Do you like writing? Are you fascinated by science? We’re looking for three students to join the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub team as science communications interns. This is a paid internship to write about the exciting work being done across our theme areas and other community-led projects, and what they are doing to bring data science and other areas of science and technology together. These positions are open to students throughout the 12-state Midwest region who are in graduate or advanced undergraduate programs.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • • 25% Research topics at the intersection of data science and other disciplines, including health, water, agriculture, and resilient communities.
  • • 25% Interview scientists, researchers, practitioners, and others for background information.
  • • 25% With guidance and mentoring from the MBDH leadership, draft feature stories on the topics above.
  • • 20% Participate in team review sessions and the editing and publishing processes of the stories through our communication channels.
  • • 5% Pitch other story ideas based on your interests and experience.

Position Requirements and Qualifications

Eligibility 

Preferred: Enrolled student status in a graduate degree program or advanced undergraduate status at an accredited college or university in the 12-state Midwest region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin). We encourage students from Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to apply.

Education

Required: Work toward a Bachelor’s degree in communications, science communications, agricultural communications, journalism, English, a STEM field, or other relevant coursework.

Preferred: Bachelor’s degree or Junior/Senior status in communications, journalism, English, or a related communications or STEM field.

Experience

Required: Writing experience (please provide 2–3 samples of published or unpublished writing). Strong interest in science topics and communicating science to various audiences. 

Preferred: One or more substantive, long-form written products (article, feature story, etc.), especially with a science focus. Experience with development of graphics or illustrations to supplement written materials. Experience interviewing researchers or other subject-matter experts.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • • Strong writing skills
  • • Listening skills and interviewing experience
  • • Creativity and storytelling skills
  • • Awareness of, and sensitivity to, cultural and linguistic differences
  • • Ability to work in a collaborative team environment
  • • Dependability and time management skills
  • • Strong interests in science and technology
  • • Proficiency in Google Docs suite and/or Microsoft Office Suite

Salary and Appointment Information

This is a 10-hours-per-week position for the fall 2022 semester, potentially continuing through the spring 2023 semester. Pay rate depends on experience; $16/hour minimum. This is a fully remote position. Work hours and location are flexible.

Application Process

To apply, please send the following documents to John MacMullen at wjohn@illinois.edu:

  • • Resume
  • • Brief cover letter with your interests
  • • 2–3 samples of published or unpublished writing.

Applications are due by August 26, 2022.

About the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub

The Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub (MBDH) is a project funded by the National Science Foundation, and based at the University of Illinois with partner sites at other universities in the Midwest. The MBDH is focused on bringing together data scientists and researchers from other disciplines, along with people from industry, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to solve data-related challenges in health, agriculture, the environment, and related areas. Learn more at https://midwestbigdatahub.org/