Call for Applications
Student's Volunteer Botanical Internship Program

January - February 2015

Introduction

Students of botany, plant ecology and related subjects are invited to apply for selection for next season's annual volunteer Student Botanical Internship Program at the Australian National Herbarium and Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, Canberra (the Centre).

The Program runs for seven weeks over January and February 2015 (starting Monday 5 January and finishing Friday 20 February).

The Internship is designed for students at the end of second or third year, although recent graduates are encouraged to apply. The Program is designed to be of benefit to those intending either professional of technical careers in biological science or plant conservation management.

Interns will assist staff of the Centre in scientific collections management and research support. In return, Interns receive a broad spectrum of practical training in collections management, botany, plant conservation and job-seeking in the scientific workforce. Training sessions are conducted by professional scientists from the Centre and related institutions. Training complements rather than duplicates that given at tertiary level.

Program Outline

Interns work at the Australian National Herbarium, Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research, located at the adjoining Australian National Botanic Gardens and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) sites in Canberra.

All Interns participate in common training sessions. Many of the skills taught will have application in a range of specimen-based biological disciplines. Among other areas, you will be introduced to the major sources of information on identification and nomenclature of the Australian flora, and to the principles of curation of herbarium and other scientific collections.

The Program includes some field work, on which you will be taught skills in specimen selection and preservation, geocode determination, site assessment, field data recording, and permit and access protocols.

For work sessions, Interns work in teams under staff supervision, helping with institutional tasks, including specimen preparation, plant identification, application of taxonomic concepts to herbarium collections and research assistance. We attempt to accommodate Interns' interests but allocation of tasks and team membership remains at our discretion.

Seminar and lecture sessions will address a range of theoretical and practical issues, including some major current taxonomic and conservation biology projects.

Specific training will be given in the preparation of posters and seminars, and in the development of CVs and job applications. Guidance will also be given for job-seeking in the scientific and conservation job markets.

Outcomes of the Program

The main benefit to you will be two months intensive experience in a mainstream scientific institution, plus specialised training that will help you in seeking employment. Detailed statements of accomplishment will be given at the end of the Program and work references will be available for the future.

Interns eligible to use this placement for course credits must make all the necessary arrangements with their institution. We supply supporting documentation only as needed and requested. Scope for projects required under course-credit arrangements will exist, although these must be negotiated with us and are essentially on your own time, not that of the Program.

Curriculum

A sample course outline is available to give you an idea of how the program is usually structured. General training topics overlap only partially with the routine assistance that Interns will give to staff in the areas of curation and research. Some assignment work will be required on some of the training topics. You will not become expert in any one topic, but you will become acquainted with most or all of them in a practical and job-oriented way.

Conditions of Internship

Interns will be selected on criteria of enthusiasm, ability to benefit from the Program, teamwork capabilities and academic achievement.

Intern placements are unpaid and financial support is not available. Accommodation assistance cannot be provided. However, details of possible accommodation options will be provided to successful applicants.

Interns work as registered volunteers under an arrangement that provides free ComCare insurance cover during working hours.

The Program runs five days per week.

Interns will work mostly in normal office hours, with longer days for field trips. Please note: you will require some time outside of normal work hours to complete the assignment work towards the end of the Program.

The Centre management reserves the right to terminate Internships without notice.

How to Apply

Your application should include:

  • a brief cover letter,
  • a transcript of your academic record,
  • a CV and a statement of particular interests or aptitudes that you consider relevant,
  • names and contact details for one or two referees (including at least one academic), and approximate finishing date of your coming exams, and a contact telephone number (including for the period after exams).

When to Apply

  • Closing date for applications: Monday 24 November 2014   

  • Late applications may be accepted under some circumstances. Please contact Bronwyn Collins directly by phone or email if you wish to submit a late application.

Applications should be directed to:

Bronwyn Collins
Email: bronwyn.collins@csiro.au

or

Student's Volunteer Botanical Internship Program
Australian National Herbarium
GPO Box 1600
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Enquiries should be directed to:

Bronwyn Collins
Email: bronwyn.collins@csiro.au
Telephone: (02) 6246 5133
Facsimile: (02) 6246 5249

 

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