CRESST II Summer Internship Program
CRESST II works in conjunction with NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to facilitate the CRESST II/NASA summer internship program. Summer internships are a 10-week paid internship where students can work alongside NASA scientists on research projects that support the science missions of NASA.
For the 2023 Summer Internship session, the 10-week session will begin on Monday, June 5th and end on Friday, August 11th. Deviations from this specific period are possible with the agreement of the designated mentor.
Applying for an Internship – U.S. Citizens
U.S. citizens interested in an internship at NASA/GSFC, or any other NASA Center must apply directly through the NASA STEM Gateway portal. To be eligible to apply through the portal you must be a U.S. citizen, be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited U.S. college or university, have a cumulative 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale), and be 16 years of age at the time of application. The deadline to apply for the 2023 Summer Internship session is March 1, 2023.
Additional information about eligibility, application deadlines, and internships in general can be found on the NASA STEM Engagement website.
Applying for an Internship – International Students or Green Card Holders
NASA internships advertised on the NASA STEM Gateway portal are exclusively for students who are U.S. citizens. CRESST II has the flexibility to hire undergraduate or graduate international students or green card holders who are enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited U.S. college or university. International students or green card holders interested in applying to the CRESST II Internship Program must submit the CRESST II Summer Internship Application along with a resume, college transcript, and a short essay.
The application deadline for Summer 2023 is February 1, 2023. Applicant materials should be emailed directly to the CRESST II Program Associate. During the screening and review process, we will attempt to match applicants with appropriate GSFC scientists and projects. To exemplify the type of opportunities likely to become available, see sample research project reports from previous years.
Note: Citizens from NASA designated countries are not able to work on NASA research projects onsite at GSFC or virtually and therefore are ineligible for the CRESST II Internship Program.
Travel and Housing for Non-Local U.S., International, or Green Card Interns
If the internship is onsite at GSFC, students selected for a CRESST II Summer Internship may be eligible for financial assistance to offset round trip domestic travel expenses of up to $700 between students’ home or university and Greenbelt, MD. Further information of financial assistance for allowable travel expenses should be discussed with the hiring institution during the offer process and must be in accordance with the policies of the hiring institution. Financial assistance will not apply for distances less than 50 miles.
2021 Summer Intern Program Highlights
The 2021 CRESST II Summer Internship Program was once again held virtually with 10 interns working remotely from around the country.
For ten weeks from June to August, interns worked with their NASA scientist mentor to support current research projects within Codes 660 and 690 at NASA/GSFC.
The Program began with a NASA-wide orientation and a CRESST II-specific orientation a few days later. Both orientations detailed what the interns should expect from their internship and provided a schedule of virtual events taking place throughout the summer.
Throughout the internship, CRESST II worked with Code 600 and 660 to offer numerous virtual events. Events included a Q&A discussing graduate school, a graduate school open house with eight astronomy/physics graduate programs, research presentations by NASA scientist, the dos and don’ts of essential of social sharing, a resume tune-up, live virtual lab tours, informational interviews with NASA scientists, and trivia and scavenger hunt games.
The ten-week program ended with several large presentation sessions were CRESST II interns gave virtual presentations to their mentors and other NASA scientists about the work they completed over the summer. The presentations once again demonstrated the breadth of knowledge the interns gained over the summer and the diverse science happening in Code 660.
The CRESST II interns made valuable connections over the summer that will continue into the future. Several interns will continue to work with their mentors into the fall semester. One intern will use the research started during their internship as the basis for their undergraduate thesis.
2020 Summer Intern Program Highlights
Five interns from universities across the country comprised the 2020 CRESST II/NASA summer intern class. Starting on June 1st, the five CRESST II interns embarked on NASA’s first ever virtual ten-week summer internship with NASA scientists from the X-ray Astrophysics and Planetary Environments Laboratory at NASA/GSFC. The Program began with a NASA-wide orientation and a CRESST II-specific orientation a few days later. Both orientations detailed what the interns should expect from their internship and provided a schedule of virtual events taking place throughout the summer.
Throughout the internship, CRESST II worked with Code 600 and 660 to offer several virtual events. In particular, CRESST II focused on a trio of events geared towards helping interns build a career as a researcher. The first event was a panel comprised of five early career scientists who answered questions about their experience applying to and attending graduate school. The next week saw two panels of professors from eight universities answering questions about their university’s program and giving guidance on how to craft the best graduate school application. More information about the event and the invited graduate schools can be found here. The final event included five well established NASA scientists discussing their experiences working at NASA and highlighting the diversity of research and science at the agency. Interns were also invited to participate in weekly trivia nights, science talks, coding bootcamps, scavenger hunts, a presentation from the 2006 Physics Nobel Prize winner, and so much more.
The ten-week program usually culminates in a large two-day poster session where interns present the work they accomplished over the summer. With the shift to a virtual experience, the five CRESST II interns joined 36 of their fellow Code 660 interns in giving online presentations to their mentors and other NASA scientists. The presentations showed the breadth of knowledge the interns gained over the summer and the diverse science happening in Code 660.
The CRESST II interns made valuable connections over the summer that will continue into the future. Three of the interns will continue to work with their mentors with two continuing through CRESST II. One intern is also expecting to participate in writing an upcoming proposal with her mentor and NASA lab members.
2019 Summer Intern Program Highlights
The CRESST II summer intern class of 2019 was comprised of seven interns from six universities located all around the country. For ten weeks, the seven interns participated in research projects in the Astroparticle Physics, X-ray Astrophysics, Observational Cosmology, Heliospheric Physics, and Planetary Magnetospheres Laboratories at NASA/GSFC. The Internship Program began on June 3rd with the NASA/GSFC-wide orientation, followed by a CRESST II specific orientation on June 4th, which allowed the CRESST II interns to meet each other and CRESST II program staff. During the orientation, CRESST II staff discussed the goals and expectations of the program and provided a schedule of events taking place throughout the summer.
During the internship, CRESST II offered a seminar series to all NASA/GSFC interns who were on campus during the summer. Held approximately every other week, different NASA/GSFC scientists and staff presented their research and/or shared professional development advice with the interns. Talks covered the topics of social media dos and don’ts, the role of multi-media at NASA/GSFC, the future of Gamma-ray missions, discussion of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and a half-time report on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The CRESST II interns also joined the NASA/GSFC Intern Program for a presentation from the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, Dr. John Mather, attended tours of NASA/GSFC and ice cream socials, and interacted with NASA/GSFC scientists who were always ready to answer questions or give guidance.
The last few weeks of the internship were focused on the massive two-day long Intern Poster Session. On July 31st and August 1st, hundreds of interns gathered to present posters to their peers and NASA/GSFC scientists detailing the work they completed over the summer. The CRESST II interns made valuable connections over the summer that will follow them into the future. Four of the interns will continue working with their mentors during the semester; two will continue directly through CRESST II, one as a contractor and the other as a student employee. One intern is also expecting to co-author a paper with their mentor.
2018 Summer Intern Program Highlights
Overview: Five Goddard Laboratories: Code 614, 662, 667, 693, and 698, posted more than 10 opportunities, in addition to the generic announcement on the CRESST II website, and garnered more than 300 applicants. Eleven students representing eight different universities were selected after going through a rigorous screening process. The Intern Program started on June 4th with the Goddard-wide orientation and badging. At the end of the day, the interns met for the CRESST II orientation from the various institutional representatives, followed by a ‘Meet and Greet’ reception with their mentors and the CRESST II staff. Wednesdays from 11:30-12:30 were reserved for the CRESST II Intern Brown Bag Lunch Talks, wherein a different mentor presented a talk on what their research was and what they were working on. Six of the mentors made presentations on everything from instrumentation to communications to the moon and exoplanets. The speakers also told the students some of the stories of how they had gotten into the sciences and to GSFC. Dr. Marcus Alfred of Howard University was the host for these talks, which were attended by our 11 students plus ~5-6 others outside of CRESST II. Goddard’s Science Jamboree took place on July 25th. The Interns’ Poster Session had an overwhelming turnout resulting in a two-day presentation, half of the over 400 posters on August 1st, followed by the second half of them on August 2nd. Other activities included tours of GSFC, ice cream socials, many talks, and interaction with many GSFC scientists who were always ready to answer questions or lend a hand. By August 10th, most of the interns had left and it was time for the reports. It was a busy, educational, and enjoyable summer for all.
Click here for posters presented by 2018 CRESST II interns