Mote offers a variety of internship opportunities for undergraduate/graduate students and recent college graduates interested in a career in the ocean sciences. Mote internships are designed to inspire students with a life-long appreciation and commitment to the conservation and sustainability of our oceans by providing unique, hands-on opportunities to conduct ocean science research, education, or support services under the mentorship of Mote scientists, educators, animal care specialists, and other professionals. The experience gained through Mote internships should provide both the knowledge and experience base to prepare the intern for entry level employment within related fields.


Mote Internships allow college students and recent college graduates to gain valuable hands-on experience in Ocean Science research, conservation, education and support services. Internships are available in most departments in the laboratory. About 150 college students and recent college graduates participate in this program annually.


Internships are available during four sessions: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Intern orientations/start dates are on Mondays unless it’s a holiday. Prospective interns should select sessions based on their dates of availability.

Internship Session & Start Dates Application Deadline* Notification Period  
Spring – Feb, March, or April December 15 early-mid January
Summer – May, June, or July March 15 early-mid April
Fall – Aug, Sept, or Oct June 15 early-mid July
Winter – Nov, Dec, Jan September 15 early-mid October

*Late internship applications may be reviewed, but priority is given to applications submitted by the deadline.


We ask for a minimum 10 week commitment (unless otherwise stated in the program description), and most internships are 10-14 weeks long. They can be longer with prior approval from your program manager.

Internship Areas and Intern Duties

Click here for detailed information on the Mote programs that routinely accept college interns and intern job descriptions for each of these programs. Interns normally work 40 hours per week and follow laboratory rules and regulations. Occasionally longer hours, weekends and/or nights may be required. Dress for most internships is casual with appropriate laboratory/field apparel and footwear. Positions in some divisions may require more professional attire.


Applicant must be enrolled in an accredited university or college program at the undergraduate or graduate level OR be a recent college graduate to be eligible to apply for a Mote internship. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. International applicants must speak English fluently.

Financial Support

Due to Mote’s status as a nonprofit research institution, positions offered by the Mote College Intern Program are unpaid. However, a limited number of scholarships are available to partially support the cost of living expenses and are described at this page. Candidates must exhibit financial need and meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.20 on a 4.0 scale to apply. Only candidates having a U.S. Social Security Number are eligible to apply for intern scholarships.

Research Experience for Undergraduates

Mote is also a host site for the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program. This is a separate program that offers paid research internships to 10 college undergraduates during a 10-week period in the summer. Information about the Mote REU Program is located at this page.


Mote is unable to provide or arrange for intern housing. However, once candidates have accepted an internship offer, Mote is able to offer a small list of housing options and can also put interns in communication with one another so that they may arrange for shared housing. Interns should budget for up to $115/week for housing including utilities.

Local Transportation

Public transportation between Mote and most local areas is available through the Sarasota County Area Transit bus system, a service of the Sarasota County Government. Riders can pay per ride or purchase a 30-day bus pass, currently $50 (but check their website for updates). Also, sarasota.craigslist.org is a great resource for finding bicycles for sale. Interns are responsible for providing or making arrangements for daily transportation to Mote.

Application Procedure

Applicants must complete the online application form and submit a one-to-two page Statement of Interest, a resume or CV, unofficial college transcript, and at least one letter of recommendation to be considered for an internship. Additional materials must be submitted if applicants wish to be considered for a Mote intern scholarship. More detailed instructions for preparing and submitting these materials are provided on the application form.

Application Deadline

Application deadlines for the four internship sessions are listed above.

Contact Information

Contact intern@mote.org with additional questions regarding the Mote College Intern Program.

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About Mote Marine Laboratory

From its humble beginnings in tiny shed in a small Florida town, Mote Marine Laboratory has expanded to include a 10.5-acre campus in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations and public exhibits in Key West and field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Summerland Key and Charlotte Harbor. Florida's extensive coastline and marine and estuarine environments have enabled Mote scientists to build a platform of marine research conducted in the oceanic and nearshore environment.