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Education and Outreach Programs

FAQs: Seasonal Internship Program

Frequently asked questions

Application and Eligibility

Can I apply if I don’t have Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, but I know I will get it before my appointment starts?

No, you must have your Permanent Resident status at the time of applying (by the application deadline).

This program states that it provides opportunities to undergraduate students. If I will graduate before the internship term for which I am applying, am I eligible to participate?

The program is for undergraduates. However, graduating or recent graduates are eligible to apply as a senior” under the following two circumstances: (1) you have not yet started a program of graduate study and you will not matriculate as a graduate student prior to completing your seasonal internship term, and (2) the time period between completing your undergraduate degree and starting your seasonal internship term is less than three months.

I’m an undergraduate student, but I won’t be 18 years old for another year. If this program is for undergraduate students, why can’t I participate?

Eighteen is the minimum age for participation regardless of your education level.

Do I have to have health insurance coverage to apply, or can I wait until I’m selected to acquire it?

You do not have to have health insurance at the time of applying, but you must have health insurance in order to begin your appointment.

Can I transfer my previous recommendations to my new application?

No, letters of recommendations cannot be transferred from previous applications.

How will I submit my recommendation letters?

If/when selected, you will be notified via email from Workday to supply the contact information for your references. Workday will then notify your references on your behalf to supply a recommendation letter.

Who should I get to write my letters of recommendation?

Letters of recommendation should be requested from individuals familiar with your academic achievements and your academic or professional accomplishments. College faculty members who teach science, technology, engineering, or mathematics courses are the best references, but you may also use lab assistants, teaching assistants, or employers (only if they are in a research setting).

Am I required to submit transcripts?

No, transcripts are not required for the Seasonal Internship Program. However if/when selected, you will be notified via email from Workday to supply the contact information for your Academic Advisor to verify your academic standing.

Can I get in touch with scientists in areas I’ve chosen? Is this advisable?

Yes. As you explore Argonne’s websites, you may identify scientists, programs, or divisions you would like to contact. The more you know about a group, the better chance you have of making a choice appropriate to your interests and skills. However, potential research advisors are NOT authorized to offer you an appointment. If you are selected, you must receive an official letter from the Educational Programs at Argonne.

Will you let me know if I am missing parts of my application?

No, it is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete and received before the deadline.

Selection Process

How does the selection process work?

To be considered, an applicant must meet all eligibility criteria and have submitted an application comprising of all required materials. Prior to the merit assessment and evaluation, an initial review of all applications will be conducted to verify applicant eligibility and ensure that all the required application materials have been provided. Applications will then be subject to a merit review process and a selection process. From the highly-reviewed applications, research advisors select those applicants whose skills, knowledge, and research interests are best aligned with the research projects available to interns for the pending term.

How are applications judged?

Applications will be assessed based upon the applicant’s performance in completed academic coursework, and especially coursework in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM); the strength of recommendation letters; expressed scientific interests; and the applicant’s background, experience, accomplishments, and interests as they relate to the research programs at the host laboratories.

What are my chances of getting selected?

The chances of being selected depend on many factors including the total number of applications submitted, the number of applications requesting the same projects, the number of available internship opportunities at each laboratory, and the availability of funds. These factors vary each year, so it is not possible to determine an individual’s chances of being selected for any given application cycle.

Is this program only for natural science, engineering, mathematics, or computer science majors?

The program focuses on providing research internships in areas of science, engineering, technology and mathematics. While applicants are not required to major in areas of natural science, engineering, mathematics, or computer science, applicants who demonstrate education, aptitude, and interest in these fields will be most competitive.

If I decline an offer, will I be considered by another group?

Only one offer will be extended to an applicant during an application period. If the applicant declines, no additional or alternative offer will be made.

If I don’t get selected this time, will my application be reviewed again next year automatically, or do I have to reapply?

You must reapply.

If I request a certain field of study, am I guaranteed to be placed in it if I am accepted into the program?

Argonne tries to match an applicant’s research interests with available research projects and research advisors to the best extent possible, but this is not always possible. Please keep in mind that researchers read your applications carefully and look for students who they think would benefit from being in their group.


What is the housing cost?

Participants are housed in the student dorms on-site at no direct cost to the student. Stipends and housing are considered taxable income. As a result, the laboratory is required by law to report your income to the Internal Revenue Service and will issue a Form 1099-Miscellaneous Income. 

Am I required to pass a drug test?

Yes. After you accept your offer, you will receive notification on the process for drug testing. Argonne will pay for your drug test. 

Note: Use of Marijuana/Cannabis or its derivatives if prescribed is legal in some states in the United States and is legally used recreationally in some other countries. Having these drugs in your system is NOT legal at United States Federal Contractor sites such as Argonne National Laboratory.

What if I can only participate for a portion of the appointment period due to other commitments?

Participation requires a full-time commitment for the duration of the appointment period. You should plan to be at Argonne full-time and avoid obligations that will interrupt your appointment. Summer appointments are for 10 weeks, and spring and fall appointments are for 15 weeks.

Is there any flexibility in start and end dates?

Appointments are for 10 weeks in the summer, and 15 weeks during the fall and spring terms. Although you must participate for the entire appointment period, there may be some flexibility only if the program dates conflict with your school calendar. If you are extended an offer and you have restricted availability, please contact the Educational Programs staff at Argonne to see if your schedule can be accommodated.

Do I get any vacation during the appointment period?

The program does not include vacation or sick leave. You are not expected to be present on days that Argonne is closed due to a holiday. Most research advisors will help you design a schedule that is mutually agreeable.

How often do I receive a stipend payment?

Students are paid every two weeks. However, you will not receive your first payment until 4 weeks after the start of the program.

What is my tax liability for the stipend I am paid as a participant in this program?

Argonne cannot give participants tax advice. All stipends paid to you are reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Participants should consult a tax expert with their questions.

What kind of travel reimbursement will I receive?

Travel will be paid only for students whose permanent and school addresses are more than fifty miles away from Argonne. Travel expenses are reimbursed consistent with the terms detailed in the laboratory acceptance letter. Travel reimbursement is based on a round trip from the traveler’s trip origin (trip origin to Argonne and Argonne back to trip origin). 

Transportation expenses will be reimbursed on the basis of the most direct route. Travel by a private automobile will be reimbursed at the current government rate up to a maximum of $500.00 round-trip, not to exceed the cost of round-trip coach airfare. No per diem or lodging costs will be reimbursed while en route. We will calculate distance according to MapQuest. Students will receive their reimbursement three to four weeks after arrival. If students are traveling to Argonne via air, Argonne must make the travel arrangements. Students will not be reimbursed if they make their own flight arrangements.

Can I receive undergraduate credit for my internship?

You will need to check with your college/university to see if your research experience qualifies for college credit. Argonne can provide you with the appropriate documentation if your college/university does offer this option.

Does the program pay any tuition costs I might incur while participating if I am taking this for college credit?

No, tuition and fees incurred during your participation in the program are not reimbursable.

Do I have to prepare a report or give a presentation at the end of my appointment?

Yes, you will be required to submit a final research report in consultation with your research advisor.

What should I expect from the mentoring relationship at Argonne?

Your research advisor should provide on-going technical guidance and advice, appropriate materials, equipment, technical and clerical support, and office space for you.