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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 Evan Hess

Evan Hess

Material Science Engineering, Undergraduate
University of Akron

“I am helping engineers find the best-suited materials for a novel power plant concept called ‘staged pressurized oxy-combustion’, which uses pure oxygen to combust coal rather than air. The best material for the job will reduce maintenance and long-term replacements costs and increase reliability of the plant, which will in turn reduce the cost of electricity for the average consumer.”


“My fascination with the Manhattan Project made ORNL somewhere I hoped to research, but the opportunity arose way sooner than I expected. The first day I heard I was being interviewed for, let alone being offered, an internship at ORNL was a bit like Christmas morning.”

Thoughts on Program:

“What we are capable of doing with the equipment at ORNL is nothing short of amazing. I have developed technical skills with a wide range of advanced equipment that I could take to any job or research project. It is one thing to understand what I have been taught in school, but it is another thing entirely to put myself through the experimental process from start to finish. The analytical skills needed to solve real problems are irreplaceable.”

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