Looking for more information about our eligibility criteria or the project timeline? Perhaps you want some insight from a former intern? Check out the answers below to some of our frequently asked questions regarding our program. If you don’t find the answers you seek here, feel free to email sipfellows@nullesa.org for more information. 

Links to Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s about academic eligibility

Q: I am interested in applying for the Scientists in Parks Fellows Program but am not sure I meet the eligibility requirements. If I will be entering my junior year the Fall following the Summer program, will I qualify to be a potential applicant for this summer?

A: Applicants must be able to show that they are at junior level status using their transcripts by the close of the application period. This is because the internship is focused on advanced, upper-level work, appropriate for upper-level undergraduates or graduate students.

Q: By the end of the application deadline I will be finishing up my 2nd year of college, however, I will have enough credit hours by the close of the applications period to be considered a Junior. Given my circumstances will I be eligible to apply?

A: Yes, you are eligible if your transcripts show that you have enough credits to be counted as a Junior. Just make a note somewhere in your application that you’re technically a Junior by credit hour, and you’ll be good to go!

Q: I am currently a senior in a degree-seeking undergraduate program and will be graduating in the Spring before the Summer program. I am not planning to be enrolled in a graduate program the following Fall. I was just wondering if under these circumstances I would still be eligible to apply for this program?

A: In those circumstances, you would not be eligible to apply, as it is a student internship program. If you’re not enrolled anywhere next summer, you’re not a student anymore, so you wouldn’t be eligible to apply. However, if you ever do decide to attend graduate school, you’d be eligible again the summer before your classes start.

Q: Do you have to be a graduate student or plan on being in a graduate program by the Fall after the Summer you apply in order to be eligible for the internship?

A: Being in a graduate program is just one of the ways to qualify, as you can also be an undergraduate student. The trick is that you need to be a student, as this is a student internship program.

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FAQ’s about project descriptions and application timeline

Q: Is there a time estimate as to when the project descriptions for each Summer will be posted?

A: Positions are posted in early December every year with the application period ending in late January.

Q: I was wondering when I could expect a response regarding my application for the summer internship that closed at the end of January?

A: Final Decisions are typically made by mid-March.

Q: I am curious about how the application process works? Under the Available Internships section, there are no listed internships. Would it be best if I send my unofficial transcript and resume through email or will the section be updated to have a list eventually?

A: The project list will be posted in early December, with an application period open through the end of January. There’s no need to send any transcript or resume by email because you’ll want to tailor your application to meet the skills and abilities needed for each position, rather than sending in one generic application.

Q: What are the steps after the application? How long till applicants hear back about whether or not they got in?

A: After your application is submitted, you should talk with your references to make sure they have submitted their letters for you. The application review process takes 4-6 weeks after the close of applications, with interviews and final offers being made in early March. 

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FAQ’s about internships locations

Q: What National Parks in the U.S. take part in this internship? What dates are your summer internships?

A: Park projects and locations vary year to year and are posted to the available positions page in early December. Most positions have start dates ranging anywhere from April to June and you can find those start dates listed on each of the projects descriptions. 

Q: How many positions are available at each location?

A: There is only one SIP Fellows position available per park so choose wisely!  

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FAQ’s about the general experience

Q: How hard is it to get in?

A: Define hard? Seriously though, this is a national internship program and therefore very competitive. In order to put your best foot forward, be sure to take time on your application, tailor your resume to the job description, and apply for positions for which you are fully qualified. 

Q: What’s life like during the fellowship?

A: No complaints yet! Students should expect to engage and work with park personnel daily. Mentors are likely to invite the SIP Fellow along to meetings to help build up a professional network base and become more familiar with the day-to-day responsibilities. Projects can be challenging at times and often interns are working autonomously or with a very small team. That being said, there’s a lot of fun moments too, since students get a once in a lifetime experience of living and working in a National Park. 

Q: How much will I earn?

A: The program entails a $640/wk stipend for full-time work for up to 12 weeks. We also provide housing and travel support based on the need of the project.

Q: What is the worst thing about the internship?

A: That it’s only 12 weeks! 

Q: What is the best thing about the internship?

A: Depends on which former intern you ask, but some common responses have been: Everything, living in a national park, getting paid to do what I love, working with a great mentor. 

Q: What makes this internship worth it?

A: Besides the opportunity to get paid while working in some of the most beautiful places in the country, to name a few, you gain real professional experience, build a network with NPS and ESA, and earn the Direct Hire Authority (DHA) upon successful completion of the program. 

Q: What part-time jobs would you recommend that would prepare for an internship?

A: Tough to say! Start by finding the project that interested you the most. What qualifications did it list? Which ones do you not already have? Once you determine where you want to go, it’s much easier to find out what experience you need to gain in order to get there. 

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