PNNL partners with colleges, universities, and high schools to offer student internships in a wide range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and business fields. Internships are open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, with opportunities either during the summer or academic year. As a PNNL intern, students can work in a laboratory alongside experienced researchers or in a PNNL office to expand their knowledge in a scientific field, develop their research abilities and business skills, and form relationships with PNNL’s scientists, engineers, and business leaders.
Opportunities for High School Students
During the academic year, PNNL offers internships to high school students interested in either business or research, with work available up to four hours per day, five days per week. The High School Business Intern program allows students to work closely with experienced PNNL business professionals, while students in the High School Research Intern program receive mentorship in a laboratory setting from PNNL scientists and engineers. PNNL offers elective credits for these internships through work-based learning programs at students’ schools.
In addition to direct research experience, these programs include leadership development activities, field trips, and communications and career awareness workshops. Students must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to work in PNNL laboratory spaces and in some field work settings.
Join Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for our Pathway Summer School for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science's Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative sponsored by the Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS). If you are a graduating high school senior interested in learning about renewable energy and exploring what it is like to be an intern at PNNL, this 4-week experience is ideal for you! You will participate in a culturally relevant, active learning experience that unpacks the science behind wind energy, hydropower, and marine energy.
Opportunities for College and University Students
PNNL hires hundreds of undergraduate and graduate student interns each year through a variety of internship programs:
- Community College Internships and Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships—sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program—provide technical training and research experiences alongside PNNL scientists and engineers. Opportunities also include the Office of Science Graduate Student Research program, and the Visiting Faculty Program.
- PNNL Business Interns are undergraduate students who work with professional staff supporting PNNL’s management and operations systems.
- The National Security Internship Program allows undergraduate and graduate students to work in various scientific fields related to national security.
- Project Interns explore research and technology career options while gaining practical training. There are internships available for undergraduate and graduate students.
- PNNL and the University of Maryland (UMD) offer internships to undergraduate and graduate students at the Joint Global Change Research Institute on UMD’s campus in College Park, Maryland. Interns work with scientists developing models of the Earth system and linkages between socioeconomic and natural systems.
- PNNL and the Oregon Health & Science University offer internships to graduate students through the Pacific Northwest Biomedical Innovation Co-Laboratory (PMedIC). Interns work with PNNL scientists on key projects to improve human health and disease treatment through collaborations that integrate cutting-edge research and education with clinical practice. These internships are individually crafted to meet the researcher and intern goals, and may be virtual, hybrid, or on PNNL’s campus.
- The PNNL Safeguards Internship Program hires undergraduate and graduate students with backgrounds in public policy and science and engineering fields and an interest in nuclear power and nonproliferation. Policy students gain greater familiarity with technical dimensions of nuclear energy and nonproliferation, while science and engineering students gain insight into policy dimensions of work in nuclear fields.
- 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. The paid internships, for students of all academic backgrounds, is an opportunity for them to gain research experience for 10 to 12 weeks, while learning about careers that align with NNSA’s mission to strengthen the nation through nuclear security.
- The no-cost Radiation Detection for Nuclear Security Summer School is perfect for students enrolled in graduate programs in fields relevant to radiation detection such as nuclear engineering, nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry, and high-energy physics.
The Energy and Environment Diversity Internship Program (EEDIP) is designed for students passionate about environmental and clean energy science. This competitive opportunity supports traditionally under-represented students in target technical areas through a 10-12 week paid internship. In addition to hands-on experience, interns receive mentorship by leading experts in their scientific fields.
Our Environment Management Internship and postdoctoral research gives the opportunity to gain hands-on experience while being mentored by a leading expert in the research field. In this area, work completed will align with one of our core capabilities at PNNL in Environmental Management, Environmental Remediation, and Waste Processing.
The Pathway Summer School for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science's Reaching a New Energy Sciences Workforce (RENEW) initiative sponsored by the Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) is an immersive, cohort-based program that introduces students to the teams at PNNL that conduct research in renewable energy science. If you are interested in learning about renewable energy and exploring what it is like to be an intern at PNNL, this 4-week experience is ideal for you! You will participate in a culturally relevant, active learning experience that unpacks the science behind wind energy, hydropower, and marine energy.
The Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program prepares graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics careers that are critically important to the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) mission, by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories. The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory, providing access to expertise, resources, and capabilities unique to national laboratories.
Students interested in applying for internships can find more information, eligibility requirements, application instructions, and deadlines via the links above.
Current openings for undergraduate and graduate students are listed on our Careers page. Simply type the word intern in the search bar.
If you are an academic leader interested in discussing internship opportunities or partnerships for the benefit of your students, please connect with the contacts listed below.