Community Engaged Internship (CEI) for Undergraduate Students

Application packets are due by February 24, 2023.

Sea Grant’s Community Engaged Internship (CEI) aims to broaden participation in coastal, ocean, Great Lakes, and marine sciences by offering training and mentorship, through paid internships, to undergraduate students from under-resourced, underrepresented and/or indigenous and tribal populations. This program aims to broaden participation in coastal and marine profession by engaging and recruiting diverse undergraduate students in place-based research, extension, education, and/or communication that respects and integrates local ways of knowing. 

The students will work a minimum of 8 week starting no later than June 1, 2023 though students may start earlier or end later depending on schedules and available funds. A series of four professional development trainings will be offered during the 8-week program with topics that can include crafting an application, building partnerships, exploring career pathways or building your brand.


The IISG Sea Grant intern will be part of a national cohort of students. Each intern is expected to participate in all aspects of the CEI program: 

  • On-the-ground learning experience, including completion of a project that extends the knowledge of community stakeholders to address a coastal, marine or Great Lakes issue of environmental, economic and/or social importance.  
  • Mentoring by Sea Grant and other professionals, Sea Grant funded researchers and Knauss Fellows. 
  • Virtual professional development sessions and training opportunities. 
  • Graduation Ceremony to celebrate accomplishments, network with peers and other professionals (in-person or virtual meeting to be determined). 
  • Participation in pre/post evaluation.

For eligibility, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree at a 2- or 4-year college or university, at the time of application. IISG, National Park Service and Shedd Aquarium encourage applicants from groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences, including African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic and Latino/a/x, female, first-generation college students, veterans, LGBTQ+, and students with disabilities. The program is also open to students who have experienced and worked to overcome educational or economic disadvantages, and/or who have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their career paths.


Applicants should submit the following application materials, using the link below. All questions should be directed to Angela Archer,, 765-496-3722. Please note – each CEI opportunity has its own application process. After creating an account at eSeagrant, please select Internships to open the group, revealing both National Park Service and Shedd Aquarium. You may apply to one or both.

  • Cover letter, please tell us about yourself and how you fit into the goals of the CEI program, and how this internship will help you with your career goals (2 pages max).

    • For National Park Service, please include one or two ideas for how you would communicate how science contributes to the conservation and protection of the resources within the National Park Service.
    • For Shedd Aquarium, please include one or two ideas for how you would deliver messaging on the importance of plastic pollution prevention in a program with an audience of various levels of education on the subject.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume detailing education and work experiences (2 pages maximum).
  • One letter of recommendation; which can be sent directly to on your behalf or included in your application (1 page max).
  • For National Park Service only, a sample of writing may be requested for interviews only. Do not include in the application.





Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
The people of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant value diversity, equity, and inclusion in both our organization and the communities we serve. Therefore, we strive to make access to research, outreach, education, and employment opportunities available to everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, disability, or veteran status. The full IISG values statement can be found at

National Park Service
The United States government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service or other non-merit factor.

Shedd Aquarium
Just as the aquatic world encompasses a vast spectrum of diversity, Shedd Aquarium is committed to celebrating the individual differences that make us spectacular. We practice values of diversity, equity and inclusion comprehensively through Shedd culture, workforce, workplace, vendor selection, programs and experiences. 

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