Internships & Fellowships
Office of International Relations (OIR) Internship:
You may know the Smithsonian for our museums and collections, but we’re also a global organization actively involved in researching biodiversity, conserving priceless artifacts, preserving cultural heritage, and much more. We work in more than 100 countries around the world, including China, Armenia, Kenya, Panama, and Peru, to name but a few.
OIR serves as the central point for Institution-wide advice, insight, analysis, and coordination of all international activities of the Institution. We advance the Smithsonian’s mission by leveraging the research, creativity, and expertise of the entire Smithsonian to push for greater reach, develop further relevance, and deliver profound impact globally. We mobilize communities, scientists, scholars, and partner organizations to exchange ideas and shape creative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, always hoping to inspire the next generation of leaders to join us. Underpinning all of our work is a core focus on partnership and building capacity with peers around the world.
OIR offers two distinct internship roles to support our office in its day-to-day functions. OIR internships provide professional development opportunities for individuals interested in public diplomacy, museum education, international relations, curriculum development, science communication, cultural heritage preservation, conservation science, and other relevant disciplines. The intern will serve primarily in an administrative capacity. We welcome candidates with a range of experiences and backgrounds. Internships for spring 2022 will be virtual with the possibility for in-person work pending updated guidance from the Smithsonian; in-person work is not required. OIR internships include a stipend and can be taken for university/academic credit.
The two (distinct) OIR internship roles, with illustrative duties and learning objectives, are as follows:
• Global Projects Intern: Provides project management support, conducts research, creates presentations, prepares for meetings, and more. Engages directly with OIR-led programs and develops organizational, interpersonal, and intercultural skills.
• Communications Intern: Supports digital communications, including content research and creation, and planning, design, and analysis of social media and blog posts. Plugs into the broader Communications community across arts, culture, science, and education at the Smithsonian and exercises creative thinking.
All interns, regardless of role, are also tasked with general office support and administrative activities. Each intern will have an assigned supervisor who will provide guidance, oversight, and mentorship throughout the internship. Interns are asked to come to the role with ideas for what they hope to get out of the experience.
Strong working knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, is essential. Previous experience in an office environment is a plus, but not required. Strong candidates will have international or cross-cultural experiences or interest. An excellent command of the English language, as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills, is required. Familiarity with a second language, particularly Spanish or French, is desired but not required. Candidate must also be self-motivated, organized, and detail-oriented.
Internships run for a minimum of three months beginning in January. Internships can be part-time (24 hours per week) or full-time (32 hours per week), depending on intern availability and office needs. Virtual interns are not required to reside in the Washington, DC area; however, local interns may have the opportunity for in-person work pending safety guidance from the Smithsonian. This is not a requirement of the internship.
Please send a resume and personal statement addressed to Samantha Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org, and identify the internship role (or roles) you would like to be considered for. In your personal statement, please address why you are interested in the internship; any previous professional, educational, or personal experiences that are relevant (especially if not on your resume); and any unique qualities or perspectives you can bring to the internship. Applications must be received by October 10, 2021 to be considered.