Experiential learning, either through directed independent research or an internship, is an important component of the undergraduate educational experience. Application of concepts learned in the classroom allow students to develop skills critical thinking and problem solving skills, creativity, and intellectual independence, which are valued by employers and essential for success in graduate school.
The UNF Department of Biology offers two options for experiential learning through internships – Internship in Applied Biology and Research Internship at the Mayo Clinic.
What is an internship in applied biology?
The Internship in Applied Biology course (BSC 3943) is a “course” that UNF Biology students can register for when they wish to receive academic credit for Biology-related internship experiences that take place off-campus. This includes, but is not limited to: research activities at external laboratories or hospitals, veterinary care activities at zoos, aquariums, or other animal care facilities, and policy-related activities at environmental management facilities or non-profit agencies. The main requirements are that the activities performed in the internship must be related to Biology (preferably to the student’s personal career goals) and must be educational rather than menial or “gopher-like” in nature. Note: Students who wish to conduct on-campus research under the supervision of UNF Biology faculty members should register for Directed Independent Study in Biology (BSC 4905) rather than the Internship course.
Why should I pursue an internship?
Performing an internship at a facility that focuses on the type of work that you hope to do in your future career is an excellent way to obtain hands-on experience in this field. In addition to learning the “tools of the trade”, this will give you an opportunity to learn if this is the “career for you.” A successful internship experience will also help you meet people in your field of interest and, if you do well, establish a strong track record of performance.
Where can I do an internship?
Internships can take place at either local or non-local facilities. Although the UNF Biology Department has established ties with a number of agencies that host interns, the choice of “Where to intern?” is generally up to the student. To answer this question, consider your interests and career goals and identify a local or non-local institution that focuses on that work and hosts interns.
For example, UNF students focused on medical study may be interested in interning at the Mayo Clinic (clinical research) or Vistakon (vision research). UNF students focused on Environmental Studies or Coastal Biology have interned at the St. Johns Water Management District (water quality), Environmental Services, Inc. (environmental consulting), JEA, and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and the South-East Zoo Alliance for Reproduction & Conservation (SEZARC). As additional examples, UNF students interested in veterinary science have interned at animal care facilities such as the St. Louis Zoo and Jacksonville Zoo.
Remember that, although we can provide you with some examples, the choice about where to intern and the legwork needed to establish the internship is ultimately YOUR responsibility. The UNF Biology Department does not search for appropriate internships for individual students or “match” students with already established internship opportunities.
Although the department does not “match” students with internship agencies, we do regularly announce the availability of internship opportunities, especially those established specifically for UNF Biology majors. This includes opportunities at the following agencies:
When available, click on the link above to view listings for these opportunities. Note that these opportunities generally require submission of special application materials by a prescribed deadline and often have additional eligibility requirements (for example, completion of certain studies or a minimum number of weekly hours available). In most cases, UNF faculty members pre-screen applicants for these opportunities and forward the names of prescreened candidates to the host institution for final selections.
How do I get started?
To establish an internship, either apply to one of the opportunities listed above or contact an institution that conducts work in which you are interested and ask if they are currently accepting interns. To complete an internship for academic credit, complete the UNF Department of Biology Internship Request form. Follow the directions found on the form. Questions? Contact Dr. Judith Ochrietor.
The St. Johns Riverkeeper provides quality educational programming to students of all ages in Duval, Clay, and St. Johns Counties. This internship will provide hands-on experiences in leading educational programs, conducting volunteer coordinator functions, developing curricula and youth programs, and assisting in publicity for the St. Johns Riverkeeper. The position runs from May 2017 – August 2017. View the complete Summer Environmental Education Internship application for more information.
Summer 2017 Application
The St. Johns Riverkeeper provides quality educational programming to students of all ages in Duval, Clay, and St. Johns Counties. This internship will provide hands-on experiences in leading educational programs, conducting volunteer coordinator functions, developing curricula and youth programs, and assisting in publicity for the St. Johns Riverkeeper. The position runs from September 2017 – December 2017. View the complete Fall Environmental Education Internship application for more information.
Fall 2017 Application
stands for Clinical Research Internship Program. In this Mayo Clinic internship, students are
paired with a physician to undertake a 10-week clinical research study during
the summer semester. Students are
expected to dedicate at least 20 hours each week toward the project.
How do I
apply directly through the Mayo Clinic
are typically accepted from November to March and the internship begins in
June. Link to Mayo Application
Stingray Bay Internship: This internship provides a valuable experience working hands-on with life support maintenance and animal husbandry. View the complete Stingray Bay Internship application for more information.
Water Quality Internship: This internship provides a valuable experience working hands-on with water quality testing and monitoring by using YSI 9300 photometer to monitor water quality and ensure it remains within set parameters. View the complete Water Quality Internship application for more information.
Marine Biology Intern: This intern will assist the Curatorial staff with monitoring and research on the Intertidal Touch Tank sponsored by VyStar. The position requires exceptional attention to detail, strong interpersonal skills, comfort with public speaking to varying ages, a high level of professionalism, good writing skills, and enthusiasm for the selected field of study. View the complete Marine Biology Internship application for more information.
What is BRINC?
The acronym BRINC stands for Basic Research Internship in Neuroscience and Cancer. The UNF Department of Biology and the Mayo Clinic have a partnership in which students are paired with a principal investigator at the Mayo Clinic to undertake a two-semester-long basic research project during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students are expected to dedicate 20 hour each week toward the project.
How do I apply?
Applications consist of a personal statement, unofficial transcripts, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty member. Applications are reviewed by a committee of UNF Biology faculty members (by the end of the Spring semester) and then acceptable candidates are interviewed by Mayo Clinic principal investigators for placement into a research lab (just prior to the start of the Fall semester).
Personal Statement: you should consider the following questions as you prepare your 500 word essay.
Applications are due on Monday, April 10, 2017
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