10 January 2011
National Museum of Natural History
126 million natural history specimens and a professional community
of over 500, here at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural
History we have a project, place and purpose awaiting you.
internships offer student-mentor relationships and career-enhancing
experiences for undergraduate, graduate and sometimes even high
school students. Whether working directly with the public, contributing
to the administration and operation of the facilities, or actively
engaged in our scientific pursuits, interns gain valuable job
skills, unique insight into our operations, and enliven our community!
all internships at the Smithsonian Institution, an internship
at Natural History is a prearranged, structured learning experience
scheduled within a specific time frame.
experience must be relevant to the student's academic and professional
goals and to the mission of the Museum. An internship is not an
independent academic endeavor, but performed under the direct
supervision of a Smithsonian sponsor. Most internships provide
no financial assistance, housing, or travel award.
ELIGIBILITY - Who
special week-long opportunities are sometimes available, internship
appointments are generally at least six weeks in duration and
require a minimum commitment of 16 hour per week.
vary for each program and project. Some positions may require
college or graduate training and/or professional experience. Most
require English proficiency in written and oral communication.
PROGRAMS & PROJECTS
- What's available
only does Natural History offer our own variety of internship
programs and specialized projects, we also host interns placed
through other Smithsonian programs (e.g. Minority Internship Program,
Native American Internship Program, James E. Webb Internship,
Smithsonian Affiliations Intern Partnership Program).
are more than 50 different internship programs at the Smithsonian,
plus a general referral. Each program is administered separately,
with different processes and deadlines. Some programs have separate
application and review processes, a few even have dedicated funding
allocated to award stipends.
Programs at NMNH
Projects Available at NMNH
throughout the Smithsonian
- How to apply
of Natural History's programs, and even projects,
have different application processes. Students
should carefully review the processes for each
before applying. Some programs have formal application
requirements and deadlines while other internships
can be arranged in an hour through a simple e-mail
or phone call.
best way to secure an internship through the Natural
History Internship Program (our overall general
program) is to contact the project sponsor directly
using the contact information (phone and e-mail)
provided to discuss details and potential placement.
we appreciate and applaud your enthusiasm and
interest in serving an internship with us, please
refrain from contacting us to check on the status
of your application. Keep in mind that for most
programs and projects, only those applicants selected
will receive notification. But, if you haven't
heard and need answers, give us a call and we'll
do our best to find out what's up.
- What you get
Natural History there is an abundance of special programs and
seminars - something new every day. Students may also explore
the sights of DC and join special activities arranged just for
students participating in Smithsonian academic appointments.
the summer, a Smithsonian-wide Museum Careers Seminar Series is
featured including topics such as career planning, choosing a
graduate school, and filling out a government job application.
The summer highlight is always the annual Intern's Ice Cream Social.
there's more. Registered interns receive 20% discount at the Smithsonian's
gift shops and one free IMAX ticket each week. You also receive
discounts at the National Gallery gift shops and eateries and
in the winter get a discount on skating and equipment rental at
the National Gallery Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Rink, located
next to the Natural History Building. In addition, interns are
also welcome to attend department lectures and talks.
Calendar of Events
History Calendar of Events
of Activities (intranet access only)
- What to do before you arrive, and once you get here
year over 1,000 students are awarded a Smithsonian internship
appointment, including more than 500 at Natural History.
Many, many more students apply for a position. Keeping up with
status inquiries and tracking incoming and outgoing interns can
be a challenge. We have prepared several web pages with extensive
information detailing everything we could think of. If you don't
find what you're looking for, let us know.
Internship Registration & Orientation Guide
(including insights into finding housing in
the DC area)
On-line Intern Orientation Session
PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL
- What to do if nominated for an internship
internship positions at the Smithsonian are now characterized
as Non-Critical Sensitive. Internship placements require successful
adjudication of a pre-appointment background check. If local to
the DC area and reporting for fingerprinting in-person to the
Smithsonian Office of Protective Services, we anticipate the background
check process to take approximately 10 - 14 days. If non-local,
please allow at least 4 weeks for this process to complete BEFORE
your planned arrival. All individuals, U.S. citizens and Internationals,
nominated for an internship position must undergo a pre-appointment
background investigation before an appointment can be confirmed
Requesting an appointment in-residence for 4 weeks or longer
Meeting the 18 years or older specifications (i.e. Minors, those
16 & 17 year olds are exempt)
are required to complete an OF 306 Declaration for Federal
Employment, a standard form issued by the Office of Personnel
Management. The OF 306 is available at the OPM web site as an
on-line fill-in form at: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of0306.pdf.
are also required to complete an SF 87 Fingerprint Chart
(fingerprint card). The SF 87 will be mailed directly by the Smithsonian
to individuals nominated for an internship. The SF 87 is not available
electronically and cannot be sent via e-mail.
(to DC/NY) nominees must take the SF 87 to their local law enforcement
agency or courthouse to obtain fingerprints. A minimal fee is
usually involved. The nominee must then mail the completed OF
306 and SF 87 to the Office of Protection Services.
MAIL: Please send your response via the US Postal Service
Office of Protection Services
Personnel Security Division
P.O. Box 23793
Washington, DC 20026-3793
recommend that, minimally, you select First Class mail for timely
delivery. To help ensure quicker service we suggest USPS Priority
Mail and advise that you request Delivery Confirmation to track
and confirm delivery of your response.
Should you wish to use a delivery service (FedEx, UPS, etc.),
address your response to:
Office of Protection Services
Personnel Security Division
Capital Gallery Building
600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 4160
Washington, DC 20024
the nominee is within commuting distance to Washington, DC, they
may hand-deliver the completed OF 306 and be fingerprinted on-site
at no cost. In addition, nominees having difficulty obtaining
the proper fingerprints at their home location may request a deferment
to be fingerprinted at the Smithsonian upon their arrival to DC.
Smithsonian Office of Protection Services is located at 600 Maryland
Avenue, SW, Suite 4036. Office Hours are Monday through Friday,
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
you have questions regarding the process, or the status of your
submitted documents, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smithsonian Office of Protection Services (OPS) contracts the
Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to conduct all investigations.
Based upon the investigation results, OPS determines the nominee's
suitability for a position at the Smithsonian. The turnaround
time for investigation results is about 10 days from the time
information is received by OPS from the nominee.
will notify the NMNH Head of Acaedmic Services when an investigation
is closed. They will then contact the nominee to extend a formal
internship offer, and provide further detail.