NREL Student Training in Applied Research Internship Program
The NREL Student Training in Applied Research (STAR) Undergraduate Internship program offers undergraduate students and faculty at minority-serving institutions hands-on experience with clean energy research over the course of a year.
The program connects students and faculty with NREL's team to foster a future generation of industry leaders and sustained research engagement. View the STAR program fact sheet for details.
Watch the Student Training in Applied Research Information Session for information about the 2024 STAR program application process and faculty member involvement.
1. Attend a 10-week summer internship at NREL and experience firsthand cutting-edge
research alongside an NREL mentor.
2. Build upon your internship experience through follow-on work guided by your NREL mentor and faculty adviser throughout the following academic year at your university.
Salary and Support
The NREL STAR Undergraduate Internship program covers relocation, housing, professional development, and experiential learning activities as well as a competitive salary..
Full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of the following STAR program-affiliated minority-serving institutions are eligible for the NREL STAR undergraduate internship program:
- Florida International University
- Howard University
- North Carolina A&T State University
- Northern Arizona University
- Southern University and A&M College
- Spelman College
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of New Mexico
- University of Texas at El Paso.
Eligible applicants must also:
- Be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours
- Have completed 1 year of coursework toward a bachelor’s degree by the beginning of this internship
- Have at least 1 year of coursework remaining by the beginning of this internship
- Have identified a committed university faculty mentor who will offer support and guidance for the full year-long program
- Submit with their application a cover letter and faculty letter of recommendations following the guidelines below
- Be willing to commit to the year-long STAR program (10-week internship at NREL and 8 months of follow-on work during the academic year)
- Be willing to relocate to an NREL campus for the 10-week summer internship.
Program applicants and their faculty adviser must submit the following to be considered for the STAR program. Please note: Partner university faculty members who are interested in supporting a STAR intern must have research, teaching, and/or dedicated interest in the specific research projects outlined in job requisitions.
1. Cover Letter (student)
The student cover letter should outline:
- Relevant work or research experience
- Coursework related to the specific research project
- Interest and reasoning for applying to this internship
- A brief paragraph explaining:
- How they intend to apply this research experience to the follow-on work during the academic year alongside their faculty mentor
- The relationship they intend to build with the faculty and NREL mentors with respect to the research interests related to this internship. Please consult your committed faculty mentor on this piece.
- Optional but encouraged for students who have a GPA under a 3.0 at the time of application: Context around their academic journey (for example, highlighting extraneous personal circumstances or insight into additional indicators of academic success/growth).
2. Letter of Recommendation (faculty)
The faculty recommendation letter should outline:
- Student strengths or potential
- Their approach to mentorship and the role they intend to fill as a faculty mentor in the STAR program
- A paragraph outlining how their research interests align with the internship
- A brief paragraph explaining:
- How they intend to apply this research experience to the student’s follow-on work during the academic year
- The relationship they intend to build with the student and NREL mentor with respect to the research interests related to this internship. Please consult your committed student mentee on this piece.
Applications that do not contain both the student cover letter and faculty letter of recommendation will not be considered.
During the summer, students can work a maximum of 40 hours per week. Throughout the subsequent academic year, students must contribute no more than 5 hours per week on follow-on work, while faculty mentors must contribute no more than 5 hours per month.
In addition to the salary and support listed above, NREL STAR interns receive limited benefits, including:
- An EcoPass for public transportation
- Access to NREL's voluntary 403(b) Employee Savings Plan
- Confidential assistance through NREL's Employee Assistance Program
- An option to participate in medical, dental, and vision insurance plans if working 20+ hours per week.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.