Below is detailed information about the benefits and eligibility requirements of the Scientists in Parks (SIP) Fellows. These SIP Fellows are only a subset of the available projects within the SIP Program. If you find that you do not meet the eligibility requirements for the SIP Fellows, please refer back to the main Scientists in Parks website for more available opportunities.

Benefits to becoming a Scientists in Parks Fellow

  • Full-time work at $640/wk for 11-12 weeks
  • Project experience during your summer break
  • Free or subsidized housing (in most cases, but not all)
  • Employment with the Ecological Society of America
  • Further development of practical skills
  • Networking opportunities with NPS and DOI leaders
  • Mentoring by an NPS supervisor
  • Ability to earn a Direct Hire Authority upon successful completion
A woman handles a net wearing waders deep in a river.

Am I eligible to be a Scientists in Parks Fellow?

Scientists in Parks Fellow projects have additional requirements regarding advanced skills, seasonal availability, and academic status. Applicants are highly encouraged to carefully read all eligibility requirements below and as stated in each of the individual project announcements to determine which project is right for you.

To be eligible for SIP Fellows, applicants must be:

  • Must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when a SIP Fellow. View our Covid Policy for details.
  • U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident
  • Enrolled as an upper-level undergraduate (junior or senior) or graduate (Masters or PhD) student that will not graduate prior to finishing your position (check each project description to determine the estimated dates of completion)
  • OR

  • Applicant has already earned their undergraduate degree and is not currently enrolled, but has applied to attend graduate school beginning Fall 2022*

* In the event that you are selected for a position, proof of acceptance in the form of enrollment into a graduate program for Fall 2022 will be required before the position is awarded.
If you still have questions about your eligibility, please email

A young man works with marine shellfish samples in a laboratory.

The Ecological Society of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Underrepresented minorities such as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+, low-income, first-generation college, and veteran students are strongly encouraged to apply.
Scientists in Parks projects vary widely in location, length, focus, and complexity, affording opportunities for individuals with equally diverse levels of education, experience, and skill. All current projects and corresponding eligibility requirements may be found at

Direct Hire Authority

The Scientists in Parks Fellows operates under the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Direct Hire Authority (DHA) for Resource Assistant Internship Programs, which means that students who excel in their internships and then subsequently complete their undergraduate or graduate degree requirements are eligible to be hired without competition into permanent positions within the National Park Service and other select bureaus of the Department of the Interior for which they are qualified. Non-competitive hiring status for a SIP Fellow remains in effect for two years following graduation. While the DHA enables the NPS to hire highly qualified and experienced candidates into open positions efficiently, the SIP Program is not a guarantee that positions appropriate to any given intern will be available in the near future.
A 2021 Scientists in Park Fellow smiles for the camera with hiking gear on in front of her site in a rocky mountain chain.