Cognitive Science and Computer Science Summer Internship Resource List

As my undergrad years draw to a close, I want to share some of the resources I've found with those of you who are just now dealing with those fantastic years -- and the summers in between.

me, at a desk, in the lab, working on documentation at a computer

Comprehensive Cognitive Science & Computer Science Internship List

This is a list I've compiled of internships for undergraduate students interested in Cognitive Science and Computer Science. Given my own focus, there is a bias for summer research programs involving robotics. Many of these programs are open to students with other interests (e.g., there are REU programs in almost every branch of science!), and some have sessions during the year as well as over the summer, so even if at first glance you may not think you'll find anything, it may be worthwhile to take another look!

Keep in mind that this is, so far, just a list of formal opportunities -- it is often worthwhile to contact researchers or companies whose work you find interesting to see if you can independently set up an internship with them. Some will happily let you volunteer in their labs and workplaces, and some may even have grant money or other funding for student stipends and salaries. You never know unless you ask!

If you know of a great opportunity that I haven't listed, tell me so I can add it!

This list was last updated in 2011. If there are any broken links below, or if some opportunities no longer exist, please tell me so I can fix the list.


College/University research programs

  • NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) Eight or ten weeks of research during the summer at a college or university. A few year-round REUs exist, but you'd have to search for them. Aimed at rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors; a few allow graduating seniors. Stipends from $3200-$5400, sometimes travel and housing are covered. Wide range of research areas across all sciences - see the website to search through options. Can include weekly seminars, poster presentations, writing papers, field trips, and research-related training. Application deadlines generally in February and March; it varies by location.

  • Vassar Undergraduate Research Summer Institute Ten weeks of research at Vassar College for Vassar undergrads, with Vassar professors in the sciences. Rising juniors and seniors are usually picked, but I participated as a rising sophomore and worked with a student who had just graduated. Some URSI projects may involve travel or may be located off-campus. Weekly talks, end-of-summer poster session, $3200 stipend. I highly recommend talking to the professors in charge of projects you're interested in about your interest. Application deadline mid-February.

  • Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute Summer Scholars Program All kinds of robotics projects at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute. Highly prestigious; tons of cool labs and projects for anyone interested in any kind of robotics-related rsearch. Generally unpaid unless faculty happen to have funding. 10-12 weeks. Application deadline in mid-February.

  • Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute year-round internships If there is a robotics project that you think is super awesome, CMRI suggests you contact the person in charge of the project to see if an intern is needed! Year-round, no deadline.

  • MIT Summer Research Program Ten weeks of research with MIT faculty, post docs, and advanced grad students in many areas. Current sophomores and juniors may apply. Stipend, housing, weekly seminars, social outings, poster presentations, and more. Application deadline in early February.

  • MIT Summer Research Program in Biological Sciences and Related Fields Ten weeks of summer research in biological sciences, neuroscience, and related fields. Stipend, housing, social activities, weekly seminars, and more. Current sophomores and juniors. Application deadline in end of January.

  • Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program in Vision Science (CVS) A summer of vision science research for rising seniors in neuroscience, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and biomedical science. $3500 stipend, weekly lectures, lab demos, poster session, and more. Application deadline beginning of February.

  • Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS) internships If you're interested in intelligent systems, the IIS offers both summer and year-round internships. Some paid, some unpaid, depending on availability of funding. Undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, graduate.

  • Harvard Summer Honors Undergraduate Research Program Ten weeks of summer research for under-represented groups in the sciences. Biological and biomedical research. Prior research experience and biology courses required. $4200 stipend. Rising undergrads only. Application deadline early February.

NASA internships

Note that now, you can apply for NASA internships all in one place. You may get more info about each program on their own pages.

  • NASA SOLAR This NASA-wide internship, fellowship, co-op, and scholarship application website lets you apply for a wide variety of projects. This includes the NASA Academy program, which also maintains its own application system, the Undergraduate Science Research Program (USRP), and many, many more. Undergrads, Masters students, PhD students, even some visiting faculty positions. Summer, fall, and spring. All disciplines -- engineering, computer science, cognitive science, psychology, marketing, business, you name it. Competitive stipends, help with housing, other benefits dependent on the exact program. Lots and lots of options. Application deadline in early March.

  • Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars Program Summer and semester. Programs for high schools students, undergraduates, and graduates. All disciplines. Competitive stipends, housing help, awesome research, tons of cool people. When I participated in the summer of 2010, I helped establish the Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory. Application deadline in early February.

  • Educational Associates Program (EAP) Projects at Ames Research Center are posted year-round. Students, graduates, and others can apply for opportunities. No specific deadline.

  • Lewis' Educational and Research Collaborative Internship Program (LERCIP) Ten weeks of summer research at Glenn Research Center, collaborating with Ohio Aerospace Institute. High school, undergrad, grad, teacher/faculty programs. Research and development on various NASA projects. Competitive stipend. Application deadline end of January.

  • NASA Cooperative Eduction Program Full-time undergrads, graduate, and doctoral students. Alternate semesters at school with semesters at NASA centers. Apply from your school's co-op program office.

  • NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program Undergraduate and graduate scholarships, super-competitive stipend and several years of support, plus summer internships. Engineering, mathematics, computer science, physics. Deadline early January.

  • National Space Grant Consortium The consortia fund fellowships and scholarships for students in science, math, engineering, and technology. Take a look at their individual websites for opportunities

National labs and related

  • Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships A summer or semester of work at a national laboratory. Generally undergraduates, but sometimes just-graduated are accepted. Lectures, tours, poster/paper presentations. Application deadline beginning of February.

  • Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists Programs for undergraduates, graduates, teachers, K-12 students, and more at national laboratories (includes SULI, above).

  • Pacific Northwest National Lab student opportunities A big list of PNNL's student programs -- high school, undergraduate, graduate. Projects available in many science and engineering areas. Also take a look at their university recruiting if you'll be graduating soon -- they have post-bac programs, too.

  • Los Alamos National Labs Undergraduate Student Program Includes summer internships and part-time or full-time year-round work. Technical and administrative fields. Competitive stipend. There's also a post-baccalaureate category for students who have earned their bachelor's in the past three years but have not yet begun a graduate program. Also see related opportunities for both undergrads, graduate students, and pre-college students.

  • Argonne National Labs student programs Hosts SULI students (see above), also has the Argonne Student Research Participation Program for ten weeks of summer research. Seminars, tours, and more. Science and engineering. Application deadlines in early February.

  • Sandia National lab internships Technical and business-related internships for students from 16 years through PhD programs. Both summer, semester, and year-round internships. Computer science, psychology, engineering, and more.

  • Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program (NREIP) Ten weeks of summer research at a Department of Navy laboratory, in science and engineering. Undergraduate and graduate students - stipends $7690 and $10250, respectively. Application deadline in early January.

  • Department of Energy Scholars Program Summer research at a national lab in engineering, physical sciences, computer science, program management, safety and health, law, accounting, and more. Undergraduate and graduate students, post-graduates. Application deadline in the end of January.

Miscellaneous research

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium research program (MBARI) Ten weeks of summer research for undergraduate and graduate students, and high school teachers, to work on MBARI projects. Competitive stipend. Application deadline in early February.

  • Palo Alto Research Center internships Grads, undergrads, MBA students. Physical, computer, biological, social sciences. Summer and semester program available, minimum twelve weeks. All are paid. Application deadline for many summer internships in mid-February.

  • SIParCS program Paid summer research in high-performance computing, applied computer science, engineering, geophysical modeling and data analysis. Graduate and undergraduate students. Application deadlines in early February, except for engineering internships, which are early March.

Industry internships

  • IBM research intern program Summer (and possibly year-round) internships in computing. Search "student/internship" and "research" at the IBM job website to apply.

  • Google internships Highly competitive. Nearly all fields - science, engineering, and more. No application deadline.

  • Willow Garage Robotics, cognitive science, and computer science. Opportunities around the year for undergrads and graduate students.

  • Wolfram student internships Internships, fellowships, job-shadowing. Summer and year-round. Mathematica, programming, systems administration, business development, graphic design, and more. Summer program application deadline beginning of April.

Friday, February 18, 2011