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Internship FAQs

Note: The Summer 2020 application period is now closed. Check back in January 2021 for the Summer 2021 application and updated FAQ sheet.

Applying to the Ecosystems & Climate Change Summer Internship Program

Q. What are the prerequisites for program admission? 

  • While there are no specific course requirements, a background in the physical sciences is highly recommended.
  • This internship is for undergraduate students who have completed at least their sophomore year at an accredited 4-year college or university. High school students, rising sophomores, and graduate students are not eligible.
  • Applicants should be considering applying to graduate school or considering a career in ecology and/or land management.


Q. Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply? 

Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.


Q. What is required for the application? 

  • Current Resume/CV
  • Statement of Interest, (including specifying your preferred project(s) and location(s))
  • Transcript (unofficial is okay)
  • 2-3 Academic and/or Professional References (contact information only)


Q. What should my statement of interest address? 

Your statement of interest should address why you’re interested in this internship, as well as specifically state which project(s) and campus(es) you are applying for. If you choose to apply for more than one project, please clearly identify your preferences in ranked numerical order. You may also include some information about your interests and your background that may not be immediately apparent from your resume/CV. For assistance with your statement of interest, we suggest utilizing resources on your campus. Resources may include a Career Center or Writing Center.


Q. Is there a word limit for the statement of interest or the post-graduation goals? 

The statement of interest should be no more than 500 words, or roughly 1 page, single-spaced in Microsoft Word.


Q. How/ when will my references be contacted, and what will they be asked? 

If you are deemed a top-tier candidate, your references may be contacted via email, and may be asked to provide information about your work ethic, academic and/or research background, and general thoughts about your fit for this program. We highly recommend that you ask your references if they would be willing and able to provide this information on your behalf before you list them on your application.


Q. What form/amount of compensation is given to accepted students?
Interns are paid $15 per hour, for 40 hours of work per week for 8 consecutive weeks. This rate applies to every project location. However, individual campuses may have different pay schedules, and thus students may be paid an up-front stipend, or on a bi-weekly basis, depending on what the financial office at their host institution has chosen.


Q. Can I get financial aid or a scholarship to help me pay for my transportation and room and board? 

Students will be responsible for their room, board, and daily transportation. Students who are coming from out of the area may be reimbursed for their initial travel to and final departure from their host institution. Additionally, transportation to and from the Yosemite Field Station, and the UC Irvine seminar will be provided, as will cabins/hotels and most meals during those 2 retreats. For additional financing or scholarship opportunities, please contact your college or university’s scholarship and/or financial aid office.


Q. When will the online application be available? 

The online application will be available on Handshake beginning mid-February, 2020. Your application and all accompanying documents must be submitted online via Handshake. You must first create a free account on Handshake before you can upload any application materials.


Q. What is the deadline for submitting an application? 

The deadline for submitting your complete application is Friday, March 20, 2020, at 4 p.m. Pacific time. All materials must be submitted and/or fully completed no later than this due date, and must be submitted via the Handshake platform.


Q. When and how will I be notified that I have been accepted into the program? 

Select applicants may be called or emailed to schedule an interview. All applicants will be notified of their selection status by email by the end of April.


Program Logistics

Q. What are the start and end dates of the program?

The program will culminate with a kickoff retreat at the UC Reserve Yosemite Field Station in Wawona, California on Sunday, June 21, 2020. The program will end with a symposium at UC Irvine, of which the last day will be Friday, August 14.


Q. What is the duration of the program?

The internship is 8 weeks, inclusive of the kickoff retreat and end of internship symposium. Interns must be available for the entire duration of the internship and may not take vacation during that time.


Q. How many interns participate at a time?

The number of interns varies, but can range between 7 and 14 interns each summer.


Q. Is housing provided?

Housing is not provided. Interns will need to find and pay for housing on their own. We recommend you seek out fellow interns as possible roommates. Additional information and some on and off-campus options for students are listed below.

1.UCI Student Housing

2. SDSU Student Housing

3. UC Merced Student Housing


Q. Will I have an opportunity to do fieldwork? 

Some interns may have the opportunity to participate in field work at various levels. If this is something that is important to you, please apply to projects that specify a field work component.


Q. Can I get college credit for the internship? 

College credit is not offered for the Ecosystems & Climate Change Summer Internship Program.