PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity
Applications are currently being accepted for the 2016 PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity.
See below for eligibility requirements and application instructions.
The PIFSC Young Scientist Opportunity (PYSO) is a collaborative program between PIFSC and the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This program offers qualified participants professional scientific research experience and formal training opportunities tailored to meet their educational and professional goals and interests.
PYSO enables participants to work under the guidance of talented staff of the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (including JIMAR staff at PIFSC) who will provide challenging work opportunities and one-to-one mentoring in the participant's field of study.
Participants will have the opportunity to work with a mentor on a project that draws from a variety of topics including, but not limited to: fish ecology, protected species, oceanography, fishery economics, stock assessment, coral reef ecology, ecosystem studies, climate studies, marine ecology, environmental monitoring, and social sciences. One participant will be selected for each of the projects being offered each summer.
PYSO will provide each participant with:
- an in-depth perspective on how NOAA Fisheries and JIMAR serve the community and the nation as a whole
- the opportunity to acquire specific skills needed to pursue their professional goals and aspirations
- the opportunity for hands-on research experience in their field of study
- the opportunity to build relationships with professionals in their field of study
PYSO will also benefit PIFSC and JIMAR by facilitating staff development of skills in leadership, teaching, and coaching and by building productive relationships with academic partners and institutions.
The PYSO is a paid, summer-long (8-12 week) program that combines on-the-job training, formal research experience, one-to-one mentoring, and developmental assignments. No additional travel or housing funding is provided. New internship research projects are developed each year and focus on specific science needs of PIFSC and JIMAR for that year. Participants will be working at NOAA's new Inouye Regional Center (IRC) The IRC is located on Ford Island, which is part of the United States military base Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Participants must be eligible and able to pass a security clearance to work in a federal facility on a military base. The IRC is home to several NOAA line offices (including the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Ocean Service, National Weather Service) and offers state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.
Prospective applicants should investigate housing and commuting options on Oahu prior to submitting an application There are limited temporary housing options close to the IRC. However, the City and County of Honolulu has an extensive bus system on Oahu. Please see available transit directions and times at www.thebus.org/. The intern would be responsible for arranging their own daily transportation to the IRC. The IRC is an approximately 30 minute drive by car, or a 1 hour bus ride, from either the University of Hawaii at Manoa or Waikiki. A shuttle service is provided for IRC staff from the nearest bus stops (e.g., the Arizona Memorial) onto Ford Island and to the front door of the IRC.
Program components include:
- Performance Plans to establish goals and timelines for the participant's work assignments (established in meetings between participant and mentor)
- Periodic meetings between participant and mentor to check on progress (includes a mid-point review and final review)
- Inclusion of participant in PIFSC and JIMAR staff activities (division meetings, all-hands meetings, training, and other activities)
- In addition to the individual and group mentoring by PIFSC and JIMAR staff, the PYSO participants (4 targeted for 2016) will be encouraged to network with each other and with undergraduate and graduate interns from other NOAA programs at NOAA's IRC.
- Program wrap up: Participants and mentors hold a final meeting to review final products and discuss the participant's experience. Participants will also have the opportunity to present their work at a symposium for NOAA IRC staff at the end of the summer
- Evaluations: Participants and mentors complete a program evaluation to provide feedback that will help PIFSC and JIMAR improve the structure of the program
Participant Eligibility Requirements
- United States citizens, nationals, and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR). Employer-sponsored/petitioned work visas/employment authorizations will not be provided.
- Full-time status as a degree-seeking college student with no fewer than 24 credit hours earned at an accredited college or university, and who will not be graduating until after fall quarter/semester 2016 (i.e. sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors)
- Cumulative and semester/quarter GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) in all completed undergraduate courses and in the major field of study
- Majoring in a discipline or study area related to marine or atmospheric science, research, technology, or education, and supportive of NOAA/JIMAR's programs and mission (for example, biological, social or physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; and teacher education)
- Ability to obtain post-job offer security clearance to work in a federal facility including fingerprinting and background check. The participant will be working at NOAA's IRC, which is located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, an active military base.
2016 Application Instructions
Prospective participants are required to submit the following materials via email to
at any time between
February 1st and 29th, 2016.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The application should be a single PDF file attached to the email composed of the following elements in this order:
- 1-page coversheet, click here to download coversheet (2.4 MB PDF)
- Statement of interest which includes a description of the participant's experience, research interests, and goals with specific reference to a research project listed on the PYSO projects page
- Academic transcripts (reflecting student status at time of application, unofficial copies accepted), please make sure the transcripts do not include your social security number or date of birth)
- One letter of recommendation from a professor (this can be transmitted directly by email from the professor if preferred, but the name of the applicant must be in the 'Subject Line' of the email).
Applications that include a social security number (SSN) or date of birth (DOB) will be deleted immediately.