Amazing Internship Opportunities Abound at Brookhaven National Lab

By Andrew Tamis, Engineering Science and Mechanics/Physics major at Penn State University

This summer, I had the privilege to work as an intern at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Lab as part of the Student Undergraduate Laboratory Intern (SULI) research program.  I grew up fairly close to the lab and I can remember wondering what kind of cool stuff was going on behind the heavily guarded gates and barbed wire fences. My imagination soared with stories of alien spacecraft and time machines.  As a high school senior, I had the opportunity to visit the lab and learn about the varied types of research they conducted and to interact with scientists who worked at the Relativistic-Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).  We even communicated via Skype with researchers in Switzerland working at the CERN collider.  While not as fantastical as I had imagined it, the cutting-edge research that was being done so close to my home amazed me.  After this visit, I knew that I wanted to delve deeper into the science and technology that was breaking barriers at BNL.  Fortunately, a few years later, my dream became a reality.

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When Social Science meets Computer Science NASA’s Mission Directives are Explored in Innovative Ways.

A PhD student in the Anthropology Department at Penn State investigates how machine learning and satellite imagery can reveal previously undiscovered archaeological sites. By Dylan Davis

Ground testing uncovered many artifacts that had not been recorded by previous investigation. Here, you see pieces of ceramic (some of which are decorated) and tools made out of marine shells (yellow arrows).

When you hear the word “NASA”, you probably don’t think “liberal arts” or “anthropology”. In fact, you probably don’t even think “social science”. Most likely you think “astrophysics” or “computer science” or something along those lines. And yet, social science has a lot in common with NASA.

NASA has a number of different missions, including the Earth Science Division directives. The Earth Science Division stresses the importance of technological advances, specifically those which can identify connections between Earth processes and ongoing natural and human-caused changes. Archaeology contributes to this overall directive in two ways: 1) by investigating long-term changes in human land-use and its effects on local ecologies; and 2) by tracing the effects that environmental conditions have on human societies. Continue reading

Competitive Mini-Grant Program

The NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (PSGC) requests qualified proposals from institutions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a competitive mini-grant program in three program areas: Higher Education, Research Infrastructure, and Pre-College.

NASA’s Space Grant is a national network of colleges and universities. These institutions work to expand opportunities for U.S. citizens to understand and participate in NASA’s aeronautics and space projects by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts. The PSGC works with public and private universities and colleges together with industry and pre-college partners to increase Pennsylvania’s participation in the economic, educational, and scientific benefits of the nation’s space program.

Through a competitive mini-grant program, the PSGC provides funding for Affiliate members and other Commonwealth institutions of higher education in support of qualifying proposals to continue, expand, or develop new programming. The PSGC accepts proposals on a rolling basis based on our current grant period of performance. Proposed project efforts may begin in summer 2020, fall 2020, spring 2021, or summer 2021 and should be completed within one year.

Detailed information is available on our PSGC Mini-Grant page.

For any questions related to the PSGC mini-grant program, contact us at


Statewide Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The application process for the 2020-2021 academic year is closed. Click here for more information:…ate-scholarships/


Penn State Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The application process for the 2020-2021 academic year is closed. Click here for more information:


Penn State Undergraduate Research Experience

NOTE: Application for admission to the 2020 WISER/MURE/FURP undergraduate research programs is closed.

  • WISER:  Women in Science and Engineering Research
    Available to first-year women. 
  • MURE: Minority Undergraduate Research Experience
    Available to underrepresented minority students  (African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander) who are first-year, sophomores, or juniors.
  • FURP: First-year Undergraduate Research Program
    Available to all first-year students; those with economic hardship are encouraged to apply.

The WISER/MURE/FURP internship programs at Penn State – University Park offer research experiences and mentoring in labs within eight Colleges: Earth and Mineral Sciences, Education, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering, Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts, Information Sciences and Technology, and the Eberly College of Science. View participating SP20/FA20 labs here.

These two-semester internship experiences (spring and fall of one calendar year) offer students the opportunity to collaborate with a research team, learn the language of research, and use high-tech equipment.

For more information, visit the WISER/MURE/FURP website.