutely loved this internship. This is probably one of the friendly, most positive and constructive work environments I will ever get the privilege of working at, and I am so thankful for all the opportunities it provided! Thank you for the best summer so far!” Maddie K., Summer 2019

“The DLC is a place with an incredible sense of community; everyone here builds each other up. This positive energy is educational and so important to how I hope my future work environments will operate – rather, how I’ll work to make them operate.” Lisa M., Summer 2018

“This summer was amazing! I learned so much and felt supported and mentored throughout the entire process. It was truly incredible!” Kyle T., Summer 2018

“..Spending time with such incredible animals and growing my knowledge and skills in the field in a fun and meaningful way was unforgettable and totally brag worthy.” Abby S., Summer 2018

“…It was a valuable experience that has truly prepared me for my future endeavors in the animal field.” Katie J., Summer 2014

“I was truly amazed at how much time we spent with the animals as husbandry interns, and I loved that I saw the animals every day.” Jamie S., Summer 2013 

“..As far as getting to spend time with the animals, learn a lot about the facility, and actually do research, all the expectations I had about the internship were definitely met…Overall I would definitely recommend the internship to any of my friends interested in primatology! I am going to miss the place…”  Arthur J., Summer 2013

“I have nothing but compliments and praises for this internship!  It was absolutely more than I had expected and I loved every minute.  To be able to work so close with the lemurs and do so much for them, as well as working with the staff was just amazing.  If I have to complain it would be that 10 weeks goes by too fast!”  Holly N. , Summer 2013

“Thank you so much for everything this semester. This has truly been one of the best experiences I have had and I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity! I have grown to love and adore every single lemur at the center and I hope to return soon! This internship has given me so much research experience and has allowed me the chance to reaffirm that this is the field I want to go into!”  Kaitlyn W. – Fall Research Internship, 2012

Click here to check out our DLC Summer Intern video from 2013!