PPPL Science Undergraduate Lab Internship


PPPL internship

The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program at PPPL is for undergraduates interested in performing plasma physics and fusion energy research. Students perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting PPPL’s research.

Applications for the SULI program are solicited annually for three separate internship terms. Internship appointments are 10 weeks in duration for the summer term (June through August) or 16 weeks in duration for the fall (September through December) and spring (January through May) terms.

As a part of the summer internship only, students are offered housing on the Princeton University campus. Fall and spring term students must find housing in the local community. All students receive a $500/week stipend.

What is Expected of Each Participant

  • Complete the full ten or sixteen week program
  • Attend the one-week intensive plasma physics course at PPPL (summer only)
  • Complete a research paper and present a poster summarizing your results
  • Submit an abstract of the research in the required format
  • Attend all scheduled events including lectures, seminars, tours and group activities
  • Conduct yourself in a responsible and professional manner

Participants should expect to spend 40 or more hours per week (more than 8 hours per day) in activities and/or research related to their internships.

Length of Appointment

The length of appointment for the summer term is 10 weeks (June through August).
The length of appointment for the spring and fall terms is 16 weeks (January through May for spring, Septmber through December for fall).

Eligibility for the SULI program requires that all applicants:

  • Must be currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited institution, and also have completed at least one year as a matriculating undergraduate student at the time of applying (additional undergraduate credits obtained prior to enrollment cannot be applied to meet the minimum one-year completion requirement).
  • Applicants who will complete their undergraduate degree prior to starting their internship may apply as a “Graduating Senior”, if (1) the applicant has not yet started a program of graduate study and will not matriculate as a graduate student prior to completing the SULI term, and (2) the time period between receipt of an undergraduate degree and starting the SULI term is less than one year. Community college students are eligible to apply.
  • Must have an undergraduate cumulative minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all completed courses as a matriculating student.
  • Must be 18 years or older at the time the internship begins.
  • Must be a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien at the time of applying.

Graduating Seniors

If you will complete your undergraduate degree before the beginning of the internship term for which you are applying, you are still eligible to apply given the following two conditions: (1) you have not yet started a program of graduate study and you will not matriculate as a graduate student prior to completing your SULI term and (2) the time period between completing your undergraduate degree and starting your SULI term is less than one year. If you meet these requirements, please complete the SULI application including the Graduating Senior page and submit both electronically.

Graduating seniors may also apply for policy positions at the laboratories where they help direct the lab’s education programs and serve as advisors to other undergraduate interns. Graduating seniors will often be asked to help other interns with their writing assignments and should have strong communication skills, especially in science and/or technology writing. In order to specify this option on the application, select “Science Policy” as the desired research area for the laboratory to which you are applying.

Link to Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for previous SULI student presentations

For additional information on the SULI program and to apply, please visit the Department of Energy SULI site. (link is external) The tentative dates for the week-long Introductory Course in Plasma Physics is June 6-10, 2016.