Internship guidelines 2020

This programme funds SCCS delegates from developing countries and eastern Europe to spend one month after the conference working on a conservation research project with a UK-based NGO, agency or university department. The internship can also include attendance at a short course designed to help interns to learn a useful skill. It will not fund delegates who are settled in or on a scholarship in Western Europe, North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or any developed (High Income) country regardless of their country of origin. Interns must attend the conference. Please view this table before applying as we will consider anyone from Lower Income (LIC), Lower Middle Income (LMC) and Upper Middle Income (UMC) countries for our internship programme. Internships are most likely to be awarded to applicants offering a good quality talk or poster.

How to apply

Applicants need to contact a UK-based conservation organisation or research group themselves. We do not supply names of organisations, universities or research groups who could act as hosts. We cannot respond to email requests to source or set up internship placements. The internship period cannot take place before the conference. It has to be immediately after the conference and for a period of four weeks. We will not fund short internships. Do not apply for an internship if you cannot be in the UK from mid-March until the end of April and be fully committed to the internship. Travel dates will be arranged on an individual basis.

What you need to do:
Contact a UK-based conservation organisation or research group you would like to be hosted by. Discuss your project with them, agree on its aims and what it is likely to achieve. You should begin to do this from May onwards.
We intend to also offer interns attendance at a short course of 2-3 days duration designed to help them to learn a useful skill.  Note that the short course will only be part of the internship: we will not allow interns only to attend the short course without also having an internship project with a UK host organization. Costs associated with attendance at the short course (if offered) will be paid for by SCCS. In 2020 the short courses will probably take place before the conference and will expect to run between 21-23 March 2020.
2019 short courses offered were:
A. Analysing ecological data with "R" statistical software.
B. A practical introduction to social survey design for conservation science.
C. Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in conservation science.
You should think about which one of these short courses would be best for you and also discuss this with your internship host.  You will only be allowed to attend one course. Complete the section in your internship application in which you list the short courses you would most like to attend and say why.  We will consider internship applications which do not include attendance at a short course on key skills, but we recommend that you include this in your application.
Find a contact person at the host organisation who wishes to be responsible for your internship.
Look at the questions in the internship section of the application form and draft the answers. Discuss these with the contact person at your host organisation and finalise all of the answers with them.
Only when you have done this and have the full agreement of the host should you complete the online application form, answering ALL of the questions.
Provide only ONE host name and ONE email address for the host's representative.
Make sure that the host organisation knows the date when you plan to submit your application so that they can ensure that they approve it before the deadline date on Sunday 20 October 2019 at 10 pm British Summer Time.
Once you have submitted your online application, the contact person at your host organisation will receive an automated email asking whether they support it and about its value and chances of success. Applicants need to have an agreed host organisation and an outline of the work they will do during their internship period, submitted by 14th October 2019. This is not the closing date but is set to allow time for the host organisation to add their comments to the internship application. Hosts should see a single line confirmation message when their response has been submitted. It is acceptable for a host to support more than one application.

Project scope

Applicants must present an outline of the project or piece of work they intend to do during their month at the host organisation. Eligible projects include:
analysing data
designing a study
writing a research proposal
detailed library research, provided it has clear aims and outputs
preparing a policy document
learning a new technique
attending a training course
producing a paper for publication

It is important that visiting the UK host organisation should significantly enhance the intern's work - for example because it enables access to advice, training or resources. Eligible hosts include any not-for-profit conservation-oriented NGOs or agencies, or university-based conservation research groups, anywhere in the UK - what's important for us is that the host is as committed as you are to making the project succeed. We recommend that hosts and applicants read the latest Internship Report which explains the Internship programme in much more detail.


When an internship is awarded SCCS agrees to:
Pay the registration fee and accommodation costs associated with the  intern’s attendance at the SCCS conference in Cambridge.  This will be done directly by SCCS, so the intern does not need to pay anything..
Pay the intern's costs of return travel to the UK, including visa costs, costs associated with attendance at a short course (if any)  and travel costs within the UK to the internship location.  Usually, SCCS will buy travel tickets and send them to the intern.  Visa costs will usually be paid by reimbursement.
Pay an allowance of £420 per week for accommodation and food for up to 4 weeks. SCCS will send sufficient funds for this allowance in advance to the host organisation or the individual host.   This money is then disbursed to the intern by the host or used to pay for accommodation and other costs in whatever way is deemed by the host and intern to be appropriate. Host individuals can choose to have the allowance sent to an account in their organisation or to receive the funding themselves in a personal account.  If other costs are incurred by the intern beyond this allowance, additional funding should be sought by the intern or the host organisation from sources other than SCCS.
Coordinate logistic and travel arrangements.
Host organisations and individual hosts agree to:
Provide assistance with finding suitable accommodation.
Manage the intern’s allowance by receiving it into an appropriate account (see above) and using it to pay the intern’s expenses.  SCCS should be informed of unspent residue from the allowance, if any, which should either be returned or used for additional expenditure approved by SCCS, such as books.  SCCS does not expect to receive an account of how the allowance was spent.
Provide facilities, advice and any supervision needed by the intern for one month after the conference.
Help with any expenses not covered by the internship (see above).
Complete a brief feedback form.
Interns agree to:
Attend SCCS for the full three days and the short course they are assigned to.
Carry out their internship project to the best of their ability for one month after the conference.
Submit a short report on the work done during their internship within one month after it ends.
Complete a brief feedback form.


Applications which falsely claim to have the agreement of the host organisation will be rejected. Your internship application will only be considered if you apply to attend the conference as well, using the online application forms. Applicants are encouraged to apply to give a talk or poster presentation or both. By doing this, they provide valuable additional information on their research interests and skills. As a result, internship applicants who do not offer a talk or poster may be less likely to be awarded an internship.

If you are eligible for the SCCS bursary scheme you may apply for a bursary on the same form. In the event that your internship application is unsuccessful, it may still be that you are awarded a bursary to attend the conference if you have applied for one. Remember - the only information we have for judging your internship application is what you write on your form, so make sure that your application form describes clearly what you want to do, why you want to do it, and your experience and interests.

As with the general conference applications, we will inform everyone about their internship application in late-November. Please read the important timelines for further guidance on our timetable.

Internship applicants need to submit online applications by 14 October 2019 and host organisations need to complete their part of the application by Sunday 20 October 2019 at 10pm British Summer Time.

Please note that in 2020 the host period will expect to start on 27 March and end on 24 April. This means that it will INCLUDE the Easter weekend! Hosts should make sure that they are available during this period before they commit to the internship programme.

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