Do you like writing? Are you fascinated by science? We’re looking for students to join the Midwest Big Data Innovation Hub team as science writing interns. This is a paid internship to work closely with our theme areas and other community-led projects and write about the exciting work 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 undergraduate or graduate programs, or who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

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

Position Requirements and Qualifications


Preferred: Enrolled student 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); or enrolled student status at an accredited college or university in one of the other 3 NSF BD Hub regions; or graduation from an undergraduate program within the past 12 months. We encourage students from Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) to apply.


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.


Required: Writing experience (please provide 2–3 samples of published or unpublished writing).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-hour-per-week position for the fall 2021 semester, potentially continuing through the spring 2022 semester. Pay rate depends on experience; $15/hour minimum. Work hours and location are flexible.

Application Process

To apply, please send the following documents to John MacMullen at

  • – Resume
  • – 2–3 samples of published or unpublished writing.

Applications are due by July 31, 2021.

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