Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program at NREL

The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program is the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science premier undergraduate education and research program.

Participation in the SULI program at NREL is designed to complement academic programs and provide students with valuable, hands-on research experience. NREL provides a rich research experience in world-class laboratory facilities under the direction of scientific and technical staff who serve as research advisors and mentors in Department of Energy projects that support undergraduates in the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

SULI Benefits

Pay: $18.25/hour

If your permanent address is more than 50 miles from NREL: Up to $500 for travel to and from NREL (airfare or personal car mileage)

Regional Transportation District (RTD) Eco Pass for bus and light rail

Watch this video for some housing tips from SULI participants.

What SULIs Do at NREL

NREL conducts research in about 50 areas of scientific investigation, including photovoltaics, wind energy, biomass-derived fuels and chemicals, building efficiency, advanced vehicles, industrial processes, solar thermal systems, hydrogen, fuel cells, geothermal, distributed energy resources, energy integration, measurement and testing of renewable energy systems, hybrid systems, basic energy research, scientific computing, and energy analysis.

Interns spend their term engaged in a research project focused in these areas under the guidance of a laboratory scientist or engineer. Interns attend enriching professional development activities such as laboratory tours, speakers on scientific developments at NREL, and workshops that provide guidance and development of professional skills in writing technical research papers, oral presentations, and posters.

Watch this video to learn what SULI participants do at NREL.

Approximate Start Dates

Fall term: Third Monday in August for 16 weeks

Spring term: Third Monday in January, for 16 weeks

Summer term: First Monday in June, for 10 weeks

NREL has a "late start" date for participants who, for academic reasons, can't start on the first day. This later date is only for participants whose school term ends later than the beginning of the program. This date must be approved by NREL's Workforce Development and Education manager.

Visit the Office of Science SULI program website for information related to the application and selection process, eligibility, benefits, key dates, and more.

Tips for SULI Program Participants

In addition to the participant obligations listed through the Office of Science, all selected NREL SULI participants should consider the following before arriving at NREL.

Students will need to make your own arrangements as NREL does not have onsite housing.

Students will most likely conduct research at NREL's main campus in Golden, but you may be at the Flatirons Campus near Boulder.

Students are encouraged to contact their designated mentor to discuss the specifics of each project and better understand the mentor's academic and professional background. Request reading material and online research that will help you prepare for the research project.

By Air
Selected students are provided with round-trip, domestic travel to and from NREL. Students make their own travel arrangements and will be reimbursed after arriving at NREL.

By Car
Travel by car and you'll be reimbursed up to $250, one way.

Drug Screening
NREL coordinates a one-time background investigation and drug screening for all new employees, interns and contractors. Once SULI participants receive the scheduled appointment for the drug screening, they have 72 hours to complete the required urine test.

NREL encourages SULIs to spend about 40 hours per week working on research projects or participating in the professional development opportunities.

Casual dress code is permitted at NREL; however, when working in any laboratories, interns must wear long pants, shirts that cover the shoulders, and closed-toed shoes. High heels cannot be worn in the labs.

Interns must wear business attire for the poster session. Please, no jeans or flip-flops.

See all internship opportunities offered at NREL.