Virtual Internship Program for Science Communication

We are currently taking applications for VIP SciComm! Applications are due April 2. 

Now more than ever, it is critical that scientists at all career stages and educational levels learn and practice effective science communication to K-12 students, public policy makers, voters, and the general public. It’s equally critical that science communicators are able to communicate through a justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (JEDIA)-centered lens. The Time Scavengers Virtual Internship Program for Science Communication is designed to increase and hone undergraduate students’ skills in science communication, effectively training the next generation of science communicators. 

During this paid 5-week internship, students will work with members of the Time Scavengers team to learn best practices in science communication through creating content for the site. In addition, established science communicators outside of the Time Scavengers community will hold workshops  for the interns on different aspects of their work, including: blogging, social media, book authorship, and in-person science communication in museums or science centers. Through hands-on training and presentations from the science communication community, interns will learn how to be effective science communicators, and how to do so through a JEDIA framework. 

Interns will be paid $1,000 over the course of 5 weeks for the internship, and will meet with their assigned Time Scavengers mentor once a week. An additional weekly meeting will be held for all of the interns and mentors, where they will listen to a presentation from an established science communicator. Interns are expected to write two articles a week, totaling ten articles throughout the internship. The interns will work closely with their mentor to receive feedback on their articles prior to the articles being published on the Time Scavengers website. Interns’ articles will be tagged with their name so the intern can easily find and reference their writing on resumes and CVs.

If  you would like to donate to Time Scavengers and/or VIP SciComm, please note that Time Scavengers is currently not a non-profit organization at this time, so donations made to the site or internship program are not tax deductible. 

Eligibility

The VIP SciComm is only available to sophomore and junior- level undergraduate students currently enrolled in U.S.-based colleges and universities majoring in the natural sciences (including but not limited to biology, geology, climatology, and environmental science). Preference will be given to students who have not yet had extensive research and internship experiences prior to applying for this program. If you have any questions about eligibility, please send your questions to VIPSciCommTimeScavengers@gmail.com

How to Apply

Applicants should provide the following materials to Time Scavengers by April 2. The VIP SciComm application can be viewed and downloaded here

  • VIP SciComm application and completed questions.
  • Unofficial transcripts or proof of current enrollment in your current institution in the United States and territories (we do not need official transcripts; examples include unofficial transcripts, student ID with an expiration date and please remove any personal information like social security numbers or student ID numbers).
  • Writing sample of at least 400 words with no length limit. This can be a class paper you submitted previously, a piece of writing you’ve done independently, etc. Please do not submit group work you have contributed to – only solo work is acceptable. Science writing is preferable, but if you do not have something in that field, please submit something that shows your writing clarity (no poetry, etc., please). 
  • Letter of recommendation from a supervisor (this can be a professor, a boss, undergraduate advisor, etc.). This letter should be emailed directly to VIPSciCommTimeScavengers@gmail.com. Your letter writer should focus on qualities such as your writing abilities (if they have any knowledge of it), your work ethic and reliability, and any other positive traits!   

Please send your application materials to VIPSciCommTimeScavengers@gmail.com, with the subject line ‘VIP SciComm’. Please ensure all materials include your name. The letter of recommendation should be sent to the same email with the subject line ‘ApplicantLastName VIPSciComm’. Applicants will be notified of their application status by mid-April.

Preliminary Schedule & Anticipated Time Commitment

Interns will meet as a group once per week where we will have a presentation and conversation with a science communicator, and one-on-one with their mentor once per week, totaling two approximately 2 hour meetings weekly. Preliminarily, mandatory group meetings will be held on Thursdays  at 2 pm EST beginning June 9th, with the last meeting held on Thursday, July 14th.

Weekly meeting days and times between interns and their mentors are to be decided upon by the intern and mentor.

We anticipate the VIPSciComm will take less than 20 hours per week of the intern’s time, including the two weekly meetings and time to write and edit two blog posts per week. The time commitment may be larger (closer to 20 hours/week) at the beginning of the internship as interns learn to write effective scicomm articles and blog posts with their mentors.

Funding

Funding for the internship was generously provided through the Paleontological Society Outreach and Education Grant, the Geological Society of America’s E-an Zen Geoscience Outreach Grant, and the Western Interior Paleontological Society Jordan Sawdo Memorial Service and Outreach Grant