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HERE at ORNL - Undergraduates

Higher Education Research Experiences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (HERE at ORNL) provides research opportunities and associated activities for undergraduate students. The program is designed to complement academic programs by utilizing the unique resources of ORNL to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, encourage careers in science and technology, and improve scientific literacy, while at the same time contributing to the Laboratory mission.


  • Applications are accepted on a year-round basis; refer to suggested deadlines for appointment periods
  • Flexible appointment duration
  • Full-time or part-time research or technical appointments may be offered



  • Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at a U.S. accredited institution - verification required 
  • Have a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale - copy of academic record required
  • Be 18 years or older by the start of appointment
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident at the time of application - verification required
  • Have medical insurance during appointment - verification required
  • Have two references - one academic preferred


  • Complete program requirements, and avoid activities that could present a conflict
  • Attend enrichment activities, including professional development workshops, Laboratory tours, lectures, seminars, and poster presentations. Please note that these activities are optional and dependent upon mentor approval
  • Behave in a responsible and professional manner
  • Complete pre- and post-appointment surveys
HERE Internship Term Spring Summer Fall
Suggested Deadline* October 1 February 1 June 1

*Applications are accepted and selections are made year-round. Follow the suggested deadline dates for greater chance of selection.

Next Steps

If you are ready, you can apply to the HERE at ORNL - Undergraduates now.

Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) at ORNL

ORNL Intern Kelsey W.

Kelsey W.

Life Health & Medical Sciences, Undergraduate
University of Kentucky
Research Focus:

“My biggest project looked at the packaging food comes in to determine the risk the public faces from chemicals leaching into our food. I also researched substances in animal feed to determine what levels are safe, and helped create a calculator for the Environmental Protection Agency that allows users to evaluate if they have been exposed to too much of a radionuclide from water or fish they have ingested.”

Experience Gained:

“The biggest shock I had when I got here was the extent of data and information and the incredible ways that ORNL can manipulate, access and form it. The tools and equipment here are amazing and the work being done is mind blowing.”

Thoughts on Program:

“I enjoyed it very much and was very sad to see it ending. I have a much better feel for what is expected of scientists and what their job entails. I was able to gauge what I am capable of as far as writing reports and getting work done correctly without a teacher standing over my shoulder.”

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