All of you undergraduates out there are probably enjoying your winter break. Not to alarm you, but it's probably time to start thinking about your summer! Don't have any plans yet? Well, consider signing up for the Research Training Program (RTP) at the National Museum of Natural History.
In short, the RTP is a 10 week internship program at the Smithsonian, where you partner with an established curator on a research project. As part of this, you get a stipend, free housing, small travel allowance, and a behind-the-scenes summer in one of the nation's coolest museums.
I had the opportunity to participate back in 2000 - and it was a fantastic summer! The skills I learned there were easily transferred into my subsequent research (and D.C. is a great city to get to know!). Heck, you might even end up working there permanently if you're lucky, as happened to Gene Hunt. He was a member of the RTP class of 1995, and is now curator of ostracods! So, apply if you're eligible - you won't regret it!