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Graduate Opportunities

Graduate Opportunities

Master’s Assistantship: Animal Behavior and Welfare at the North Carolina Zoo

Annual stipend: $23,000.00

Call for applications for the Fall 2025 academic year will reopen in November 2024.

Position description: North Carolina State University (NC State) is offering a 2-year, funded graduate position to students interested in animal behavior research. The student will receive a Master of Science degree in Biology as they complete coursework at NC State-Raleigh and a research project in collaboration with the North Carolina Zoo animals and staff. Tuition and health insurance will be covered for eligible students, and the student will serve as a teaching assistant for each academic semester of the 2 years.

Students will work closely with PhD-level curatorial staff at the North Carolina Zoo as they design and conduct research, which may address a range of welfare-related topics, including but not limited to: enrichment, social behavior, space use, light cycles, diet, and seasonal or habitat changes. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to design, conduct, analyze, and disseminate research conducted at the North Carolina Zoo.  The degree conferred would be relevant for a career in animal behavior research, particularly in a zoo setting.

Qualifications: Qualified applicants must have a combination of the following: 1) a strong academic background in animal behavior, biology, conservation, or a related field; 2) at least 4 months of research experience (e.g., collecting data, creating hypotheses, managing data); 3) demonstrated interest in research or animal behavior through extracurricular internships, jobs, experiences, or other activities; and 4) some proficiency with data analysis using relevant software (excel, R, SPSS, SAS).

This is an early career opportunity.  Candidates without prior graduate-level experience will be preferred.

If you should have any questions, please contract Dr. Emily Lynch ( and/or Dr. Jenny Campbell (