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Graduate Student Opportunities at ORNL

Enhance your expertise and collaborate with many of the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experts as you complete your research. Opportunities are available for current Master’s and Ph.D. students to participate as members of research teams at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

All programs on this page are limited to current graduate students from an institution of higher education in the United States, except where noted. You must be at least 18 years old by the first day of your appointment. Application deadlines vary by program. Click on the Program name to learn more about each.

Program Eligibility Duration Commitment
Advanced Short-Term Research Opportunity (ASTRO)
  • Current Ph.D. Student
  • No citizenship requirement
  • Open to Foreign Institutions
Year-round - 1-6 months, with add’l 6 months possible Full-time or part-time
Higher Education Research Experiences - Graduate Students (HERE)
  • Current Graduate Student
  • U.S. Citizen/LPR
  • 2.5+ GPA
Year-round – 
8-weeks to 52-weeks 
Add’l 26 weeks after 3-month break
Full-time or part-time
Higher Education Research Experiences - Thesis/Dissertation (HERE)
  • Current Graduate Student
  • Courses Completed
  • U.S. Citizen/LPR
  • 2.5+ GPA
Year-round – 
1-year minimum 
Add’l 1-2 years possible
Full-time or part-time
Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS)
  • Current Graduate Student
  • No Citizenship Requirement
  • 3.0+ GPA
Year-round - 
10-weeks to 52-weeks
Full-time or part-time
Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars (VW)
  • Current Graduate Student
  • U.S. Citizen/LPR
  • 3.5+ GPA
10-week, Summer Full-time
ORNL Intern Yashema M

Yashema M.

Computer Science
Graduate Student
Research Focus:

Yashema and other scientists worked on the “Joule” project to demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of Jaguar using performance analysis tools and test codes.

Experience Gained:

“Networking and acquiring eminent knowledge of how the supercomputers perform will definitely help me with my future in high-performance computing.”

Thoughts on Program:

“I have done performance analysis on the number-one supercomputer in the world. What could be better than that?”