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The National Nuclear Security Administration Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program (NNSA-MSIIP) provides paid opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at Minority Serving Institutions pursuing degrees in critical science, engineering, technology, mathematics, and other disciplines that complement current and future missions of the NNSA.

NNSA-MSIIP offers summer or year-long internship opportunities with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NNSA headquarters offices, 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 leading scientists, engineers, and other top professionals to develop professional skills and enhance leadership capabilities.

Why should I apply?

NNSA-MSIIP internships are offered through short-term and long-term options. At minimum you will have the opportunity to complete an internship for 12 consecutive weeks in the summer at a site within the Nuclear Security Enterprise (NSE).

  • Short-term (12-week) internships will begin on June 6, 2022, and end on August 26, 2022. Summer interns will be expected to commit to full-time participation based on 40 hours per week. Exceptions to the 12-week summer requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis to accommodate candidate’s academic schedule.
  • Long-term (or year-around) internships will begin on June 6, 2022, and end on June 2, 2023. Long-term interns will be expected to commit to full-time participation based on 40 hours per week during the summer, and a minimum of 10 hours per week during the academic year.

You will be able to list up to three projects of interest in your application from the list of available projects. This project catalog will be updated until January 15, 2022. If you do not see any projects of interest to you, check back often for updates.

As a program participant, you will:

  • Be part of world-class research and operations opportunities within the NNSA enterprise.
  • Enhance your preparedness for scientific, technological, business operations, and policy related-careers.
  • Gain a competitive edge as you apply your education, talent, and skills.
  • Establish connections with DOE scientists and subject matter experts that promote long-term relationships between yourself, researchers, and nuclear security enterprise.

Am I eligible?

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

    • Be a U.S. citizen.
    • Have and maintain a minimum undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • Be enrolled as a part-time or full-time undergraduate or graduate student at one of the following accredited Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). Most accredited U.S. postsecondary institutions that meet the statutory criteria for identification as Minority Serving Institutions are listed at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/2021eligibilitymatrix.xlsx
      • AANAPISI - Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution
      • ANNH - Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institution
      • HBCU - Historically Black College or University
      • HSI - Hispanic-serving institution
      • NASNTI - Native American-serving nontribal institution
      • PBI - Predominantly Black Institution
      • TCU - Tribal College or University
    • Be able to commit to the duration of their internship program:
      • Short-term (12 weeks, full-time, during summer)
      • Long-term (12-months, 12 weeks full-time during summer, part-time during the academic year)

      Exceptions to the 12-week summer requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis to accommodate candidate’s academic schedule.

    • Have coverage under a health insurance plan before arriving at the appointment site and maintain coverage during the appointment.

    Additional eligibility factors:

    • Candidates selected for an internship appointment will be required to provide proof of enrollment during Spring term.
    • Undergraduate seniors graduating in May/June are eligible to participate in short- and long-term internships if enrolled in a graduate program at a MSI during the following Fall term. Proof of enrollment in a MSI will be required before the Fall term appointment.
    • Undergraduate seniors graduating in May/June not entering a graduate program at a MSI in the Fall are only eligible to participate in a short-term summer internship, with no option to extend the appointment.
    • Graduate students completing a degree in May/June are only eligible to participate in a short-term summer internship, with no option to extend the appointment.
    • Students may apply for and are eligible to participate in the program at multiple times during their undergraduate and graduate studies. However, there should not be an assumption or expectation of being selected for another internship.

What are the benefits?

Stipends

Summer Session (Full-Time Appointments)

  • Undergraduate student - $750 per week
  • Graduate student - $950 per week

During Academic Terms (Part-time Appointments)

Stipends for part-time appointments will be prorated based on the expected level of effort.

In Person/Hybrid Summer Session

The following benefits will be offered if you relocate more than 50 miles from your home location during the summer.

  • Commuting Supplement
    • A stipend supplement of $30 per week to offset expenses associated with commuting to/from your official assigned location and local meetings/training.
  • Housing Allowance
    • Housing costs will be covered by the program on a case-by-case basis upon approval of the NNSA-MSIIP Program Manager.
  • Inbound-Outbound Travel
    • You will be reimbursed for limited inbound/outbound transportation expenses, not to exceed $1,000 from your current address to the assigned location.

Virtual Internships Summer Session

If no relocation is required to complete your summer appointment, you will receive a stipend supplement of $150 per week to offset the cost of remote participation.

In response to the evolving situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, appointments may be hosted virtually.

  • I learned how to complete high quality research, develop models, form conclusions, collaborate on big projects, job opportunities, methods on how to network, and what it's like to be an economist! It was an experience I will never forget!

    —2021 Participant, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
  • This remote internship allowed [me] to experience firsthand how I can utilize my programming abilities in a real-world profession.  I was exposed to the Data Science and machine learning world and was able to discover what I would to carry as my future profession.

    —2021 Participant, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
  • During my short experience working at Sandia National Laboratories, I was stretched beyond the traditional boundaries of my graduate research. I was challenged to build new skills in a completely new area where I had no prior experience. This internship was an opportunity to challenge myself and add to my professional development to be a more well-rounded candidate.

    —2021 Participant, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
  • Before entering this internship, I was planning on working in the industry after graduation. Now, I plan to pursue a PhD.

    —2021 Participant, Sandia National Laboratories, California
  • The NNSA has shown me some of the areas of Quantum Computing research that the government does, so now I know that working for the government is an option and I am considering it.

    —2021 Participant, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico
  • My overall mentoring experience was wonderful. I was able to talk to a professional about research that was very useful. In a professional setting, I felt included and not looked down upon simply because I was an intern. My mentor did an excellent job and I will keep his contact at hand for the connection made.

    —2021 Participant, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee
  • The experience and the connections that made were by far the most valuable aspects of this experience. Now I have real life experience with research and have more professional help.

    —2021 Participant, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee

Application Requirements

 

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A complete application consists of:

  • Zintellect Profile
  • Academic Institution Classification
  • Supporting Information/Personal Statement
    • Community Service/Extracurricular Activities: List service and/or extracurricular activities in which you have participated, beginning with most recent.
    • Special Skills and Abilities: List professional/technical skills and abilities that are relevant to this program and the projects selected.
    • Personal Statement: Describe your career plans and how they are related to the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
    • List of Project Preferences: Choose at least one, but no more than three projects from the NNSA-MSIPP Project Catalog.
  • Resume
  • Academic Records: A copy of an official or unofficial transcript or copies of your academic records from internal institutional systems may be submitted. Transcript or academic records must clearly show your name, name of the academic institution, enrollment during the academic term at the time of application, current/completed/enrolled courses, grades, most recent cumulative GPA, and degree in progress.
  • Academic or Professional Recommendation: Recommendation should address your academic record and potential for success in an internship, such as demonstrated intellectual merit, communication and teamwork skills. Recommenders will be asked to submit a recommendation in Zintellect. Letters of recommendation submitted via email will not be accepted.

Notes:

All documents must be submitted via Zintellect. All application components must be received in the system in order to be considered.

Your application is not available for consideration until your application is completed with a recommendation. You may check the status of your recommendation at any time from your Zintellect Dashboard. You may request more than one recommendation but only the first one received will be attached to your application. Your application is not available for consideration until your application is completed with a recommendation.

Program Details

  • Application Selection

    Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and compliance before moving forward to the merit review and final selection.

    Applications will be reviewed by potential hosting facilities to determine if there is a match between your knowledge, skills, and interests, and the project selected.  While mentors may consider applicants that did not select their projects, preference will be given to applicants who have identified the mentor’s project(s) in their choices.

    NNSA will make final selections based on the recommendations of the hosting facilities. ORISE will notify you if selected for the program. Formal offers will be sent through Zintellect.

    Mentor selection is only one part of the review process. Mentors may contact you directly or schedule interviews with you as part of the review process. Mentor selection of your application does not guarantee you will be selected to participate in an internship program. Only ORISE, on behalf of NNSA, can offer you a NNSA-MSIIP internship. 

  • Hosting Facilities

    Available opportunities may be available at DOE and NNSA national laboratories across the United States, DOE/NNSA offices in Washington, D.C., and site offices.  

    Available appointments at hosting facilities will be determined by NNSA.

  • Conditions of the Appointment

    Information on commitment, health insurance, reporting and policies.

    Verification of enrollment and GPA

    At the time appointment is accepted, you must provide copies of official transcripts to verify the GPA requirement and proof of enrollment during Winter/Spring academic term at a qualified MSI. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale as of Fall academic term is required to participate. Copy of official transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office must include official university markings such as the registrar’s signature, university logo or stamp, letterhead or watermark. Transcript must include courses in progress during the Spring term.

    Length of the Appointment

    The 2022-2023 cohort of MSIIP interns will have the flexibility with the duration of the internship program (short or long-term) as agreed upon by the intern and their mentor/supervisor.

    • Short-term (12-week) internships will begin on June 6, 2022, and end on August 26, 2022. Summer interns will be expected to commit to full-time participation based on 40 hours per week. Exceptions to the 12-week summer requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis to accommodate candidate’s academic schedule.
    • Long-term (12-month) internships will begin on June 6, 2022, and end on June 2, 2023. Year-round interns will be expected to commit to full-time participation based on 40 hours per week during the summer, and a minimum of 10 hours per week during the academic year. 

    Health insurance

    You are required to have health insurance coverage during your appointment period and to provide proof of coverage prior to the start of your internship.

    Attendance Schedule

    Program guidelines require that you commit yourself to continuous participation for the duration of the appointment and avoid obligations that will interrupt your appointment.  During the summer sessions, you are expected to maintain a full-time schedule based on 40 hours a week. For part-time appointments during the academic term, you will be expected to commit the number of hours a week agreed upon between you and your mentor to activities carried out in support of your appointment.

    Facility Access and Security Clearances

    You will be required to adhere to existing policies, regulations and procedures of your hosting facility including security clearance, and health and safety requirements.

    Internships are contingent upon receipt of the necessary approvals to access the assigned facility/office. While you will not enter into an employment relationship with DOE, or any other agency, you may be required to complete pre-employment background check based on site guideances. Your appointment is contingent upon favorable outcome of the pre-employment check. Note that hosting facilities may not have a special category for program participants therefore, you may be asked to complete forms required for employees/subcontractors.

    For long-term  appointments, if security clearance is needed to access additional resources, NNSA-MSIIP will work with the hosting facility and ORISE to determine the appropriate process. Mentors will be asked to provide an unclassified project assignments until you receive the required clearances.

    Citizenship

    U.S. citizenship is required for participation in the program. Hosting facilities may require documentation to verify your citizenship status.

    Reporting

    • Pre/Post Surveys: In order to document the effectiveness of the program, you are required to submit a pre- and post-internship survey to assess the effectiveness of the program in meeting objectives and document your experience.

    • Progress Meetings: During your appointment, the NNSA-MSIIP Program Manager will arrange touch point meetings with you and your mentor to discuss any pertinent items regarding your appointment and also any new initiatives or program changes. This will occur quarterly at minimum for the 12-month appointments or more frequently at your request.
    • Final Report: You will also be required to submit a virtual poster including a brief description of the project assignment(s), accomplishments, publications, and benefits to your educational and professional development.



  • Application Cycle

    Timeline for the 2022 Application Year

    2022 Application Year

    December 15, 2021 Online Applications Open 
    February 1, 2022 
    11:59 PM EST

    Application Deadline

    • Candidates will be instructed to contact their assigned research mentor after an internship offer is awarded by ORISE.
    February/March 2022

    Application Review

    • ORISE completes eligibility and compliance review.
    • Hosting facilities review applications for merit and relevance to projects and make recommendation for selection to NNSA.
    • NNSA makes final selections.
    March 2022

    Selection Notification

    • ORISE notifies candidates and hosting sites of internship assignments after receiving NNSA approval.
    • Students return required forms to ORISE.
    April/May 2022

    Internship Logistics

    • Selected candidates coordinate access to facilities and facilities with internship coordinators and mentors, and request assistance with travel arrangements.
    • ORISE confirms assignments and makes travel arrangements.
    June 6, 2022

    Internships begin.

    August 26, 2022

    Summer internships end.

    June 2, 2023

    Year-round internships end.

  • Training and Professional Development

    All MSIIP interns will participate in individual and group training and development to help further their skills and abilities for their positions.

    Monthly Meetings

    You will be required to attend monthly check-in meetings, which will be used to check your progress, provide updates, and potentially meet with senior level officials across the national security enterprise (NSE).

    Orientation and Closing Ceremony

    You will be required to participate in an orientation, which will take place during the first week of the internship program. A closing ceremony will take place during the last week of the internship cycle and will include an intern-led symposium showcasing the projects completed during your appointment.

    Leadership Development

    All interns will participate in a leadership development course, Leadership 101. This interactive curriculum provides a learning environment that enables participants to know and apply leadership principles and foundational concepts in leading others effectively and professionally. The training and developmental opportunities enhance the participant’s leadership skills and abilities and result in an enhanced resume.

    Trainings

    Interns will have the opportunity to participate in individual trainings specific to their backgrounds and positions.

    • NNSA: Professional Development Training
    • NNSA: Building Your Foundations (NNSA Overview) -3 days
    • Site-specific training (varies)

    ORISE Learn

    You will have access to the following professional development modules:

    • Effective Science Presentations
    • Making a Great Poster
    • Professional Branding: Resume Workshop
    • Volunteerism in Science
    • Ignite Talks
    • Scientific Code of Conduct
  • Nature of Appointment

    This program is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

    Interns will not enter into an employee/employer relationship with ORISE, ORAU, NNSA, or hosting laboratory.  Instead, interns will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section includes frequently asked questions about NNSA-MSIIP.

photo of students looking at lab equipment
  • The National Nuclear Security Administration Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program (NNSA-MSIIP) supports a mission priority of NNSA to strengthen key science, technology, and engineering capabilities, and enhance its career and leadership pipeline.

    MSIIP supports the NNSA’s management and governance framework to have a world class workforce by enabling succession planning, knowledge preservation, ongoing training, and workforce development to ensure the future of the nuclear security enterprise (NSE). The program will draw on unique talents and perspectives from Minority Serving Institutions (MSI’s) across the nation, to enhance its career and leadership pipeline by offering talented undergraduate and graduate students summer or year-round internship opportunities with the DOE/NNSA headquarters offices, National Laboratories, and site offices. Opportunities involve projects focus on engineering, science, research, technology, policy, business, and government relations.

  • This internship program supports all academic backgrounds. The goal of the program is to prepare and motivate participants to pursue careers in areas that support the mission of DOE/NNSA.

  • No, participation is limited to students enrolled in a MSI that meets the statutory criteria for identification as a MSI found at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/2021eligibilitymatrix.xlsx.

  • To apply, you may upload unofficial transcripts or copies of the student academic records printed from internal institutional systems. If selected, you will have to provide copies of official transcripts before you can start an appointment.

  • Yes.  Editing an application requires you un-submit your application. You must submit your application again before the opportunity closes to be considered for the opportunity.  Please ensure that the application status shows as Submitted - complete in your dashboard by the deadline.

  • You must be a U.S. citizen to participate in this program. If you are not a U.S. citizen at the time of application but expect to be by the internship start date, you may respond “Yes” to the citizenship question in the application. If selected, you must provide proof of citizenship at the time internship appointment is accepted.

  • If you have requested a recommendation from someone previously, he/she will get another request for recommendation and will have the option to reuse the prior recommendation or customize the recommendation for the opportunity.

  • No, all recommendations must be submitted via Zintellect. If your recommender has problems submitting a recommendation on your behalf, please ask him/her to contact us at NNSA-MSIIP@orise.orau.gov.

  • You will have the opportunity to indicate your interest in available projects. Your preferences will be taken into consideration in during the selection process.

  • No, internships may not be deferred.

  • You are responsible for arranging your own housing accommodations.  For the summer session, the costs associated with housing will be covered by the program upon approval from the NNSA-MSIIP. The housing options will depend on the host facility and the local options. Some sites have secured housing or have onsite housing that may be available to you; other sites will require you to find housing on your own, although most sites generally provide information to help you.

Questions? Contact Us

General Questions/Information

NNSA-MSIIP@orise.orau.gov

 

Igrid Rosario Gregory
Group Manager

Jennifer Jackson
Program Specialist

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