The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is sponsoring the NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program (NASA-USRP) offering undergraduate students across the United States research experiences at NASA Centers. USRP is NASA’s largest nationwide internship program for undergraduates. Students may apply for a 10-week Summer session or a 15-week Spring or Fall session. The purpose of the NASA-USRP is three-fold:
- To extend and strengthen NASA’s commitment to educational excellence and university research, highlighting the critical need to increase the Nation’s undergraduate and graduate science, engineering, mathematics, and technology skill base.
- To build a national program bridge — from existing NASA K-12 Education Program activities to NASA Higher Education Program options — that encourages and facilitates student interest in future professional opportunities with NASA and its partner organizations. Such opportunities might include NASA career employment, temporary assignment, undergraduate and graduate co-op appointment, Space Grant scholarships and fellowships, or contractor positions.
- To attract undergraduate students from the widest array of backgrounds, who are fully representative of America’s racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity and to provide them with hands-on, challenging research experiences that stimulate continued student interest in the fields/disciplines aligned with NASA’s research and development mission.
The NASA-USRP seeks applications from undergraduates enrolled full-time in an accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants must be classified as rising sophomores, juniors or seniors at the beginning of the first session for which they are applying. Highly qualified applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate degree that meets NASA's critical competency needs. Eligible fields of study are academic majors or demonstrated coursework concentration in engineering, mathematics, computer science or physical/life sciences.
The NASA-USRP will consist of a 10–15 week research experience at a participating NASA Center under the supervision of a NASA technical mentor. Selected students must be available to work 10 consecutive weeks at 40 hours per week during the Summer session or 15 consecutive weeks at 40 hours per week during Spring or Fall sessions (exact dates to be determined by Centers).
Students will receive a $6,500 (10-week summer session) or $9,500 (15-week spring or fall session) stipend for the research experience. Starting in Spring 2012 no additional travel reimbursement will be given. A location allowance may be provided for students at specific high cost of living NASA Centers (Ames and Goddard). At the completion of the research session, students must submit a paper on their NASA-USRP research experience. Students may also be asked to discuss their research in public forums and/or participate in NASA-sponsored colloquia, workshops and technology demonstrations.