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UK Libraries Learning Lab Internship is a paid opportunity for intellectually curious undergraduates from all disciplines. Set in our Special Collections Research Center, interns pursue individual, long-term research projects involving rare and unique archival materials from our collections, building invaluable skills under close mentorship and training from our archivists in a transformative, unique experience unlike any other available on campus.

Internship Expectations

  • Qualifications: UK undergraduate with more than 12 credit hours
  • Commitment: 10 hours/week
  • Duration: Internships run from August to April
  • Credit: Earn up to 3 course credits each semester through EXP 396
  • Pay: $13/hour

Program Structure

Fall Semester: Interns learn archival methods and theory, how to research primary source materials, and gain practical, hands-on experience preserving and promoting access to archival materials within their research interest.

Spring Semester: Interns study primary source materials in their chosen collection, chart a research path, and disseminate their findings through a research project of their own design. For more on what to expect from a Learning Lab Internship, see our FAQ page.

Applications for the Learning Lab are accepted annually in the spring. To apply, visit our Student Jobs page.


Carol Street Undergraduate Research Archivist

Location Detail
Special Collections Research Center
Hands turning the pages of a hand-written document

Learning Lab interns work with a variety of primary source materials.

Select a Collection

Learning Lab interns work intimately with a special collection of their choice. The possibilities are as diverse as our holdings. Every spring, we add new materials to our available collections list that prospective interns can work with over the following year. These are not an exhaustive list, but are meant to inspire. We want you to be creative in your research, so if there's a collection you've discovered that you'd like to work with, let us know.

I think the most exciting part of my internship was learning about Harriet Drury Van Meter and seeing how great of an impact one woman’s life can have. She truly has inspired me to live bolder and to try and make a greater impact in everything I do.  ---Shelby Simpkins, Learning Lab 2018-2019

Browse available collections.

Develop a Research Project

The Learning Lab Internship Program targets outstanding, self-driven, and intellectually curious undergraduates from all disciplines. No matter your chosen field of study, you will encounter materials that challenge and inspire you, and help you build confidence and skills that are applicable to any discipline or career. 

This past year at the Learning Lab I discovered the historical significance of archival analysis, and how the archives hold value for modern research. I learned to apply my passions and classroom experience to fuel my understanding to make my project my own. – Brandon Steele, Learning Lab 2017-2018; Chemical Engineering major, Class of 2020

Your project is limited only by your creativity. Past projects have included exhibitions, research tools, digital humanities projects, articles published in peer-reviewed journals, and posters or presentations at national and international conferences. Across all subjects and formats, the Learning Lab program provides interns with a unique opportunity to learn from the past on the way to building a better future.

Learning Lab interns in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Learning Lab interns in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during the World Congress on Undergraduate Research in Oldenburg, Germany, May 2019.

Two female students look at a rare book in the Great Hall.

Peer mentoring and support is a huge benefit to Learning Lab interns.

Benefit Beyond Measure

In addition to being a paid position, the Learning Lab Internship is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to be a part of a supportive peer environment, build a learning community centered around research, and receive individual mentoring over the course of a year-long project.

Our interns leave the Learning Lab program better prepared for graduate school and professional life, gaining experience and skills applicable to any discipline or career and improving their critical thinking and analytical skills.

The Learning Lab provides exactly the kinds of experience that a good internship should: hands on, real-world professional experience, practice working as part of a team, public speaking opportunities, and careful mentorship throughout. The added bonus is that the work happens right here on campus, it involves fascinating research, and it is a paying gig. I often tell my students that they absolutely must apply to participate. Learning Lab is one of the best programs at UK. – Dr. Melanie Goan, Professor of History

Support the Learning Lab

The Learning Lab Internship Program is funded completely through private gifts to UK Libraries' Enrichment Fund. We are extremely grateful for the support of UK alumni and friends who have made the funding for this important program possible.

Make a Gift