Creating Innovative Career Paths

Your time at the University of Miami is an opportunity to explore your passions,  challenge yourself,  and refine your goals. Over the past decade, SRC has provided innovative internship and independent project experiences for hundreds of undergraduate students, with many continuing to graduate school and successful careers. Interns gain relevant experience, diversified skill sets, and career development opportunities in marine science. As an interdisciplinary program, SRC welcomes applications from students of any academic major that is related to our mission which intersects science, technology, education, and conservation. Below, you will find information on our flagship internship offerings: the Shark Research Internship and the Creative Internship. 

Students who identify with any of the following are encouraged to apply: socio-economically disadvantaged students, students from historically underrepresented groups, students in underserved communities, students who have overcome substantial economic/educational obstacles, and/or first-generation college students.

Shark Research Internship

Shark Research Interns are an integral part of the SRC team. Every year, several undergraduate students contribute to SRC’s research and outreach missions through volunteer internships. All interns work with SRC for a minimum of one academic year, growing into experienced field scientists and leaders in educational outreach. SRC’s internship programs are designed to be mutually beneficial to both the student and our team. Our goal is to equip interns with tangible skills for their future careers while empowering their growth as students. Here is what interns can expect from us: 

  • Mentorship from graduate students, staff, and Program Director
  • Career development opportunities through workshops and networking with partner organizations 
  • Opportunities to develop analytical, writing, and field skills
  • Potential for independent or supervised projects

The responsibilities of a Shark Research Intern are ever-evolving as our program expands. Currently, our expectations of our interns include:

  • Attending outreach activities (boat-based, shore-based, or virtual) and research trips. Interns must be available a minimum 2 full days each month
  • Participate in required training sessions and lab meetings
  • Blogs: write at least 1 short blog entry breaking down an ocean-related scientific publication for the general public (350 words) and 1 extended blog entry about a marine conservation topic of choice (500–750 words).
  • Willingness to learn, open-mindedness, and team mentality. 

Creative Internships

Immerse yourself in a world of beauty, mystery and sheer inspiration with SRC. Allow your creativity to reach new depths as you explore how art, communication and marine science are intertwined. SRC’s education and outreach mission gives us the opportunity to be storytellers: combining striking imagery from the field with science to take our audience on an inspirational journey.

Each year, we welcome new Creative Interns to the team. While most interns work with SRC for at least a year, opportunities for short-term media projects are available. Our Creative Internship is intended to mutually benefit the intern and the SRC media team. Here is what Creative Interns can expect from us: 

  • Opportunity to develop a portfolio that can transcend your SRC internship into your career
  • Potential for exposure to major media outlets such as National Geographic, Discovery, NBC, and more 
  • Guidance and skill-refinement from SRC media team with opportunity for assignment to special media projects
  • The opportunity to learn about media platforms outside your own

Creative Intern responsibilities include: 

  • Subject-area experience in video production, photography, design, and/or general multimedia
  • Strong foundation in your area of expertise. Equipment may be your own or rented through UM for free. Note that SRC does not distribute personal equipment
  • Self-motivation, willingness to learn, and interest in creating imagery of field research
  • All SRC training sessions and meetings and additional media training sessions
  • The ability to respond quickly to sudden media requests and needs

Though Creative Interns are not required to conduct field work, most interns spend significant time on our research trips, capturing the day’s activities and providing photo products to our outreach trip participants. 

Independent Study & Class Projects

We welcome students from all areas of study to propose interdisciplinary projects focused around the SRC Program. If an opportunity arises to incorporate SRC’s mission into your class project or independent study initiative, we can discuss collaboration options. 

Potential areas of expertise could include:

  • Marine Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Math & Statistics
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Ecosystem Science and Policy
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Visual Arts
  • Computer Science

Previous projects include:

  • A scientific research project investigating shark morphometric measurements.
  • A photojournalism story on how SRC science is helping recreational fisherman create more responsible guidelines for catch-and-release
  • A scientific research project tracking bacterial loads in the Biscayne Bay
  • A documentary-style video profile on Dr. Hammerschlag and the SRC program
  • An infographic visualizing the findings from Dr. Hammerschlag’s latest scientific publication
  • A scientific research project analyzing shark satellite tracks in relation to several environmental factors, including geomagnetic fields

Financial Assistance

As a non-profit organization, all undergraduate opportunities are volunteer-based. If you would like to apply for financial assistance to support your internship or project, please explore the following options:

We review undergraduate applications once a year. Applications will close mid-September, and interviews will be completed by the end of October. Selected students begin their internships in the fall semester. Graduate student applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We do encourage you to apply again each year if you believe your qualifications have expanded or improved since your last application.
“Working with SRC has been one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of my college career. One would think that working on cutting-edge research projects relating to shark conservation would be enough to make the experience amazing but that’s not all. What makes SRC extra-special is the passion and dedication of the team, from our director Dr. Hammerschlag all the way to undergraduate interns. I would not be where I am today without the opportunities made available by Dr. Neil and the rest of the amazing SRC team.”
— Kyra Hartog
Shark Research Intern ’11-14
“My most memorable trip with SRC was late in 2011 when we went out of Broad Key with the RSMAS Board of Visitors. That day we tagged 2 Great Hammerheads, 2 Tiger sharks (one being a juvenile), and a blacktip. At the end of the day I couldn’t believe that I was actually doing something I’ve dreamt of since I was 2 years old.”

— Evan Byrnes
Shark Research Intern ’12-13

“This internship has allowed me to learn many skills and techniques I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to learn in any other lab. These include boat handling, field research techniques such as analyzing blood, and effective scientific communication. Of course, if you want to learn a thing or two about sharks, this is definitely the place to be! Since I started interning with SRC two years ago, my knowledge has increased with every trip. I feel highly confident when people ask me questions about sharks. In addition, I’ve attended intern enrichment sessions covering a variety of different topics such as first aid, fish identification, and shark dissections. This lab also provides great opportunities for networking with people from all sorts of backgrounds and places. I can easily say interning with SRC has been one of the best decisions I have made during my undergraduate career.”

— Daniela Escontrela
Shark Research Intern ’12-14