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 networking and professional development skills related to conducting research.

Research placements are available at various locations throughout the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area.

*Fulfills Mason Core Capstone Requirement

Program Details

June 24 – July 26, 2019 | 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
Assistant 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 one-on-one 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 an oral presentation session modeled after a professional conference.

Research placements are available at various locations throughout the northern Virginia and DC area. Students are responsible for arranging transportation and housing.


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

Interested students should review the List of Research Course Placements Summer 2019 which contains project titles, descriptions of projects, and contact details for research mentors. It is the responsibility of students to contact these conservation professionals to obtain additional information. With permission from the potential mentor, students may arrange visits to the mentor’s field site, lab, or organization.

Students must identify up to four (4) projects of interest. Projects should be listed by the last name of the potential research mentor and the placement number. Faculty will screen applications, and students will be provided a list of potential mentors to contact for interviews (if requested by mentor). An in-person or video conferencing interview should be scheduled between May 20-30, 2019. Feedback from mentors is taken into account during the placement process. Preferences and availability of placements are not guaranteed.

Faculty will contact students by June 3, 2019 with their research placement.

Students are required to contact their mentors to schedule at least 2 meetings between June 4-21 to discuss the research proposal, timeframe of work, and any necessary preliminary work or literature review.

NOTE: Due to the competitive nature of this opportunity and because many placements require an interview, it is highly recommended that interested students complete the application before the May 15 deadline. For students registering after May 15, 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, June 24-July 26.
  • Students will present their research at a post-course conference-style presentation session, July 29-30 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), in Front Royal, VA. Mentors are invited to these presentations.
  • Students are required to participate in two “brown-bag” seminars at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, VA on June 27 and July 18. Students will present research proposals (June 27) and progress on projects (July 18). Students will also attend required SCBI conservation-related seminars on these dates.
  • Research mentors will provide 2 evaluations of student progress which will be used toward the final course grade.
  • For research placements held at SCBI in Front Royal, VA, housing may be available on site, but is not guaranteed. To inquire about housing on site, email

2019 Summer Research Course Application

  • 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 goals (personal or professional).


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