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

NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium

Statewide Undergraduate Scholarship Program

The application process for the 2020-2021 academic year is open and will close on March 1, 2020. Click here for more information:…ate-scholarships/

Penn State Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The application process for the 2020-2021 academic year is open and will close on March 1, 2020. 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.

Interns receive $575 per semester and are expected to participate no less than five hours per week in the lab.


  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Applicant must be a Penn State University Park undergraduate student.
  • Applicant must qualify for at least one of the following programs: WISER, MURE, or FURP.
  • Applicant must participate no less than five hours per week in the lab during each semester of the program.

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


2019-2020 WISER/MURE/FURP timeline

  • Oct. 1, 2019 – WMF online application portal opens for Spring 2020/Fall 2020 cohort
  • Nov. 1, 2019 – WMF applications are due for Spring 2020/Fall 2020 cohort
  • Nov. 19, 2019WMF Research Symposium for Spring 2019/Fall 2019 cohort
  • mid December, 2019 – Students/faculty are notified of placements for Spring 2020/Fall 2020
  • January, 2020 – 2020 student cohort begins first semester of WMF internship
  • August, 2020 – 2020 student cohort begins second semester of WMF internship
  • November, 2020 – WMF Research Symposium for Spring 2020/Fall 2020 cohort