A science writing internship is a key part of the non-thesis
degree track. The main point of the STJR internship is to get
experience working in a science communication setting, receive
mentorship from a professional science communicator, and add
to your portfolio. The internship is normally taken after at least
two semesters of course work.
Not just any internship will do, however. The internship must be
approved by the program coordinator and must meet the
- The internship must include a substantial amount of science
writing or science editing.
- The intern's supervisor should be an experienced science
communicator who is ready to guide the intern.
- The internship must be at least 300 hours.
Additionally, each intern must give an oral presentation about
the internship, submit a portfolio, and be evaluated by their
supervisor at least twice during the internship. To allow ample
time to prepare the portfolio, students typically register for VIBS
684 (Professional Internship) for the term after the internship.
However, students graduating immediately after the internship
register for VIBS 684 for the internship term.
There are two sections of VIBS 684: VIBS 684.628, which is for
internships in College Station, and VIBS 684.654, which is for
internships elsewhere. Students taking the latter section won't
have to pay some of the fees a locally enrolled student would.
The internship portfolio includes the following:
- A paper about the internship experience. Typically about 5
- Daily journal entries about activities and work completed
- Examples of work done during the internship
Finding an Internship
Finding a science journalism internship is competitive,
especially for internships outside of the university. A major venue
for finding an internship is the internship fair held by the
National Association of Science Writers at each year's AAAS
We also have a list of possible internships with
QuintCareers.com has a page titled "How to Find Your Ideal Internship" that covers
some of the basics of the job search, including links to advice on
resumes and cover letters.
AAAS and IBM have joined forces to provide a
"how-to" guide for phone interviews.
Articles providing guidance regarding internships also
appear in The Open Notebook.