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Internship Information (Department Website)

Internship Information

Go To: Summer Programs / Academic Year Programs
What have Beloit physics majors been doing?

All physics majors are strongly encouraged to seek an off-campus internship. In physics and astronomy, these are usually paid positions, and there are many types of internship programs available to you. This list is a great place to start, but is not exhaustive!

Most internships are intended primarily for students between their junior and senior years of college. However, many programs will accept strong sophomores, and some will accept graduating seniors as well. Some internships or programs take place during the academic year. Many internships are funded by the National Science Foundation (the "REU programs") or other U.S. governmental organizations, and are therefore only open to U.S. citizens. Programs open to graduating seniors and/or non-US citizens are noted whenever possible.

Summer Opportunities

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs)
This is the main page for all NSF-sponsored REU programs, and a great place to begin your search. You can explore the REUs by topic or jump directly to REUs in physics or astronomy.
NASA Summer Research Program (USRP):
Work at one of many NASA facilities in a wide variety of fields.
The Packer Foundation: Engineering Internship Program
A unique opportunity to become involved in a variety of engineering projects in a business atmosphere. Possibility of full-time hire by Packer Engineering after graduation. Lena Neal (an alumna of Beloit) has encouraged Beloiters to apply. Open to first-year students and seniors.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):
Summer research fellowships at a variety of participating laboratories. Intended for students planning to go to graduate school in atomic, molecular, optical, radiation, or chemical physics. Also open to graduating seniors.
European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN):
Study theoretical and experimental particle physics with one of the experimental teams at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland). U.S. students should apply through the programs at the University of Michigan or Northeastern University. Only for juniors and graduating seniors. Open to citizens of CERN "member states".
The American Physical Society (APS) office of Public Affairs:
The "Mass Media" and "Summer Intern" positions focus on communicating science to a non-technical audience. A great opportunity for strong writers with a solid scientific background. Only for advanced undergraduate and graduate students.
Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI):
Work with a scientist at LPI or at the Johnson Space Center on a project in the area of planetary science. Also open to graduating seniors.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO):
Conduct research in radio astronomy at one of four NRAO centers. Also open to graduating seniors.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Summer Program:
For students "studying in any of the fields of science or engineering with at least a tentative interest in the ocean sciences, oceanographic engineering, mathematics, or marine policy." Only for juniors and graduating seniors.
"SOARS" program in atmospheric research:
A program intended to increase minority representation in the atmospheric sciences. The summer program is the first part of a four-year mentoring program for the SOARS "protege". Must be a member of an eligible minority; sophomores preferred.

Opportunities During the Academic Year

Oak Ridge Science Semester (ORSS)
Join a research group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the fall semester! ORNL also offers summer research internships and summer internships for pre-service teachers.
NASA's Undergraduate Student Research Program (USRP):
Conduct research in a variety of scientific disciplines at a NASA centers for 15 weeks duruing the fall semester or for 10 weeks during the summer.
Positions with the "Journal of Young Investigators" (JYI):
This isn't a traditional internship, but there are many possibilities for ongoing (unpaid) involvement with JYI, an undergraduate peer-reviewed research journal. Opportunities are available for non-science majors as well. Time commitments vary.
What have Beloit physics majors been doing?
Here are some examples of recent internship programs in which Beloit students have been involved. This list is not complete, just representative!
  • Emily Martis ('04): Spent the summer of 2004 with the Environmental Engineering Group at the Washington University in Saint Louis, where she studied "bubble column reactors". In the summer of 2002, Emily also did a nuclear physics REU with the REU program at Notre Dame University. She studied the compressibility of the lead nucleus, and went to Japan - twice - to collect data for the experiment!
  • Chris Mortion ('04) worked on an interdisiplinary atomic physics project at the Rice Quantum Institute (Summer 2001). He studied the ionization cross-sections for molecules in the Earth's atmosphere, when they collide with electrons.
  • Yutaka Takadono ('04) worked on the "WOMBAt" Project at the Rose-Hulman Institute (Summer 2002), to develop better techniques for producing optically-perfect crystals for an optical radar project. US citizenship not required.
  • Kim Mach ('01), studied properties and models of "centaurs", a type of comet. She used the world-class telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) (Summer 2000).