2020 Annual Meeting
Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program

Science Journalism Internship: Details

Application: The application for the Science Journalism Internship consists of the following: 1) Name; 2) University & department; 3) Degree program and year; 4) General research interests; 5) Paragraph describing why the student is applying; 6) Short piece of original popular science writing (500 word max). Applications must be sent in pdf format to Thomas Sanger, Chair of the Public Affairs Committee at Chair.PAC@sicb.org by November 15.

Overview: The purpose of this position is to provide students interested in science writing with a real-world science-writing experience at the SICB annual meeting. Each student will identify a talk or poster of their choice, conduct interviews, and write an original popular science piece that will be posted on the SICB web site. Between four and six students will be chosen each year.

Job specifics: Prior to the meeting, students will identify potential subjects for their piece from the online schedule and abstracts. At the meeting, they will attend the talks/posters, decide which project most interests them, and then contact the lead author to seek their interest in being the subject of a written piece. With permission, the student will arrange for an interview of the principal author on site; this should be targeted for 30-45 minutes. Other interviews may be sought, but are not required. If not possible to conduct an interview at the conference, interviews should take place with a week of returning from the conference. Interns are expected to work diligently on their piece after returning from the conference. As in typical journalism, the timing for completion will be tight; the exact deadlines for drafts and final versions will be provided at the conference.

Science piece specifics: The written piece will be in the range of 1000 words, targeted toward the general public. The student author may choose any style that they deem appropriate. The piece will be edited by the Public Affairs Committee and posted on the SICB web site. For previous examples, see here.

Eligibility: Students must be accepted into the Charlotte Magnum Student Support Program to be eligible.

Selection process: Applications for the positions are in conjunction with the Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program. To become a Science Journalism Intern at the upcoming annual conference, you must: 1) Successfully apply to the Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program; and 2) Submit an additional application for the Science Journalism Internship. Students will be chosen by the Public Affairs Committee in advance of the meeting and will be notified by the second week of December.

Science writing training: In advance of the conference, the students will be asked to read a few pieces on science writing and journalism. At the start of the conference, the students will attend a short meeting (led by a member of the public affairs committee) that will serve as an orientation for the science journalism internship. A wrap-up meeting will take place at the end of the meeting. During the writing and revision process, students will receive direct feedback from the editors.