FAQs

About the Program | Eligibility | Application | Selection Process | Internship Information | General


About the EERE ROBOTICS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

1. What is the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Robotics Internship Program?

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Robotics Internship Program is supported through EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO)AMO partners with industry, small business, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States. For this internship program, AMO has partnered with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation and its industry partners, the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and FIRST and its alumni. This partnership aligns government and private industry with undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students for mentored internships across the United States. The program objectives are to encourage individuals in educational and experiential learning opportunities and conduct research in mission-related disciplines in order to advance EERE’s advanced manufacturing mission.

2. What is ORISE?

See About ORISE

3. What kinds of opportunities are available through the EERE Robotics Internship Program?

  • Fully funded internships
  • Research opportunities
  • Individual development

4. What does the internship provide?

  • Stipends
  • Travel reimbursement (subject to program approval and travel policies)
  • Housing allowance for non-local participants
  • Training and development
  • Hands-on experience
  • Research and technological opportunities

Eligibility Information

5. Who can participate in this program?

See the About the Internship page.

6. Can I apply if I am not a citizen of the United States?

No, only U.S. Citizens are eligible for this program and proof of citizenship is required upon selection. No exceptions are allowed.

7. Can current students participate in the EERE Robotics Internship Program?

Yes, eligible students may hold appointments during the summer. 

8. What if I can only participate for a portion of the appointment period due to other commitments?

Participation requires a commitment for the duration of the appointment period. You should plan to be at the facility for the specified term and avoid obligations that will interrupt your appointment.

Application Process

9. How do I apply for the EERE Robotics Internship Program?

See the How to Apply page.

10. When can I apply?

The application dates will be announced soon. See the How to Apply page for current opportunities and application deadlines.

11. Is my application data secure?

Absolutely, ORISE follows all federal rules and regulations regarding personally identifiable information (PII) and data collection. That said, before uploading documents to Zintellect, you must redact PII from all documents.

12. Do my transcripts need to be official?

For your application, unofficial transcripts or copies of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institutional systems may be submitted. If selected, you must provide a copy of the official transcript.

13. How long does the application process take?

EERE Robotics Internship Program will determine how long applications will be accepted, and how long the review process will take. Once the selection has been made, there are several steps that must be completed before the candidate will receive notification.

14. Do I have to have health insurance coverage to apply or can I wait until I'm selected to acquire it?

You must have health insurance and provide proof of coverage in order to begin your appointment. That means that you will not be able to start your appointment or be eligible to receive a stipend payment until you have health insurance. Since some insurance providers have a waiting period from the time you apply, you may need to plan ahead in order to start your appointment at the desired time and still serve the full appointment. See Health Insurance for more information..

Selection Process

15. How are applications judged?

Participants are selected by mentors of the participating industry and national laboratory partners. Your application will be judged on your educational experience, your interests, and skills. Be sure to carefully complete the application and return all required documents by the deadline.

ORISE staff will prescreen applications to ensure that all required materials have been received and that the applicant has attained the required education level and meets all other eligibility requirements. ORISE staff is not otherwise involved in the selection process.

16. When and how will I find out if I've been selected?

You will receive an official appointment letter via e-mail from ORISE notifying you of your selection. EERE Robotics Internship Program or your mentor will not make the appointment offer. Official notification must come from ORISE.

17. What are the chances of getting selected?

The number of EERE Robotics Internship Program appointments varies each year. The number and quality of applications is unknown for any given cycle. One thing is certain, however; if you don't apply, you won't be selected.

Internship Information

18. Where are the internships located?

The internships may be located anywhere in the United States based on the locations of the participating partners.

19. Will the program pay for my transportation to the internship site?

Yes, ORAU Travel Central will arrange and pay for travel from your home or institution if your permanent address is 50 miles or more from your appointment site up to a combined maximum of $1,000 for inbound and outbound travel. If you choose to drive, you will be reimbursed at the current federal reimbursement rate for actual mileage from your home or institution to the appointment site, up to the cost of the lowest available commercial airfare. Reimbursements are made according to the ORAU federally approved travel policy. See Travel for more information.

20. Will I be required to have my personal vehicle at the site?

You are responsible for your own daily transportation to and from your internship site, though you may choose to use public transportation. Contact ORISE for more information as needed.

21. Does the EERE Robotics Internship Program pay for housing? Or is there a housing supplement?

EERE Robotics Internship Program will provide a housing allowance of $150 per week for non-local participants. You are responsible for securing your own housing at the appointment site during your internship.

22. How long will my appointment last?

Appointments are for 10 weeks during the summer.

23. Is there any flexibility in start and end dates?

The internship dates are dependent on the needs of EERE Robotics Internship Program partners. Start and end dates are subject to approval by EERE Robotics Internship Program and the participating partners. Appointment dates will be confirmed in writing in follow-up correspondence to you from ORISE. See About the Internship for more information.

24. Can I travel before I receive my appointment letter?

We do not advise that you do this. Your appointment is not guaranteed until you receive, sign, and return your official letter. Additionally, if EERE Robotics Internship Program provides travel assistance, it is important that you work with ORISE to verify that costs are allowable and will be reimbursed. See Travel for more information.

25. Do I get any vacation during the appointment period?

The program does not include vacation or sick leave; however, you are not expected to be present on days that your facility is closed due to a Federal holiday.

26. What is the stipend amount?

Stipends will be based on academic level and relevant skills and/or experience and may include additional allowances for housing. Typically, undergraduates receive $600 per week and graduate students receive $750 per week. Travel to/from appointment may also be included (based on approval and travel policy).

27. How often do I receive a stipend payment and where does it come from?

Stipends are paid every two weeks based on an established payment schedule. As such, your first stipend payment with housing allowance, if eligible, will be directly deposited into your bank account in accordance with the schedule provided. You should be prepared to cover all expenses for the first 30 days of your internship. See Stipend Information.

28. What is my tax liability for the stipend I am paid as a participant in this program?

All stipends paid to you are reported to the Internal Revenue Service. ORAU administers all stipend payments and does not withhold taxes from these payments. Participants should give consideration to filing Form 1040-ES on a quarterly basis and paying estimated income taxes in order to avoid late payment penalties. Participants should consult a tax professional regarding state and federal income tax requirements. See Stipend Information.

29. Can I receive undergraduate credit for my fellowship experience?

You will need to check with your school to see if your experience qualifies for college credit. Your mentor or ORISE can provide you with the appropriate documentation.

30. By participating in this program, do I become an employee of the administrator, the host facility, or DOE?

No, none of the above applies. You will be considered an educational program participant and will not enter into an employer/employee relationship with the administrator, the host facility, or DOE. You do not receive any employment-related benefits, such as paid vacation or sick/medical leave or unemployment compensation.

31. Do I have to prepare a report or give a presentation at the end of my appointment?

Both you and your mentor will be asked to evaluate the experience at the end of the appointment. You may be asked to participate in seminars, poster sessions, and symposia, and to prepare written or oral presentations at the end of the appointment.

32. What should I expect from the mentoring relationship in the EERE Robotics Internship Program?

Your mentor should provide the following:

  • On-going technical guidance and advice
  • Appropriate materials, equipment, technical and clerical support, and office space
  • A nurturing and stimulating intellectual atmosphere
See Mentor Information and Responsibilities for more information

General Questions

33. If I have participated in the EERE Robotics Internship Program, may I apply again?

Yes, an intern may reapply and receive an appointment in successive summers at the same or different host facility.

34. If I have questions, whom should I contact?

E-mail your questions to Robotics.Internships@orau.org.