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Starting Your Internship


You should attend an Office of Internship Programs orientation soon after beginning your appointment. Due to the ongoing pandemic, all orientations are currently being held virtually. You will be provided with a schedule for upcoming orientations and registration information.  

Start Date

In addition to the general Smithsonian orientation, you should contact your Unit Internship Coordinator (or your Mentor) to be oriented to your unit. Please be sure you are in communication with them regarding start dates and initial meetings. 


(Please see Appendix C for details on how to access these trainings.) 

All SI Interns are required to complete Prevention of Workplace Harassment Training.  

Interns who will be onsite are required to complete COVID-19 Awareness Training before entering an SI facility.  

Interns who have network access are required to take Computer Safety Awareness Training. 

In addition to the above trainings, you may need to take certain safety or research trainings specific to your appointment. Please be in touch with your mentor or unit coordinator to better understand your training requirements. 


If your internship involves you being onsite for some or all of your tenure, you will need an SI Badge. Your unit coordinator will help you navigate the background check and badging process.  

  • Your SI badge is NOT your property; it officially belongs to the Smithsonian and must be returned at the close of your tenure.   

  • Your badge may be confiscated at any time if your conduct compromises the reputation or integrity of the Institution.  

  • Holding a Smithsonian ID (Short-term or Photo) does not authorize you to commit Smithsonian resources nor speak or act on behalf of the Smithsonian.  

  • Badges must be visible/displayed at all times while inside SI facilities.  

Network Access

Almost all internships involve access to the SI network. This will include use of an SI email address and access to internal files and resources. Before being granted network access, you must pass a background check. Your unit coordinator will help you navigate the background check process and request network access on your behalf. All SI network account holders must complete Computer Security Awareness Training.   

Copyright & Media Release

Copyright Agreement: Work created by Smithsonian interns within the scope of their internships (e.g., text, photographs, illustrations, audio, video, research, graphs, recordings, databases, etc.) is owned by the Smithsonian Institution as work made for hire under United States Copyright Law. 

Media Release: Appointees give the Smithsonian their permission to use their names, images, voices and likeness for media purposes.

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