Program Information for Organization Partners

Purpose of the Program
Who are the Partner Organizations?
Who are the Students?
Advertising Your Organization's Internship Positions
Application Procedure
After Your Stanback Position Offer is Accepted


Purpose of the Program

Fred and Alice Stanback established the Stanback Internship Program to provide students at Duke with significant learning experience in conservation, advocacy, applied resource management and/or environmental policy. The program is a partnership between the Nicholas School of the Environment and selected conservation organizations throughout the United States. The program is open to all continuing (i.e. non-graduating) Duke students. The Stanback Internship Program does not accept unsolicited requests for participation.


Who are the Partner Organizations?

Each year, Fred Stanback selects participating organizations and allots them one or more interns for the coming summer. Other employers may not solicit to participate in the Stanback program. In 2017, 53 environmental organizations participated as partner organizations and represented a cross-section of environmental activity in the region. Click here for a complete list of this year's organizations.


Who are the Students?

The majority of intern candidates will be Nicholas School students pursuing the degree of Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Forestry (MF). The MEM and MF degree programs stress interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem solving. They train students to understand the scientific basis of environmental problems, as well as the social, political and economic factors that determine effective policy options for their solution. Program specialization tracks within the degrees include conservation science and policy, forest management, coastal management, environmental economics and policy, global environmental change, and water and air resources. Students come to the Nicholas School with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds, including environmental sciences, engineering, business, economics, and the humanities.

Students from the Duke Law School, Fuqua School of Business, Sanford School of Public Policy, Pratt School of Engineering, and other undergraduate programs are also invited to apply for Stanback internships. These students expand the variety of skill sets and training available to organizations looking for Stanback interns. At the undergraduate level, the majority of interested candidates will be pursuing degrees in public policy or environmental sciences. 


Advertising Your Organization's Internship Positions

The Career and Professional Development Center at the Nicholas School will contact you in the fall to begin the process of organizing the following summer’s internships. The office advertises all internships to students through the Duke Environment Career Link website.  You may advertise one more project than you have allotted interns, to attract a wider array of applicants.

Each project description should include the following:

  • a brief background that outlines how the proposed project fits into the organization's larger work
  • a list of responsibilities for the intern, including the expected end product
  • required and desired qualifications, in terms of both skills and knowledge, and
  • other information such as where the intern will be located, the project’s supervisor, and
  • expected opportunities for travel, networking, or interaction with other aspects of the organization’s work.

Project descriptions are posted on the website and made available to interested students beginning at the school's winter break through the spring semester.  Special marketing efforts will take place in March/April to bring attention to projects that have not been filled.  The Stanback Internship Program will also be promoted to newly admitted students who will be beginning their program at Duke in the fall, as they are eligible.


Application Procedure

  1. Request access to Duke Environment Career Link if you do not have access already. You can request access, by emailing Beth Hwang at beth.hwang@duke.edu
  2. Students will attend an information session in November. 
    Nicholas School Students November 13th 1:30-2:30pm Field Auditorium
    Sanford and other students November 15th 5:15-6pm Perkins Link Classroom 5
    Pratt Engineering Students November 16th 5-5:45pm Teer 203
  3. Students will review Summer 2018 internships on Duke Environment Career Link from January 8 - 29 using the Job Search Advanced Search feature for Stanback Internships.
  4. Students will submit their resume, cover letter, and any other requested documents to any internships of interest by January 29. 
  5. Organization Partners will select students to interview for Summer 2018 internships. Phone interviews will take place February 19 - 22nd; interview day is February 23rd. Applications will be sent to organizations early February. 
  6. Offers can be made beginning March 2. If given an offer, students will be required to provide an answer within 3-5 days.
  7. If a student accepts an offer, notify the Program Director, Nikki Smith at nikki.s.smith@duke.edu. She will provide you with more information about On-Campus Orientation and program requirements.

What payment is provided?

Students receive a $5,000 payment distributed by Duke in 2 monthly allotments (May and July, assuming all paperwork completed by April 1). Stanback Internship payments are considered non-compensatory payments. Individuals receiving these payments are not Duke employees, but are receiving funds through Duke University for educational enrichment opportunities. Important information about payments and taxes is available at the Duke University Non-Compensatory Payment website.

Note that Nicholas School staff members MAY NOT provide tax assistance, so please consult your income tax adviser for income tax advice.


After Your Stanback Position Offer is Accepted

Once a student has accepted your internship offer, you will need to notify Nikki Smith at nikki.s.smith@duke.edu. Payment arrangements are made between the school and the intern; host organizations are responsible for communicating with their intern and deciding upon the start/end dates of work, specific responsibilities for the project, expected end product, and other details.

If your intern is an international student, you will also need to provide the school with an official letter, on letterhead, that includes the following:

  • Name of student
  • Name of organization
  • Complete mailing address (unless already on letterhead)
  • Start/end dates of internship
  • Number of hours per week the intern will work
  • A brief description of the internship (2-3 sentences)
  • Name of Project Advisor
  • Phone number and email address of Project Advisor

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Hwang at beth.hwang@duke.edu or 919-401-7237.