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Program Details

Program details about the National Nuclear Security Administration Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program (NNSA-MSIIP).

“What a fantastic introduction to not only technical knowledge and national concerns, but also beneficial exposure to research and collaborations within a friendly scientific community at a national lab!”
- 2022 participant, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



  • Why should I apply?

    Details and information about the benefits of applying for this appointment.

    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.

    You will have the option to participate in a summer only or a year-long internship.

    • Summer internships are for 12-weeks beginning on June 5, 2023, and ending on August 25, 2023. Exceptions to the 12-week summer requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis to accommodate the candidate’s academic schedule. Summer interns will be expected to commit to full-time participation based on 40 hours per week. Requests for extensions for internships initially selected for summer only may be offered on a case-by-case basis upon approval of the the NNSA-MSIIP Program Manager.
    • Year-long internships will begin on June 5, 2023, and end on May 31, 2024. Year-long 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.
  • 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 available. 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.

    Mentors will conduct interviews of potential candidates. Mentors will submit their selections including project assignment to ORISE. Mentor selection is only one 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 2023-2024 cohort of MSIIP interns will have the option to participate in a summer only or year-long internship as agreed upon by the intern and their mentor/supervisor.

    • Summer Only (12-week) internships will begin on June 5, 2023, and end on August 25, 2023. 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.
    • Year-long (12-month) internships will begin on June 5, 2023, and end on May 31, 2024. 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. To continue their appointments during the academic year, interns must retain their student status at a Minority Serving Institution, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 and receive positive feedback from their mentors.

    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 session, you are expected to maintain a full-time schedule based on 40 hours a week. For part-time appointments during the academic year, 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 guidance. 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.

    Mentors will be asked to provide unclassified project assignments.


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


    • 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 check in meetings to discuss any pertinent items regarding your appointment and also any new initiatives or program changes.
    • 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.
  • What are the benefits?

    This section descibes the stipend and travel benefits available.


    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.


    Travel to hosting site for site visits, conferences, meetings and other professional development activities may be approved during the appointment at the request of the mentor. Requests will be considered by the NNSA-MSIIP Program Manager and approved on a case-by-case basis.

    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: a stipend supplement of $50 per week to offset expenses associated with commuting to/from your official assigned location and local meetings/training.
    • Housing: a stipend supplement will be paid based on the assigned location.
    • Inbound-Outbound Travel: reimbursement 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.

  • 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 site. Instead, interns will be affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE appointment letter and Terms of Appointment.

  • 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.

    Check-in Meetings

    You will be required to attend bi-weekly 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.


    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