Internships and HEC Research Projects
We accept a small number of interns to our Save the Elephants Nairobi Head Office, our Samburu Research Camp as well as specifically onto our Elephants and Bees Project in Sagalla next to Tsavo East National Park. Positions are highly competitive so if you are interested in applying for an internship please read this document carefully to understand your options. For general internship positions with Save the Elephants, please contact the head office to apply by emailing your CV and a cover letter at firstname.lastname@example.org. For internship applications specifically to work on the Elephants and Bees Project or with other human-elephant conflict concepts please email email@example.com.
Internship details – Please only apply if you have read and understood the application process
Internships: 4-10 week professional placements with a specific research project in Kenya, designed for university students or graduates pursuing a career in conservation, with skills in scientific data collection and analysis. We don’t encourage school pupils or pre-university gap year students to apply. Interns are required to cover the costs of international flights, full medical insurance, country visas, internal flights/transport, camp fees and personal spending money. We do accept interns in our Nairobi Head Office who can help us with fundraising, marketing, website and office based projects such as managing our African Elephant Library. Interns have come to us from all over the world including Kenya, USA, UK, Australia, Netherlands and Germany.
Who can apply for an Internship? Our interns are over 18 years of age and are selected by their academic qualifications as listed on their CV’s and cover letters explaining why they want to work for STE and, in particular, what skills they can offer our organisation. We normally expect our interns to be studying or graduated from a degree at a reputable university in the fields of zoology, biological sciences, environmental sciences or geography and to be intent on pursuing a career in this field. We prioritise graduate students or those nearing the end of their degrees. We are particularly interested in accepting postgraduates and career-break interns who are trying to get more experience in the field of conservation biology, ecology, zoology, GIS, entomology, beekeeping etc, or who may be interested in doing Phd research.
How many internship positions are there each year? We have up to 12 internships positions available at Save the Elephants every year, usually divided half/half between international and Kenyan interns. STE internships are highly competitive and therefore we only select the best candidates. We accept applications all year round and internships usually start on the 1st Monday of each month with an induction meeting in the Nairobi head office before departing for your designated field site.
How long is the STE internship? We require interns to commit to at least 4 weeks but 10 weeks is most helpful. Depending on the project work assigned to you, this is usually spent in either Nairobi, Tsavo or our Samburu research camp. The longest intern we have had volunteered for us for 6 months.
What will I be doing? We would put you onto at least one main project that fits your experience, interest and skills base. This varies enormously from year to year and from intern to intern. On the Elephants and Bees Project down in Tsavo interns can be asked to help on a variety of projects including identifying elephant corridors through the communities, GIS mapping, camera trap monitoring, beehive fence maintenance, honey harvesting & processing, community liaison, environmental education classes and general fieldwork support to help senior scientists based on site with their data collection. Its a good idea to let us know your area of interest when you apply.
Can I do a Masters project as an STE intern? Yes, we have managed to work with MSc students in the past to help them complete a discrete project in the time available. MSc students should provide us with their course details, the structure needed for their research project and the topic area. We are not able to accommodate all applications from MSc students so you should apply to us in plenty of time if you wish to complete your own project during your internship. Ideally you should come and do an internship with us first to help develop your project proposal with us. Please note that the biggest constraint is an MSc student who needs to use our research vehicles to collect their data. This is very difficult to accommodate around all our other research commitments and we recommend that MSc students fundraise to hire their own 4×4 from Nairobi for the duration of their fieldwork data collection. This enables greater flexibility to conduct your research and we can help you to find a personal field assistant to assist you with data collection. Please note that we will only support MSc projects that fit within STE’s mission and research aims.
Please note that not all internships are based in Samburu, human-elephant conflict volunteers can be based in HEC affected communities, schools or in the Nairobi head office. HEC interns volunteering on the Elephants and Bees Project are usually based in our research camp next to Tsavo National Park. Here all interns are expected to contribute US$30 camp fee per day to contribute to drinking water, basic food, camp maintenance, research equipment and kitchen supplies, but are expected to be more self sufficient by shopping for and cooking their own food. Please note that we are getting very full for intern positions for the remainder of 2016 but interested applications should still apply but be flexible with dates.
What should I bring? We will send you a more comprehensive list of equipment once you are accepted as an intern. However, you should expect to bring a laptop with wireless internet capabilities, a good camera with zoom lens, a pair of binoculars, strong fieldwork clothing and a comprehensive first aid kit. Please note that interns with any kind of medical, mental or physical condition must inform us with full details during the application process.
What happens after my Internship is over? Interns are responsible for writing a brief report and/or a poster describing the activities undertaken during the internship. This should be submitted to the STE manager on site before departure and to the wardens of Samburu and Buffalo Springs before leaving the reserves if the intern is based in Samburu. Any MSc interns should post us a full copy of their complete thesis with appropriate acknowledgements. Interns often help our long-term researchers with data analysis or collection. Occasionally we will publish papers or reports on this data and there may be a chance for exceptional interns to be listed as authors or acknowledged on research papers. Several interns have returned to join us for MSc or PhD fieldwork after successful completion of a first internship and most postgraduate applicants are encouraged to complete an internship first to help define research questions. We are very grateful for interns who go on to help us with fundraising activities in their own countries once they return home.