Malott Family Research Apprenticeship Program

COVID-19 Update

Due to the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, Lincoln Park Zoo will not offer the Malott Family Research Apprenticeship Program in 2021.

Calendar Icon Mondays–Fridays
Clock Icon 10 a.m.–4 p.m.


The Malott Family Research Apprenticeship Program provides Chicago high school students the opportunity to work alongside zoo researchers and engage in authentic scientific research. During the eight-week, paid program, apprentices work with researchers in one of the zoo’s science centers, learn more about this career path, and gain experience in conservation research activities. The program provides apprentices with support to fully integrate the experience into their academic goals, career plans, and areas of personal strength.

More Information


To qualify, applicants must:

  • Be a City of Chicago resident
  • Be entering grades 11–12 or their freshman year of college in Fall 2020
  • Be 16–18 years old by June 22, 2020
  • Be legally allowed to work in the United States
  • Have proof of identity and authorization to work in the U.S., in accordance with federal law


Apprentices must be available for all days of training, which takes places during the first two weeks of the program. Planned absences that are not during training, and that have been discussed with a supervisor, are possible. However, long absences (such as a week-long family vacation) may disqualify a candidate from the program, as an apprentice would miss too many events and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I work with animals?

No. Apprentices do not work directly with animals. However, projects will directly relate to animals and will involve activities such as observing animals in their natural and/or zoo habitats. Apprentices may also experience special opportunities, like behind-the-scenes tours and presentations from zoo professionals, to learn more about learn more about zoo career paths.

Will there be an interview?

In May, invited applicants will interview in person with zoo staff. At this time, applicants will be asked to provide a current, unofficial school transcript.

Can I apply for multiple programs?

Yes! Applicants can apply to every program simultaneously. Please note: Eligibility requirements vary between programs.

How will I know if I’ve been accepted?

We will contact all applicants via email by the end of May, whether or not they have been selected for an interview.

Do I need to know a lot about animals beforehand?

No! Training is provided at the beginning of the program to introduce apprentices to the zoo and zoo animals.