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STRI Internship Program


Start here to learn about project
opportunities for internships at STRI!

internships header 2


Working alongside scientists
from around the world

As a STRI academic appointee, Erin Dillon has pioneered methodology
that uses shark scales from modern and fossil reefs to piece together
changes in shark communities over time. Here, she works on a 
fossil outcrop in the Dominican Republic during an expedition
with Aaron O’Dea lab.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)


Working alongside scientists
from around the world

As a STRI intern Dylan Gomes led a research project
that was published in the journal Science.


Join our active scientific community for an amazing, hands-on research experience in the tropics. Internships offer a way-in for undergraduates, recent graduates and beginning graduate students. At the same time that you learn more about the research process, scientists get to know you, leading to future opportunities.

Internship Programs

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama offers different types of internship programs.

STRI General Internship Program

Competitive program funded by the Smithsonian and generous donors open to all nationalities.


February 15 and September 15 of each year.


Three months.

Program dates

Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program approximately 6-8 weeks after each application deadline. Internships usually begin approximately two months after notification of acceptance into the program, but the start date is flexible.


The purpose of the STRI General Internship Program is to provide a place for internship applicants who are generally interested in STRI’s science to pursue a research experience with one of our scientific mentors based on their interests. Interns are selected based on merit and potential for achievement. We encourage you to review the projects listed on our Internship Opportunities page to find a match between your academic interests and a suitable research project overseen by STRI scientists. If have troubles identifying a suitable project, you could learn more about our scientific staff and research associates scientific interests on their webpages. Twice each year, a committee meets to distribute Federal funds and funds from generous donors who support our internship program. Certain funds are especially designated to support Latin American scholars. Applications are received through the Smithsonian Institution Online Academic Appointments system (SOLAA).


Application is open to all nationalities. Undergraduates and recent graduates interested in the research areas represented by STRI scientists.


Our competitive paid internships provide a stipend to cover living expenses while at STRI (currently $1,250/month for up to 3 months, a total amount of $3,750 for stipend) and a round-trip coach airfare. Partial awards are occasionally given depending on funding availability. This internship does not include any research allowances.

Internships funded by researchers


Sometimes a research project has its own funding, and a scientist or graduate student is able to pay an intern. For information about current opportunities, visit our Internship Opportunities page.

Self-funded internships

The intern is funded by their own university or another source. You have the option to  contact directly a potential mentor from the list of our scientific staff and research associates or learn about our Internship Opportunities page. Once you have identified a project and mentor, please contact the academic programs office at STRIFellows@si.edu to let you know the next steps.

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