Graduate Internship Opportunity at State Hygienic Laboratory

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Graduate Internship Opportunity at State Hygienic Laboratory


The State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) at the University of Iowa is seeking to host a graduate student as an intern at the Coralville laboratory location. With support from the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC), Investigators at SHL will be studying the major harmful algal bloom species in Iowa by analyzing samples from the current State Beach Monitoring Program. Data collected will be used to develop a rapid strain identification test and a cyanobacteria library. Findings from this study will help facilitate environmental risk management and develop mitigation strategies to reduce human and animal health risk.

The intern is expected to perform research activities related to this project under SHL staff supervision. S/he will work with multiple SHL sections and apply analytical chemistry and environmental microbiology techniques to address this emerging environmental contamination problem in Iowa. The intern will work under a routine laboratory quality system that requires compliance with SOPs and laboratory standards.

The State Hygienic Laboratory is the Iowa state public and environmental health laboratory. The SHL serves all 99 counties in Iowa through disease detection, environmental monitoring and newborn and maternal screening. An Environmental Protection Agency-certified facility, the SHL conducts testing of drinking water as mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The staff also works with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to monitor waterways throughout the state for contaminants and to assess air quality in real-time and through lab testing. This position is in the Environmental Health Division and responsible for water related testing to safeguard the community.

Skills Required:

Candidates must have completed introductory chemistry and/or microbiology lab coursework. Basic knowledge of chemistry-lab equipment, principles of sanitation, health/hazard protection, lab safety, laboratory terminology and understanding of quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) protocols is essential. Candidates will possess basic experience with the following: handling laboratory glassware and supplies; cleaning, washing, sanitizing laboratory area, equipment and glassware used in an environmental laboratory processes; handling various environmental samples, laboratory reagents and standards;  good/standard laboratory practices, policies and procedures; demonstrated ability to follow oral and written instructions; ability to work in a group and/or independently; ability and willingness to conduct oneself in accordance with University of Iowa rules including practicing good conduct and workplace behavior.

Specific Skills Desired:

Experience in environmental microbiology is preferred. Other desirable skills include previous experience in analytical chemistry, including working with various environmental matrices or samples. We also seek applicants with independent time management, strong communication skills, accurate recordkeeping, proficiency in technical writing, and a demonstrated ability to take appropriate initiative in performing job tasks.

The position is for graduate students in Engineering, Public Health or Microbiology that have completed the majority of their coursework. Candidates that have successfully passed their comprehensive examination are preferred and encouraged to apply.


The position is part-time, up to 20 hrs. per week. The initial term for this position is 6 months. Including salary and fringe benefits, the total internship will pay $14,711, or approximately 28.30/hr.

Work hours are flexible between 8:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume or CV (2-page limit), a 1-page letter of support from your current academic advisor, and a personal statement. The personal statement should describe in a maximum of 500 words, your interest in this fellowship and how this experience will further your graduate training and professional development at the University of Iowa.

All application materials should be submitted to to be considered. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Any questions on this opportunity can be directed to or Susie Dai, Associate Director of the State Hygienic Laboratory (