Internship Program

    Our interns attend orientation, spend the summer working on various research projects related to river ecology and education, alongside mentors, and reconvene at the end of the summer to present at our annual Intern Symposium.

  • Undergraduate Intern Program

    The student application process has now closed
    Applications were due by midnight, January 22, 2020

    Application questions
    Download project descriptions
    View important program dates

    Each year, NGRREC hosts a summer internship program for college sophomores, juniors and seniors. This program is a paid internship opportunity and gives students a chance to gain real experience in a variety of environmental careers such as ecological research, fisheries science, education, social science, and policy. At the conclusion of this internship, students present their project results to their fellow interns, research advisors, and invited guests at a professional Intern Symposium. We are now accepting student applications to match qualified and motivated students with each of the projects selected.

    Each 10-week paid internship is managed by an advisor who is responsible for instruction, supervision, and mentoring of the intern, as well as the design of the summer project. Students receive a $5,000 (pre-tax) stipend for full participation in the 10-week program. Additionally, funding up to $1,000 is available to help offset some of the summer housing and/or transportation costs to the internship location, as needed.

    The Project Summaries document outlines each of the 2020 projects, including a summary, location, and intern duties and responsibility for each project. During the application process, students will select up to three projects of interest to assist in the matching process. Please note that students apply to the program, not a specific project, however the selection team works hard to match a student to one of their preferred projects.

    ALL students encouraged to apply, including community and junior college students and international students. We are looking for students who may not have extensive research experience, but have shown initiative to gain experiences in science, through either volunteering or prior employment/ jobs, participation in clubs, etc. Students should be hoping to gain either their first focused research experience or to provide specific/targeted experience in order to achieve their outlined career goal.

    Application Requirements

    Minimum Requirements

    • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate program (community, junior or four-year colleges)
    • GPA 3.0 or higher
    • Available to attend both the orientation (May 18-22) and Intern Symposium (July 27)
    • Are legally permitted to work in the U.S.
      • Work visas must already be in place at the time of applying – NGRREC-LC is unable to sponsor visas for these positions.
    • Submission of all required materials, online and by the application deadline (January 22)
    • Availability to commit to a full-time internship (approximately 40 hours/week)

    Some projects have other specific requirements (e.g., ability to swim, a personal laptop). Please take this into account when selecting your projects of interest and answer all application questions accurately to ensure a proper project match.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Biographical sketch - Submit a brief statement (100 words or less) about yourself, your interests, and where you see yourself career-wise in 5 years. This information will be included in the printed symposium proceedings handed out to all attendees at the Intern Symposium.
    2. Resume - Include all relevant coursework, previous employment, internships, and volunteer positions. Organization name, location, and dates should be included.
    3. College transcript - Unofficial copy will suffice as long as your name is clearly visible on the transcript. A screenshot or a typed Word version of your transcript will not be accepted. 
    4. Cover letter (optional, but encouraged) - Feel free to include a cover letter outlining what makes you a good candidate for this internship. Include any additional information, such as your career and academic goals, which will help us assess your fit for our internship program and match you with the right project.
    5. Copy of International Visa (international applicants only)

    Important Dates

    • January 22 (midnight): Application Deadline
    • May 18-22: Intern Program Orientation (attendance required)
    • May 18 - July 27: Summer Internship (approximately 40 hours/week)
    • July 27: Intern Symposium (attendance required)

    How Projects Are Selected

    A Call for Proposals is distributed each fall to potential advisors. The proposals are reviewed and selected by a panel, and the list of available projects is posted above. 


    An online application process, along with a list of available projects, is usually made available in December. This is a competitive program - we receive more than 130 applications per year. 

    Who May Apply?

    The program is open to all current college students, with preference given to students currently in their sophomore and junior years. All college students are encouraged to apply, including community college and junior college students and international students. 

    Internship Locations

    Locations differ each year according to where the advisors are located. Placement locations are offered primarily throughout Illinois but often stretch into the Midwest. 

    When you are considering a project, please consider factors such as transportation (Ex. Do you have a car for placement in a remote location?). Program coordinators will help identify available housing options in each project location if needed, and students receive up to $1,000 in reimbursement funding to assist with summer housing and relocation costs.

    To see examples of previously supported projects, please download one of our Intern Symposium Proceedings which include abstracts and posters from each project.

    For questions please email us at ngrrecintern@lc.edu.

    Ask us about sponsoring an intern for 2020!



    2019 Summer Internship
  • Latest Intern Photos