The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience cutting-edge research in the LPI Summer Internship. Students with majors in physical or natural science, engineering, computer science, or mathematics are preferred, but all eligible students will be considered.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is located near the NASA Johnson Space Center, on the southeast side of Houston, Texas. On NASA’s behalf, the LPI provides leadership in the scientific community for research in lunar, planetary, and solar system sciences and linkage with related terrestrial programs.
Below you can read extensive guidelines on the LPI Summer Internship, starting from the program overview and its benefits to several tips on how you can nail your application.
LPI Summer Internship Program Overview
The LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to perform cutting-edge research, learn from widely respected planetary scientists, and discover exciting careers in planetary science.
During the 10-week internship, students have opportunities to participate in enrichment activities, including lectures and career development workshops.
Selected interns will receive a $7,300 stipend to cover the costs associated with being in Houston for the duration of the program. This amount covers the internship stipend, travel, housing, and cost of living expenses. Interns traveling from an international location may be eligible for an additional $500 to cover travel expenses.
Besides, financial support of up to $1,000 (domestic travelers) and up to $1,500 (international travelers) is offered to interns who submit an accepted abstract as the first author to the upcoming Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
Also, the benefits of this internship include:
- Gaining valuable research experience
- Developing new skills and refining others
- Meeting and working with professionals, establishing contacts for letters of reference, and networking
- Experiencing a new work environment
The 10-week program runs from June 7th, 2021 to August 13th, 2021. Summer interns will work one-on-one with a scientist from the LPI or the NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project. Interns are selected by the project advisors who look for academic excellence and scientific interest and backgrounds compatible with their specific project needs.
Given the uncertainty resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 summer internship program is expected to have a virtual component. Although it is hoped that LPI can provide some onsite internships, the need may arise to host fully virtual projects. Selected participants will be notified in March of the internship platform.
Undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit are eligible to participate as an applicant. Students with majors in physical or natural science, engineering, computer science, or mathematics are preferred, but all eligible students will be considered. Applicants will be considered without regard to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, race, religion, or other protected status.
Applicants can be either U.S. citizens or foreign nationals. However, due to the fluid situation caused by the current global pandemic, foreign national applicants should monitor U.S. travel restrictions and entry requirements.
Furthermore, due to security issues, citizens of U.S. State Department Designated Countries are not eligible. You can refer to this website for the list of designated countries.
How to Apply
You will need to apply using the online application form which can be downloaded here. Paper applications will not be accepted. Applications are only accepted using the online application form.
Once you begin the application, you must complete all questions on the form, including essay-style questions. Upon submission, you will receive a confirmation email with your application number and a link to view the status of your reference letters. You are required to submit three reference letters and official transcripts to qualify for the LPI Summer Internship Program.
Transcripts and letters of recommendation may be submitted independently, but they must be received by November 23rd, 2020, 11:59 p.m., CST, for your application to be considered.
Hard copy and electronic transcripts are accepted. Have your college registrar mail an official hard copy transcript to:
LPI Summer Intern Program
3600 Bay Area Boulevard
All official electronic transcripts should be sent directly from the college or the college’s vendors. All college electronic transcripts should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to include your application number in the address you provide to your registrar. Transcripts must be received by the LPI no later than November 23rd, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. CST.
If you are a foreign national, you will be asked to provide proof of English proficiency. This may be in the form of a Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score, or a letter from one of the professors in the English department at your university confirming that you have sufficient spoken and written English language skills, to successfully participate in the internship program. You will be responsible for U.S. taxes.
LPI Summer Internship Closing Date
All online application information must be received by the LPI no later than November 23rd, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., CST. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Notification of selection will be made on or around March 15th, 2021. Successful applicants should be prepared to make a decision regarding the offer to participate within two days of notification.
Had any questions about LPI Summer Internship? Send them to the listed address, phone number, or and email below.
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Boulevard
LPI Summer Internship Official Website
All the latest information about the LPI Summer Internship can be accessed at its official website: www.lpi.usra.edu.
Selection is based on these criteria:
- Scholarship, curriculum, and experience
- Career objectives and scientific interest
- Match of applicant’s interest with available research projects
Once selected, you are expected to guarantee your presence for the entire duration of your internship in order to maintain the maximum continuity in the program. However, an absence is permitted for a few valid reasons including illness and binding personal and academic commitments. If you plan to be absent for an extended period of time or for any of the aforementioned reasons, promptly notify your advisor and program coordinator.
You can follow these tips for submitting a competitive internship application to nail it:
- Read the application and follow all of the instructions.
- Do research on the internship and the possible advisors, and match your expertise and skills to the opportunities.
- Tailor your application to the internship opportunity.
- Be yourself, be original.
- Sell yourself as if it were a job application: your expertise, your skills, your interests.
- Explain any issues (such as a low GPA) in your cover letter and letters of support, and how you are overcoming these challenges.
- Give your references plenty of time to write their letters of support.
- Provide details about yourself to those writing your reference letters.
- Proofread your application, and ask an advisor to review and give feedback before you submit it.
Please take note that it is the responsibility of interns to report their stipend earnings to the IRS. The LPI cannot offer any specific guidance on how to file taxes.