Team-TERRA Trainee Internship Guidance

  • Objectives:  Internships should be designed to meet the following objectives or desired outcomes:
    • Engagement with relevant non-academic stakeholders, including exposure to process of engaging/coordinating multiple stakeholder efforts.
    • Hands-on experience in applying risk-assessment and science communication skills.
    • Development of a professional network. 


  • Content:  The internship should involve the application of skills or tools and frameworks or perspectives that were learned in the Team-TERRA program to a real-world context of interest to external (non-university) stakeholders. The internship must be related to risk assessment.  This means that it should involve applying the skills/tools used in risk assessment or a risk-assessment framework/perspective to a real-world context of interest to external (non-university) stakeholders.
    • It is not required to be related to a particular Team-TERRA project.
    • It can, but is not required, to be related to student’s dissertation topic/research.
    • Eligible internship organization type is flexible (e.g., NGO, government agency, private industry, academic unit) as long as the work involves meaningful external (non-university) stakeholder-interaction with your organization.


  • Hours:  Student effort must equate to at least 42 hours in total (equivalent of 1-credit worth of time). 
    • The commitment of that time can be structured in any way that is agreed on by the internship site and the fellow; i.e., could be carried out over a single, full time week, or could be spread out over multiple weeks or months.


  • Compensation/Credit.  The internship can be paid (subject to applicable university restrictions), or unpaid.  Student will generally not earn academic credit(s).


  • Approval Procedures.  Students should identify a possible internship opportunity that they believe is consistent with the above guidelines.  
    • The student should vet their idea for an internship with the Team-TERRA program/internship director.
    • With the approval of the program director, the student should then work with the internship organization/site to determine the organization’s willingness and ability to offer the internship, and to determine the internship details (e.g., expectations and commitments for all parties).  This may involve consultation with program/internship director as details are worked out between the student and the organization.
    • Once a viable and well-formulated internship has been agreed upon, the details and expectations should be documented by completing this form, which will be emailed to the advisor, the Team-TERRA PI, & the internship supervisor, (copy to the student) for approval by reply all to the email.

 How can I find an internship?

In the 1st or  2nd year, Team-TERRA trainees will engage in an internship as a risk analyst. We have established links with agencies, companies, and NGOs to create internship opportunities. Below is a list with the associated faculty member to reach out to:

  • CT Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Eversource Energy
  • Audubon

  • International Food Policy Research Institute
  • ESRI – ArcGIS software Co

  • AIR 

We also encourage students to seek opportunities elsewhere, including internationally. For example, Eversource wants interns to estimate how forest management decisions alter risks from storms to power transmission, Audubon wants interns to design reserves that account for socio-economic decisions and future climate change, ESRI wants interns that design next-generation spatial analysis software, and AIR wants to create better software that accurately assesses responses to climate change and natural disasters.

If you would like to seek an internship with an organization not listed above you are encouraged to do so. There isn’t a single process to finding an internship, but rather different pathways to discovering internship opportunities. There are:

  • self-designed internships that often emerge through effective networking conversations or conversations with faculty members;
  • advertised internships most commonly posted on a company’s/organization’s website;
  • other opportunities, like summer fellowships, that aren’t called “internships” but provide meaningful educational experiences.

Why should I have an internship?

  • develop or apply specific skills or knowledge;
  • explore a future employer;
  • gather insights about a career field or job to see if you want to pursue it for your career;
  • gain necessary workplace experience to meet job qualifications
  • enhance work experience for future job applications.


When should I apply for an internship?

  • Ideally start exploring opportunities 9-12 months ahead of the desired internship period.
  • Some internship opportunities get posted in the fall for summer and individuals even get hired for internships as early as late fall for the upcoming summer.
  • Every employer has different timelines and deadlines.

Internship policy

    • Paid internship –  If the internship is paid and has to take place inside the year of receiving the fellowship, please contact the program coordinator.
    • Unpaid internship – If a student is still registered as a matriculating student during the summer, then he/she can still be paid the fellowship and partake in an “unpaid” internship.

Internship Resources

CCD on Demand:
Short videos about self-designed internships and internships for graduate students

Articles on internships from Science magazine: