Call for Applications: Natural Science Collections Summer Professional Internships, Summer 2023

Graduate Students

Goal: To provide training/ career development to students who have an interest in working in a professional capacity with natural science collections.

Program Leaders: Alan Prather, Anthony Cognato, Barbara Lundrigan

Overview: This interdisciplinary program will provide professional training in natural science collections curation and management to MSU graduate students during the summer of 2023 (May 15 – August 18). Training will be structured to encompass both theory and practice.

Professors and students will meet every other week (for 3 to 4 hours) throughout the summer to discuss a broad range of topics (e.g., history of collections, preservation, collections use, digitizing) and to interact with invited experts. In addition, each participating student will spend 10-20 hours per week working with a curator and/or collections manager on collections tasks (e.g., acquisitions; specimen identification, preparation, and cataloging; data management; fielding loan requests) in one of the following campus collections:

  • MSU Herbarium
  • A.J. Cook Arthropod Research Collection
  • Vertebrate Collections, MSU Museum
  • Archaeology/Anthropology Collections, MSU Museum
  • W. J. Beal Botanical Garden

Students will be assigned to a collection that matches their background. Participation in the bi-weekly seminars is required of student interns and open to other interested members of the university community. Meetings will rotate among campus natural science collections and student interns will work in one of the campus collections. The last meeting of the term will focus on student presentations, providing students with an opportunity to describe their summer collections work to the group.

Fellowships: A $6,000 fellowship will be awarded to each of the top six applicants.

Application Process: Open to MSU graduate students. Submit a CV and a statement of interest describing (1) the anticipated value of this professional training to achieving your career goals, and (2) what you hope to obtain from the experience. Applications should be e-mailed to Anthony Cognato ( by 5 p.m. Friday, March 17.