When is the deadline for receipt of applications?
The 2017 fellowship posting has closed. The 2018 fellowship postings will open December 1, 2017. The deadline to apply for 2018 summer fellowships is January 31, 2018. All applications need to be received online no later than January 31, 2018 at 9:30 PM Pacific Standard Time.

What is the start date for the 2017 fellowship?
The start date is determined based on the student’s school (semester vs. quarter) schedule, and is Monday, May 15 (ending Friday, August 4) or Monday, June 12 (ending Friday, September 1).

Are letters of reference required or advised?
One letter of reference is recommended, but is not required. Letters, addressed to the Selection Committee, should be sent to Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, Attn: Katika Bade, 15600 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido CA 92027. If emailed, they should be sent directly by the author of the letter to kbade@sandiegozoo.org

Are specific core biology courses required?
There are no required courses for summer fellows.

Is the program open to any college student?
The program is only open to undergraduate students who are actively enrolled in a degree granting Institution, or who will receive their degree in the year they apply and are continuing on to a graduate program in the fall of the same year (e.g., Masters, Veterinary, PhD).

Can international students apply for the fellowship program?
At the time an application is submitted, international candidates must be able to show proof of proper documentation that they are legally allowed to live and work in the United States during the tenure of the fellowship in order to be considered.

Is the summer fellowship paid?
The summer fellows are full time, 40-hour-per-week, 12-week positions. They are not classified as employees of San Diego Zoo Global; rather, they are classified as fellows and paid via a stipend. The current stipend amount is $6,000 for the program.

What hours are summer fellows expected to work?
Fellows are expected to work a minimum of 40 hours per week. Depending on the specific nature of the fellow’s project, after-hours scheduling may be involved, including weekends and/or evenings.

Are fellows given holidays/days off?
Typically, fellows beginning in May will have Memorial Day off. Typically, fellows beginning in June will have Independence Day off.

What are the typical duties of summer fellows?
Specific research projects are not chosen until the fellow is chosen, meets with the research group's Director and other employees within the group, and discussion ensues. Directors will communicate duties once the specific research project is agreed upon, but typically involve the application of standard laboratory or field techniques to conservation questions.

Can course credit be obtained through the fellowship program?
No credit can be obtained through this fellowship program unless your home campus considers it worthy of credit. This would need to be arranged by fellows independently.

Is public transportation to the Beckman Center available?
It is required that all summer fellows have their own transportation. Bicycles are not a safe mode of transportation due to the high speed of vehicles and incline of roads to the Beckman Center. Access via public transportation is extremely limited and time consuming, and there is no public transportation on the weekends. Fellows without access to a car will need to arrange in advance to share transportation with other fellows, and should be prepared to provide appropriate compensation for any transportation provided. Parking for private vehicles is available at the Beckman Center.

Is housing provided?
Housing is not provided, but is generally available through online sources such as Craig's List, Airbnb, and VRBO.

Are fellows given each other’s contact information in advance?
Contact information (phone, email, address) for all the summer fellows will be shared as soon as all fellows have been offered and accepted their fellowships.

How can I make my application more likely to succeed?
Obtain more research experience (field and/or lab), provide strong letters of recommendation, keep grades high, and write a thoughtful and meaningful statement of interest that is relevant to the types of projects that occur at San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Helpful details to include: interests that separate you from the large group of applicants that “like animals” and want to contribute to conservation; scientific expertise; details of practical experience; independent work skills; a strong commitment to learning about research design, data collection and analysis, and disseminating results in the form of presentations and publications.

Where can I gain the experience needed to be competitive for the fellowship program?
Volunteer in a research lab on campus or in industry and/or volunteer on a field project. Many colleges and universities have opportunities for students to volunteer in the field or in the lab with graduate students or professors. Gain as much hands-on research experience as possible!

When will fellows be informed that they have been accepted into the program?
An official offer is e-mailed shortly after verbal contact and acceptance. The fellowship decisions will be finalized by February 28 each year.

Is there an orientation to the program for incoming fellows?
All fellows attend a “Registration Day” with Human Resources to fill out required paperwork. Social gatherings and other events are arranged throughout the fellowship. There are also poster session presentation days for fellows to share their work, as well as weekly seminars and monthly all-staff meetings, held at the Beckman Center.

What are the details of the student poster session presentations?
At the end of the summer, two celebratory lunches are held, after which fellows participate in a poster and presentation session to present their work. Dates are based on when the students start/end their fellowships. Typically poster sessions fall on the Wednesday of the 12th week of fellowship. For 2017, presentations will be Wednesday, August 2 for May-starts and Wednesday, August 30 for June-starts. If two students are working together on a project, their poster and presentation may be combined. Outside guests and family members are welcome to attend.

What is the dress code at the Beckman Center?
Casual business attire is appropriate while in the Beckman Center. Depending on whether fellows will be working in animal enclosures or laboratories, there may be other requirements (for example, closed-toe shoes are required in labs). Attire should be professional in appearance and design (T-shirts with graphics, denim jeans, and flip flops are all examples of what should not be worn). Hair should be neatly combed, clean and well groomed; piercings are restricted to one per ear with no other piercings allowed; visible tattoos are not allowed.

Should fellows bring personal computers?
It is useful for fellows to bring a laptop computer. Fellows will have access to an Internet connection, and it will make data collection and analysis easier. If it is not possible to bring a laptop, there are shared computers that will be available most of the time.

Do fellows receive passes for visiting the Zoo or Safari Park?
Human Resources will allot complimentary passes to fellows to visit the Zoo and Safari Park. Passes will be available to fellows after arrival through the Human Resources office.