CRESST II Summer Internship Program

CRESST II will select degree seeking students, on a competitive basis, to participate in a summer internship on-site at GSFC, or virtually for the summer of 2021. These are nominally 10-week paid internships, $7,300 for undergraduate students and $9,000 for graduate-level students, primarily but not exclusively for undergraduate level college students. It is expected all students would be attending U.S. universities. Students need not be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, citizens from designated countries, are not able to work on GSFC projects, and therefore are ineligible for this internship program.

The standard internship period for 2021 will be May 31st through August 6th. Deviations from this specific period are possible with the agreement of the designated mentor. Applicants are selected on the basis of qualifications and motivation to conduct a bona fide research-related project in conjunction with a GSFC-based Ph.D. research scientist in one of the space science disciplines. 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.

Travel and Housing for Non-Local Students

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 $500 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.

For those needing assistance, CRESST II can provide a number of housing leads or referrals for frequented places to find housing for the summer. Monthly rents in the neighborhood are typically $500 - $1,000. Most locations require use of public transportation or a personal automobile.

Disclaimer: Off-campus housing information is provided solely as a courtesy. NASA, the CRESST Program, and the CRESST collaborating institutions do not inspect, endorse, or assume any responsibility for any properties, accommodations, or other housing options or websites; and it expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any problems that may arise within connection therewith. Individuals are strongly advised to thoroughly investigate and inspect any properties, accommodations, or other housing options before making final arrangements.

Internship Applications

CRESST II operates its internship program in conjunction with the NASA/GSFC Summer Internship Program. Student applicants interested in a CRESST II Internship must apply through the NASA-wide NIAMS (NASA Internship Application Management System) website ( This website enables students to apply for internships and fellowships throughout NASA, including here at GSFC, but is limited to U.S. citizens.

If you are a U.S. citizen, and a student affiliated with a U.S. college or university, register at the above site, submit all the required application materials, and you may apply for up to 15 different listed opportunities -- at NASA/GSFC or at other NASA Centers.

For foreign national students and green card holders (ONLY!), not from the designated countries, please use the application form(s) below.:

Internship Application Form

For US Citizens - Use NIAMS for forms.

For foreign nationals use this form-

Summer 2021 Internship Application Form for foreign nationals(.pdf)

The preferred deadline for Student Internship applications, for the summer of 2021, is February 05, 2021. Non-US applicant materials should be emailed directly to the CRESST II Sr. Manager, Special Programs. All other eligible applicants should apply and upload material directly through NIAMS. For further information or questions, contact the CRESST II Sr. Manager, Special Programs.

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

Updated: 2021-Mar-12

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