Update: As part of an ongoing strategic review of our grant program we regret we will not be accepting applications for the student internship program for 2016.
Animal Welfare Trust believes that we can make a meaningful contribution to animal welfare by encouraging students to work on projects that facilitate positive reform for animals. AWT’s Internship Program was created to:
- Fund independent student research projects; or
- provide funding to otherwise unpaid internship positions within established animal-related organizations.
Internships must be consistent with AWT’s mission statement. While AWT is devoted to all areas of animal welfare, its primary areas of focus are factory farming and farm animal welfare issues, pro-vegetarian campaigns and humane education.
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In order to qualify for an AWT internship award, the applicant
- Must be a graduate student at the time of the application and for the duration of the proposed internship
- Must have a demonstrated interest in animal welfare;
- Internship funding must be for an independent project approved by and under the supervision of a university professor or for an unpaid position within an established organization Please note that applications submitted for projects as part of thesis and dissertations will be considered only if there is a practical scope for the project beyond the completion of a final paper;
- Internships can be for a summer, semester or year-long duration.
All interested applicants must submit:
- A detailed cover letter describing the project or position you wish to have considered, what you hope to accomplish and what type of positive impact on animal welfare you anticipate;
- A resume;
- Two written references with at least one from a professor at the school you are currently attending;
- A current transcript;
- A writing sample or summary of prior research conducted, if the proposed internship would involve significant research or writing.
Generally $1,000 to $5,000, depending on a variety of factors, including type of project proposed, length of internship and whether alternate sources of funding are also available.
In 2013 four student internship grants were awarded:
- A University of Oregon student obtaining a Masters in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in animal welfare policy interned at The Humane Society of the United States in Oregon to work on lobbying and legislative projects,
- A University of Edinburgh student studying in the International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law Graduate Program interned with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries to work on a captive wild animal protection campaign,
- A University of Massachusetts, Amherst student obtaining a Masters in Public Health in Nutrition wrote a paper on the difference in disease prevalence between vegetarians and omnivores,
- A Vermont College of Fine Arts student pursuing a Masters interned for The National Museum of Animals and Society and created her own artwork relating to animal protection issues.
In 2012 four student internship grants were awarded:
- A second year law student at Brooklyn Law School worked as a clerk for the Humane Society of the United States in the animal protection litigation department,
- A first year law student at the University of Houston Law Center interned with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Animal Cruelty Section in Houston, Texas helping with cases involving the inhumane and unlawful treatment of domestic and farm animals,
- A third year doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Calfornia, Irvine conducted research on the long-term effects of incremental animal protection policies on animals used in laboratories,
- A PhD candidate in applied sociology at the University of Louisville collected data on Kentucky shelters to create a statewide database on the population of canines and felines held in publicly funded animal shelters.
In 2011 five student internship grants were awarded:
- A masters student at the University of Florida in the public health program worked alongside Dr. Michael Greger to explore how the industrialization of the pork industry has affected ecological changes and epidemiology of the swine flu,
- A law student at the Florida Coastal School of Law interned at Mercy for Animals to assist with legal research on undercover investigations and other projects,
- A law student at Pace University interned at Compassion Over Killing to participate in litigation focused on ending cruelty within factory farms,
- A masters student in the Environmental Conservation and Education program at NYU helped organize a symposium on the topic of animals and the environment,
- A law student at Florida State University interned at the Animal Welfare Institute to work on various campaigns including anti-factory farming and truth in labeling.
In 2010 three internship grants were awarded:
- A doctoral student at the University of Virginia earning her degree in clinical psychology worked with the FBI to conduct a study on the link between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence,
- A masters student at Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy, worked as an outreach and advocacy intern for Farm Sanctuary, and
- A law student at Seton Hall University interned at Neighborhood Cats to draft a model TNR ordinance.
In 2009 two internships were awarded:
- A master’s student at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University conducted a follow up study on the adoption of wild horses in New England, and
- A law student to support summer work as a legal clerk for Farm Sanctuary.
In 2008 three internships were awarded:
- A doctoral student studying animal welfare issues of animals being relocated for purposes of conservation programs,
- A doctoral student analyzing the human values and moral ideology promoted by prominent animal rights organizations for the purpose of identifying better strategies that can be used to promote their mission, and
- A law student to support summer work as a legal extern for a City’s Attorney’s Office in the Animal Protection Unit.
In 2007 three internship grants were awarded:
- A second year vet student to develop a program on alternatives to the use of live animals in surgical training in vet school curriculum,
- A Ph.D. student to write an academic paper challenging industrial farming from a public nuisance approach with a focus on the external costs of CAFO systems, and
- A graduate student pursuing a Doctor of Education in Human Development and Psychology to do a research project concerning the reasons why young children choose to eat meat or become vegetarians.
In 2006 three internship grants were awarded:
- A research project leading to an article on the federal standing doctrine and animal rights and
- A research project leading to an updated publication that outlines the legal status of farm animals and certain agribusiness practices and
- A vet student designed humane education/spay neuter outreach project in Puerto Rico.
In 2005 two internship grants were awarded:
- A project to create evaluation criteria and establish a standard for measuring the success metrics of animal welfare organizations to assist foundations in evaluating funding opportunities, and
- Research that would provide background information to be used in evaluating a possible Arizona ballot initiative to ban veal and gestation crates.
In 2004 two internship grants were awarded:
- A project to evaluate the “hidden curriculum” in science classrooms which perpetuates the view of animals as “things” by students and
- A project to develop a section on Animal Law under the auspices of the Street Law Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild. The information would be available as a resource to students and the community and would directly help animals by offering interested persons tools to pursue legal action.
In 2003 one internship grants was awarded:
- A second year law student to conduct research for possible legal action against a large industrial diary farm for violation of environmental laws.