The Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center Young Scientist Opportunity (PYSO) is a collaborative program with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. This program offers professional experience in scientific research and formal training opportunities tailored toward participants’ educational and professional goals and interests. The program is focused on recruiting, advising, and mentoring college students from populations who have been historically excluded from the sciences and are underrepresented in environmental research and management professions.
The PYSO gives participants the opportunity to work under the guidance of staff at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center who will provide one-on-one mentoring. Participants will gain valuable experience contributing to PIFSC's mission to preserve the Pacific Islands region's marine resources.
Participants will work on a project that draws from a variety of topics focused on fish ecology, protected species, oceanography, fishery economics, stock assessment, coral reef ecology, ecosystem studies, climate studies, marine ecology, environmental monitoring, or social sciences. One participant will be selected for each project: Research Projects for Summer 2023.
The PYSO provides each participant:
- An in-depth perspective on how NOAA Fisheries and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research serve the Pacific Islands communities and the nation.
- The opportunity to acquire specialized skills needed to pursue their professional goals and aspirations.
- The opportunity for hands-on research experience in their field of study.
- The opportunity to build relationships with professionals in their field of study.
The PYSO also benefits the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research by facilitating staff development of leadership skills, teaching, and mentoring; building productive relationships with academic partners and institutions; and preparing a diverse skilled labor force for potential future hire.
The PYSO is a paid summer internship (8–12 weeks) that combines on-the-job training, mentoring, and scientific research experience. No additional travel or housing funding is provided. New internship research projects are developed every year.
Program components include the following:
- Performance plans to establish goals and timelines for the participant's work assignments with mentors.
- Periodic meetings between participants and mentors to check on progress, including a mid-point review and final review.
- Staff activities which include all-hands meetings, division meetings, training, intern networking opportunities, and other special activities.
- Final presentation to present work and accomplishments at an intern symposium for NOAA staff at the end of the summer.
- Program evaluation to provide feedback that will help improve the structure of the program.
Participant Eligibility Requirements
- United States citizens, nationals, and lawful permanent residents. Employer-sponsored/petitioned work visas/employment authorizations cannot be provided; we are not able to accept applications from students on visas.
- Full-time status as a degree-seeking undergraduate student who has earned no fewer than 24 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university, and who will not be graduating until after fall quarter/semester following the internship (sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors).
- Cumulative and semester/quarter GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in all completed undergraduate courses and in the major field of study.
- Majoring in a discipline or study area related to marine or atmospheric science, research, technology, or education, and supportive of NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research programs and mission (including, but not limited to: biological, social or physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; education and outreach; and communications).
- Ability to pass security clearance (upon selection) to work in a federal facility including fingerprinting and background check.
- Ability to participate for the entire duration of the internship. Internship durations are 10–12 continuous weeks, with flexible start and end dates to be determined after acceptance into the program based on mentor availability and intern school schedule.
- Residing in Hawai‘i for the duration of internship. Based on Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research hiring guidelines, including those under COVID-19, the selected intern in 2023 will need to physically reside in Hawai‘i for the duration of the PYSO internship.
The selected intern for each project will receive training and guidance from PIFSC mentors throughout the internship. The qualifications listed under each project description are not required in order to submit an application. However, candidates with these interests or skills will be more competitive in the applicant pool.
Plan for Virtual Internships
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our ability to conduct research activities. As we continue to monitor infection rates, we will conduct the internship program in a hybrid work environment, allowing for the comfort of the intern and the mentors. Depending on the project and its commitments, the requirement of in-person and virtual meetings are subject to change.
Prospective participants are required to submit the following materials via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28, 2023. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The application should be a single PDF file attached to an email with the following items in this order:
2. Statement of interest describing applicant's experience, research interests, and goals with specific reference to a research project listed on the PYSO Projects page. This statement should also articulate the applicant’s commitment to the resources of the Pacific Islands region.
4. Academic transcripts (reflecting student status at time of application; unofficial copies accepted). Please make sure the transcripts do not include your social security number or date of birth.
5. Letter of recommendation from a professor (if preferred, this can be transmitted directly by email from the professor, but the name of the applicant must be in the subject line of the email).
Applications that include a social security number or date of birth will be deleted immediately.
Questions? Please contact email@example.com.