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?

In 2018, 51 environmental organizations participated as organization partners and represented a cross-section of environmental activity in the region. Click here for a complete list of 2019 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 environmental conservation science, forest management, coastal management, environmental economics and policy, global environmental change, water resource management, energy, and ecotoxicology and environmental health. Students come to the Nicholas School with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds, including environmental sciences, engineering, business, economics, and the humanities.

Graduate and professional students from the Duke Law School, Fuqua School of Business, Sanford School of Public Policy, Pratt School of Engineering, and those from 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 CareerLink website. 

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 within Duke Environment CareerLink and made available to interested students beginning in the spring semester (early January) and are promoted through two rounds of position postings.  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 Nicholas School of the Environment students who will be beginning their program at Duke in the fall, as they are eligible.

Organization Partners Only: Position Posting Procedure

  1. If you are a new contact for your organization, please request that you be added to Duke Environment CareerLink by emailing the Stanback Internship Admin Team at 
  2. Students will attend an information session in November or January. 
  3. Students will review Summer 2019 internships on Duke Environment CareerLink from January 7 - 29.
  4. Students will submit their resume, cover letter, and any other requested documents to any internships of interest by Tuesday, January 29. 
  5. Organization Partners will select students to interview for Summer 2019 internships. Phone interviews will take place February 18 - 22nd; interview day is February 22nd at Duke University campus. Applications can be retrieved in Duke Environment CareerLink by organizations by January 31st. 
  6. Offers can be made beginning March 1. If given an offer, students will be required to provide an answer within 3-5 days.
  7. Once a student accepts an offer, they will indicate this in the Internship Module within Duke Environment CareerLink. You will receive a notification that the student has accepted, and you will login to also indicate that your organization is hiring that student.
  8. The Stanback Administrative Team will provide you with more information about Orientation and additional program requirements.

What payment is provided?

Most students receive a gross payment of $5,000-$6,000* payment (less tax withholding) distributed in two (2) monthly allotments (May and July, assuming all paperwork completed by April 1). Students may be eligible to claim an exempt tax status. 

Note that Nicholas School staff members MAY NOT provide tax assistance, so students must consult their income tax adviser for income tax and withholding advice.  Additional support may be found at the following link:

*based on internship location and duration

After Your Stanback Position Offer is Accepted

Once a student has accepted your internship offer, you will need to login to Duke Environment CareerLink to confirm the student's offer. 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 the Stanback Internship Admin Team at or 919-684-1145.