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Educational Programs and Outreach

Undergraduate Research Aide

As an Argonne Research Aide, college and university students work alongside scientific and engineering staff, providing technical assistance. Rather than designing their own research programs, students are assigned specific technical tasks.

As temporary employees, students earn a salary and are expected to possess the skills required to do the assigned task when they arrive. Understanding the scientific basis for the work is generally not emphasized. Unlike research internships, research aide appointments are considered jobs.

The laboratory offers a variety of Research Aide positions ranging from long-term to short-term appointments, with both part-time and full-time options.

Temporary employment opportunities become available throughout the year as new projects and funding open up. Applicants for these open positions are selected from the current Research Aide applicant pool. If interested in this program, please submit your application to the pool for review.

NOTE: The laboratory is tentatively planning for student programs to be fully onsite during Summer 2023. However, a student’s workplace may shift to a hybrid or virtual status contingent upon local COVID infection rates. Student candidates will be notified of changes in the lab’s operational status at the time of offer and/or during their appointment.

Undergraduate Research Aide Appointment

The Research Aide application has rolling deadlines. Most appointments are made during the summer. Students can apply with the general application or to specific posted positions.

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Application Requirements

  • 18 years or older at the time the appointment begins.
  • Cumulative minimum grade point average 2.8 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Must be currently enrolled full-time at an accredited institution and have completed at least one semester of schooling by the start of the program.
  • School Verification form.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation.
  • Satisfactory background check.
  • Pass a screening drug test.
  • Argonne employees, and certain guest researchers and contractors, are subject to particular restrictions related to participation in Foreign Government Sponsored or Affiliated Activities, as defined and detailed in United States Department of Energy Order 486.1A. You will be asked to disclose any such participation in the application phase for review by Argonne’s Legal Department.


Research Aides receive a salary and, under certain conditions, travel reimbursement. Salaries are competitive and are based upon the field of study and academic year status of the student. If travel reimbursement is approved, it 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 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. If the student is traveling to Argonne via air, Argonne must make the travel arrangements. Students will not be reimbursed if they make their own flight arrangements.


Students are responsible for securing and funding their own housing.


Summer appointments tend to be the most desired and therefore typically have an application deadline of March 1.

Fall and Spring appointments are rolling, and students are selected from the current application pool.