Get an inside look at science journalism in action, and see what goes into putting a magazine together, working at the award-winning Australian science magazine, COSMOS.
From our stylish warehouse offices in inner-city Sydney, our enthusiastic team spends each day planning upcoming issues, researching stories and pictures, writing, editing, designing, fact-checking and basically doing some of the best jobs in science communication in the country.
But we also provide opportunities for science students, journalism students and science communicators keen to try their hand at journalism and who want some hands-on experience working in magazine production and online journalism. Or students who want to get a behind-the-scenes view of the magazine publishing industry from up close and contribute to the success of our titles.
We accept interns for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of six months; internships are typically full-time and you must be able to come to our offices in Sydney. We prefer applicants with university-level experience and some training, or at least a keen interest, in science.
Because we are a small publishing house, interns gain an insight into many aspects of magazine publishing and online journalism. Internships are unpaid; however, as a result of doing an internship at COSMOS some graduates have landed jobs in the media or in science communication. Examples include the Sydney Morning Herald, CSIRO, Reed Business Publishing, Network Ten’s Scope, CNN, National Geographic Traveller, Science magazine, Discover magazine and Science Illustrated, as well as right here at COSMOS; others have become regular freelancers for the magazine or the website. Two former interns have won Best Newcomer to Journalism at the annual Bell Magazine Awards (and one other has been a finalist).
Editorial interns: You can help us research story ideas, write news stories, find pictures and illustrations, fact-check articles, proof-read or undertake other tasks that contribute to the creation of each print issue as well as COSMOS Online. Interns even take part in editorial meetings and are encouraged to propose concepts and ideas. Depending on your writing ability, you’re likely to end up getting published – either in the magazine or on COSMOS Online.
Publishing interns: Learn about magazine publishing in a small and friendly environment where you will be exposed to all facets of the business. You will help research potential markets in Australia and overseas, contribute to the development and execution of marketing, publicity and promotional plans and work closely with the magazine’s award-winning publishing team.
Interns are unpaid, but receive a written reference describing their duties and performance during their stay, plus copies of the issue on which they worked. Not all tasks are glamorous (such as proof-reading the same article five times or stuffing 100 envelopes for a publicity mail-out) but they are essential. And yes, we do consider interns from outside Australia who may be visiting the country.
Here’s what some past interns have had to say:
“My recent experience as a COSMOS intern taught me more about communicating science than my three year degree! By becoming a member of the COSMOS team I gained experience in writing articles, interviewing scientists, researching for stories and sharing ideas. I also gained insight into the day-to-day running of a science publication – an experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom.”
- Gemma Conroy, intern April-May 2011
“The first two and a half weeks of my internship were a race towards the production deadline. I fact-checked and subedited articles, in between writing book reviews and helping to put the postgraduate survival guide together. At the same time, I chased down researchers and other experts for news articles and researcher profiles for the website. Everyone was happy to offer advice and I received some fantastic feedback, which I hope has gone a long way towards improving my writing skills.”
- Laura Boness, intern July-August 2011
“Thanks so much again for letting me be an intern! It was such a great experience – words can’t express how much it has changed my view of science and news and my future in general. I really can’t thank you all enough.”
- Katy Storch, intern August-September 2011
Read a blog by Lucie Bradley, who completed an internship in November 2012.
Email us your resume, a letter explaining why you would like to work as an intern at COSMOS, and at least three examples of published or unpublished articles. Please also indicate what dates you are available for the internship.
The letter should be no more than 600 words long, it should include some background on who you are, what your career aspirations and the areas of the business in which you are most interested. If you are at university, please also indicate the subjects you are undertaking.
Letters should be addressed to:
Deputy Editor, COSMOS
Email: COSMOS Internships