Paid Internship - Redesigning Plastics Initiative

Programs · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Programs
Employment Type Temporary Employee-Intern
Minimum Experience Entry-level

The Ocean Foundation is seeking a graduate (Masters or above) level intern to support our Redesigning Plastics Initiative which is working to develop and synthesize original science to inform legislative approaches to change the way plastics are made. 


More specifically, we aim to pursue science-informed national legislation in plastic-producing countries to require reengineering of the chemistry of plastic itself, redesigning of plastic products, and limiting what is made from plastic. Our Initiative will move this industry from Complex, Customized and Contaminating to make plastic Safe, Simple and Standardized.


Currently in Phase One of our initiative, TOF is working to synthesize and develop original science to inform the redesign of plastics, polymers and additives. Our long term goal is that over the next decade, this area of research will be as fully prioritized for active research as mechanical recycling is currently.


In 2021, The Ocean Foundation will be launching a Science Advisory Panel to support and advise this initiative. 

To learn more about the Redesigning Plastics Initiative, please visit this link.


The intern will support the Redesigning Plastics Initiative through the following activities:


  1. Identify scientific experts across the disciplines of toxicology, materials science, engineering, and chemistry for invitation to join a Science Advisory Panel of up to 15 members.
  2. Convene the panel though a series of four virtual workshops with three goals:
  •           to identify current research gaps related to the redesign of plastics;
  •           to develop a set of research questions that should be prioritized by the scientific community
  •           to develop a consensus recommendation document outlining the need for specific research as agreed-upon by the panel.

   3.Develop workshop agendas, prepare and distribute workshop materials in advance to participants, maintain detailed notes and prepare workshop summary reports;

   4.Facilitate information-sharing between panelists regarding current and emerging research and funding opportunities.

   5.Regularly review scientific articles and update our annotated bibliography on plastic pollution, which is freely available to the public on our website.

   6.Attend virtual workshops and seminars on plastic pollution and report back highlights to The Ocean Foundation’s Program Team.


Requirements to be considered for Internship:


Statement of interest in a cover letter that demonstrates interest in enhancing your understanding of global plastic pollution, specifically the concepts behind the redesign of plastics and the ingredients (polymers, additives, etc.) that make plastics.


Completion of graduate level educational coursework in a major field of study pertaining to chemistry, toxicology, materials science or other related subject areas.

Experience coordinating work groups or networks.


Strong research and writing capabilities overall.  More specifically, the ability to summarize technical information into annotated bibliographies and other materials and to develop clear meeting minutes and reports reflecting decision points, areas of consensus and opposing viewpoints as appropriate. 


Experience working with GoToMeeting and Zoom web meeting platforms.


Note:  Current enrollment in an academic institution is not required and internship is also open to early professionals.




Compensation will be made at $18/hour, 20 hours per week for a period of 10 weeks.  Start date is open to negotiation.


About The Ocean Foundation


The Ocean Foundation is a unique community foundation with a mission to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. TOF works with donors who care about our coasts and ocean to provide financial resources to marine conservation initiatives through the following lines of business: Committee and Donor Advised Funds, Fiscal Sponsorship Fund services, and Consulting services. TOF’s Board of Directors is comprised of individuals with significant experience in marine conservation philanthropy, complemented by an expert, professional staff and a growing international advisory board of scientists, policy makers, educational specialists, and other top experts. We have grantees, partners, and projects on all the world’s continents. We advance innovative, customized philanthropic solutions for individual, corporate and government donors. We simplify giving so donors can focus on their chosen passion for the coasts and ocean. For more information visit  

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

  • Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Temporary Employee-Intern
  • Minimum Experience