Skip to main content
What You'll Study
  • Work under the guidance of a conservation professional to develop an understanding of the methodologies employed in their work.
  • Develop an original scholarly product in the context of the mentor’s research and conservation work.
  • Practice professional development skills related to conducting research.

Research placements are available from various conservation experts within a range of academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations.

*Fulfills Mason Core Capstone Requirement

NOTE:  In addition to registering in Patriotweb, students must complete the online application at the bottom of this page.

Program Details

July 6 – August 6, 2021 | Mason’s Academic Calendar

Available Formats

Undergraduate (CONS 496, 6 credits)


Tuition and SMSC Course Fees

Room and Board not required.  Students will be responsible for transportation to placement site.

Who is eligible?

3rd- and 4th-year undergraduates, graduate students, post-bacs, and non-degree-seeking students from any accredited college or university.

Meet the Faculty

Anneke DeLuycker
Anneke DeLuycker
Associate Professor of Conservation Studies
Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
Anneke is a biological anthropologist specializing in the ecology, behavior, and conservation of primates, particularly in the Neotropics. Her research concerns how ecological and evolutionary processes influence behavioral patterns.


In this five-week research experience, students will work with a conservation practitioner on a project associated with that mentor’s program. Students will learn sought-after skills they can apply to their professional careers. Students will develop an original scholarly product, from concept through data collection and analysis, and present their findings in a virtual presentation session modeled after a professional conference.

*Summer 2021 Research Placements may have in-person requirements or a mix of virtual/in-person. For in-person placements, students must adhere to all safety protocols, including wearing face coverings and social distancing. Availability of placements will be contingent upon the COVID-19 situation, and remains subject to change.


  • Students must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • Students must have completed at least one upper-level biology-related course.

Application Deadline: May 27, 2021

Interested students should review the List of Research Course Placements which contains project titles, descriptions of projects, and contact details for research mentors. The student may wish to contact these mentors to obtain additional information about placements. (Note: Do not arrange an interview with the mentor until directed by faculty course coordinator).

As part of the application process, students must identify up to four (4) placements of interest and list these on their application form. Faculty will screen applications, and students will be provided a list of potential mentors to contact for interviews. A phone or video conferencing interview should be scheduled between June 1 – June 10, 2021. Feedback from mentors is taken into account during the placement process. Preferences and availability of placements are not guaranteed.

Faculty will contact students and mentors by June 12, 2021 to assign final research placements.

Students are required to contact their mentors to schedule at least 2 meetings between June 14 and July 6 to outline the goals and objectives of the project, discuss timeframe of work, provide input for the research proposal, and perform any necessary preliminary training or literature review.

NOTE: Due to the competitive nature of this opportunity and because placements require an interview, it is highly recommended that interested students complete the application before the May 27 deadline. For students registering after May 27, any remaining placement assignments will be made by the faculty instructor.

Other Course Considerations:

  • Students are expected to devote a minimum of 32 hours per week to research projects, July 6 – August 6.
  • Students will present oral presentations on their research on August 6 in a virtual showcase. Mentors are invited to these presentations.
  • Students are required to present research proposals and progress on their projects in two seminars during the course.
  • Research mentors will provide 2 evaluations of student progress which will be used toward the final course grade.

2020 Summer Research Course Application

  • If not currently a Mason student, provide alternate email
  • Accepted file types: pdf.
    Limit to one page. PDF files only.
  • Please submit a paragraph explaining why the Research in Conservation course is of interest and how it will benefit your professional or personal goals.
  • Include mentor's last name and placement number


Take the next step toward a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
Program Details