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CS Mentorship Programs: How to Apply

There are several different paths to a student or visiting faculty research position with the Computing Sciences Area at Berkeley Lab, and each program has a separate application process with different deadlines. Please review the requirements for each type of hire carefully before applying.

Our partners in Berkeley Lab’s Workforce, Development & Education Office run the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program (SULI), Community College Internship(CCI), and Visiting Faculty (VFP) programs on behalf of the Lab, and we work closely with them to promote equal access to scientific and technical careers for students from all backgrounds, support STEM teachers, and build scientific literacy through innovative education programs.

Berkeley Lab Direct Hire

Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area typically begins accepting applications for direct-hire positions in November for the following summer. Students are encouraged to apply early. Applications for the CS Summer Student program are accepted via Berkeley Lab’s Careers page. Hiring decisions are usually made by the March to April timeframe.

Due to the high level of interest, we can only accept online applications. Some of the information required includes the following:

  • Skills and relevant experience
  • Interest in the program
  • Educational background
  • References

Please note: Students may also apply concurrently through the SULI or CCI programs. (Continue reading for more information about Berkeley Lab’s participation in these programs.)

Internships through three Department of Energy Programs:

The DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) sponsors and manages the SULI, CCI, and VFP programs in collaboration with DOE National Laboratories. All areas of Berkeley Lab, including the Computing Sciences Area, accept placements.

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program (SULI)

The DOE’s SULI, or Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program, encourages undergraduates from two- and four-year colleges, post-baccalaureates, and graduate students to pursue STEM careers by providing research internships at one of 17 DOE National Laboratories.

Applications are solicited annually for three separate internship terms. Internships last ten weeks during the summer term (May through August) or 16 weeks during the fall (August through December) and spring (January through May) terms.

Community College Internship Program

CCI, or Community College Internship program, encourages community college students to enter technical careers relevant to the DOE mission by providing 10-week internships at one of 15 DOE laboratories. Interns work on technologies, instrumentation projects, or major research facilities related to DOE’s ongoing research and development programs under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers.

Applications for the CCI program are solicited annually for the 10-week summer, fall, and spring terms. The fall and spring terms also offer a 16-week flexible schedule option.

Visiting Faculty

The Visiting Faculty Program (VFP) is designed to provide an opportunity for faculty members from institutions historically marginalized in STEM to enhance research capabilities and strengthen STEM education and learning practices to develop talent to contribute to DOE research areas. Prospective faculty applicants may apply for summer and non-summer terms to collaborate on research opportunities with DOE national laboratories. During a non-summer term (Spring or Fall), the program will focus on faculty participants only and last for ten weeks. All VFP faculty applicants must submit at the time of application a research project proposal co-developed with the collaborating research staff located at the host DOE laboratory. Proposal guidance and requirements can be found here. Applications are solicited annually for the summer term (May through August). Visit the DOE’s VFP website to find out more about VFP.

Sustainable Research Pathways

Sustainable Research Pathways (SRP) at Berkeley Lab> is a Computing Sciences program designed to bring professor-and-student teams, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, to the lab to work on research projects. The program, developed with Sustainable Horizons Institute, builds research collaborations and expands opportunities for emerging scientists. The faculty track consists of professor-and-student teams. Students may also apply without faculty member teammates via a newly added student track.

Every year, Computing Sciences sponsors a workshop to recruit participants for the following summer. This workshop is designed for faculty and students from a variety of institutions, including minority-serving Institutions (MSI) and women’s and community colleges serving students from under-represented or underprivileged backgrounds. At the workshop, faculty teams and unaccompanied students explore possible areas of overlap and cooperation between their own research and that of Berkeley Lab staff. Matched participants conduct collaborative summer research at Berkeley Lab.

NNSA’s Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program 

The National Nuclear Security Administration Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program (NNSA-MSIIP) provides paid opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Minority Serving Institutions. NNSA-MSIIP is open to all academic backgrounds.

NNSA-MSIIP offers summer or year-long internship opportunities with the NNSA, national laboratories, and site offices. Internships involve projects focused on engineering, science, research, technology, policy, business, and government relations.

Program participants will develop the experience needed to "jump-start" their careers and potential for future opportunities within the federal government. Interns will be mentored by experienced staff, researchers, and scientists to develop professional skills and enhance leadership capabilities.

NSF’s Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports more than 250 INTERN experiences each year in settings such as startups, small and large corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. The INTERN program provides graduate students with experiential learning opportunities through research internships in non-academic settings. Since 2017, INTERN has offered supplemental funding to broaden research opportunities for graduate students. The program enables graduate students to acquire core professional competencies and skills to support careers in any sector of the U.S. economy. 

NSF considers supplemental funding requests for up to an additional six months of graduate student support on active NSF grants to provide:

  • complementary, non-academic training for graduate students
  • professional development experience in preparation for multiple career pathways
  • opportunities for students from groups that are underrepresented in science and engineering

NSF’s Mathematical Sciences Graduate Internship

The NSF's Division of Mathematical Sciences aims to provide opportunities to enrich the training of graduate students in the Mathematical Sciences through the provision of an NSF Mathematical Sciences Graduate Internship Program. This program will provide an opportunity for mathematical sciences doctoral students to participate in internships at federal national laboratories and research facilities. Participation in an internship will provide first-hand experience in the use of mathematics in a nonacademic setting. The internships are aimed at students who are interested in understanding the application of advanced mathematical and statistical techniques to “real world” problems, regardless of whether the student plans to pursue an academic or nonacademic career. Successful candidates will receive a stipend of $1,200 per week for their living expenses during the 10-week internship. Travel reimbursement of inbound and outbound costs up to $2,000 is available for participants who live more than fifty miles, one-way, from the assigned hosting site.

You must meet the following to be eligible for an internship:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time graduate student at an accredited U.S. college or university pursuing a doctoral degree in mathematics, statistics, or applied mathematics.
  • Have a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale at the time of application.
  • The NSF MSGI program encourages applications from underrepresented groups, including women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans, in order to broaden and diversify those participating in mathematical sciences.

Internship Opportunities Open to High School Students:

Quantum Computing, Mathematics, and Physics Summer Camp (QCaMP)

The Quantum Systems Accelerator (QSA), a National QIS Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, dedicates special efforts to education and outreach in the fast-growing, developing field of quantum information science and technology. At QCaMP (Quantum, Computing, Mathematics, & Physics), high school students and teachers in New Mexico and California will get a primer on computing fundamentals, learn hands-on about quantum physics, and apply those phenomena to solve computing problems in new ways. With separate programs for high school teachers and students, QCaMP is FREE, and participants receive a learning stipend. You will gain experience creating circuits on a real-world quantum computer and gain access to learning resources. The only prerequisites for this camp are basic algebra and an interest in learning more! 2024 Summer Dates are TBD. If you’re a student in New Mexico and California, be sure to submit your interest to apply early.

Experiences in Research (EinR)

Experiences in Research (EinR) is an internship program for high school students to gain hands-on experience with professionals at Berkeley Lab. Students spend six weeks over the summer working directly on cutting-edge projects alongside experts in STEM (science technology engineering mathematics) and STEM-adjacent careers. Projects are focused on different aspects of STEM professions, such as administration, science communication, data science, experimental research, and more. Students will be able to express their interests and project preferences in the application process to develop skills in their preferred field, but they will not be allowed to contact mentors directly during the application submission process.