The application process is entirely online. You will need to complete the application form.
The online form will ask you to prepare a statement of interest in working at the Academy.
You do not need to provide letters of recommendation. You will need to find two references and provide their contact information. At least one must be a science professor or academic professional (such as an instructor or teaching assistant) who knows your school work well enough to talk with us about you as a student if we contact them. Your other reference can be someone who knows you from working with you at any job, volunteer work, or community work. They just need to be able to talk about you as a person and as a learner. You should speak to these people before submitting their information to be sure they are willing to receive emails or phone calls and answer questions about you.
Upload a digital portfolio to Google Drive. Upload no more than 7 digital or scanned examples of your artwork in a folder on Google Drive, and set the sharing settings to “Anyone with the Link Can View”. The digital samples of work should be in the form of Portable Document Files (.pdf) files.
Deadline: February 13, 2023. Applications received after midnight on February 13, 2023, will not be reviewed.
Helpful hints: The successful applicant will work with a scientist or scientists to develop imagery relating to the research done at the Academy. Instruction will pertain to specifics of the research being illustrated—we do not teach illustration or drawing techniques and we assume some background knowledge of biology. We expect illustration skills to be fully developed in the successful applicant because we aim to provide experience in producing publication-ready imagery. The most successful interns arrive with well-developed artistic abilities and some biological training, allowing them to get the most out of their association with Academy scientists and the lecture/lab series that runs concurrently under the SSI program.
Note that this is an illustration internship and not art that many colleges teach. The difference is that scientific illustration presents a message that is unambiguous about the subject and teaches the viewer something about the subject that the scientist is trying to convey. Applicants are encouraged to develop a small portfolio of digital works (see above) that reflect the kind of imaging used in collections-based research—describing new species, showing details of features, etc. Stylized illustrations that depict scientific ideas are fine, but human portraiture, abstract, or non-representational art are not what we are looking for. For examples, you could consult contemporary journals that publish our research such as: Journal of Paleontology, Zootaxa, and our own in-house journal, Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences.