Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Program Overview

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is a world-renowned center for tropical research located in Panama. The research conducted at STRI is extremely diverse – ranging from behavioral ecology to molecular genetics to paleontology – and united by a mission to advance our understanding of tropical biology and biodiversity.

Internships at STRI give students the opportunity to meet and interact with scientists from around the world, gain hands-on experience in their area of academic interest, and delve into Panama's rich culture.

Interns will be selected based on merit and potential for achievement. Placement depends upon the availability of a match between the applicant's interest and a new or ongoing project supervised by a STRI staff scientist. We encourage applicants to directly contact potential supervisors. Staff research profiles and contact information can be found here

Program Dates

  • June - August (varies per student)

Application Requirements

Please first consult with the staff scientist with whom you are interested in working.

  • Personal statement (2 - 4 pages detailing your interest in pursuing this position (your statement is very important during application evaluations, and should include: your past and present academic history and other experiences that you feel have prepared you for an internship, including living and working in the tropics; what you hope to accomplish through an internship, and how it would relate to your academic and career goals; what about STRI particularly interests you and leads you to apply for an internship)

  • Updated resume

  • Transcript (unofficial is sufficient)

  • Two letters of reference

  • Name of your proposed advisor/mentor

Students should send application inforomation directly to the STRI lab coordinators.

Program Costs & Availability of Funding

Students will cover all costs of their stay in Panama and are encouraged to find Harvard Funding for this opportunity.


Contact Rachel Murray-Crawford, Assistant Director of Student Programs