Fisher Center Research Internships

Fisher Center Research Internships

Fisher Center internships let aspiring primatologists gain valuable experience in a rigorous scientific environment.

Training the Next Generation of Primatologists

The Fisher Center offers opportunities for aspiring primatologists to gain valuable experience in a rigorous scientific environment and be part of a long-term, established program in ape behavioral science. The encouragement and training of the next generation of primatologists is a key aspect of the Fisher Center’s mission

There are two primary kinds of internships:

  • Unpaid, part-time data collection internships
  • Paid, full-time research assistant internships

The most common internship is unpaid and part-time. These are available year-round and are best suited for students seeking to gain experience in a structured data-collection program or looking to expand on early experience by collecting data with gorillas and chimpanzees. In most cases, we require some knowledge of behavioral data-collection techniques, either through other internships, field schools, job experience or class work.  These internships offer the opportunity to collect behavioral data on established projects on ape behavior and exhibit use. In some cases, scoring of videotaped observations is part of the program. The minimum requirements are 14 hours per week (Monday–Friday), with a minimum commitment of eight months. Many interns stay on longer than eight months. At any given time, we have between 7–12 unpaid interns working on these projects and usually take on two–four new interns three times a year (January, May, September).

The paid, full-time internships are highly competitive. Given the high application rate, we are able to select only the best candidates with appropriate experience in the field. We have up to three positions available each year depending on funding. These internships generally begin in summer and run for one year. We begin accepting applications in late spring, but availability is dependent on the status of the current intern. These internships take an intensive role in administering research programs such as our tool-use, cognitive and learning studies as well as coordinating unpaid interns. Experience in the field is required, and often candidates are selected from the pool of unpaid interns who have demonstrated an excellent work ethic and compatibility with the program.

If you over 18 years of age, interested in these internships and can fulfill all of the requirements, send your resume and letter of interest to Fisher Center Director Steve Ross, Ph.D., at