NSF Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN)

Fellowship details

Application Status
application status icon
up to $55,000
Period of Funding
Per 6-month period
Citizenship Requirements
U.S. Citizen


The National Science Foundation (NSF) Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN) is a supplemental funding opportunity that provides graduate students supported by NSF grants with internship and training opportunities at non-academic institutions to help students gain knowledge, skills, and experience in preparation for successful long-term careers. Read the full opportunity here: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2021/nsf21013/nsf21013.jsp NSF will consider supplemental funding requests for up to an additional six months of graduate student support on active NSF grants with the following goals:

  1. To provide graduate students with the opportunity to augment their research assistantships or NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) fellowships with non-academic research internship activities and training opportunities that will complement their academic research training;
  2. To allow graduate students to pursue new activities aimed at acquiring professional development experience that will enhance their preparation for multiple career pathways after graduation; and
  3. To encourage the participation of graduate students from underrepresented groups such as women, persons with disabilities, underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), veterans, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Award Information

  • NSF plans to fund approximately 260 proposals in 2021
  • Funding requested cannot exceed $55,000 per student, per 6-month period
  • Allowable costs:
    • Travel
    • Tuition and fees
    • Health insurance
    • Additional stipend
    • Temporary relocation costs
  • Tuition and fees will be considered only for the time of the internship

The PI/co-PI of an active NSF award may request supplemental funding for one or more graduate students to gain knowledge, skills and experiences that will augment their preparation for a successful long-term career through an internship in a non-academic setting, including the following:

  • For-profit industry laboratories or industry research and development groups;
  • Start-up businesses, such as (but not limited to) those funded through the NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program;
  • Government agencies (all levels) and National Laboratories;
  • Museums, science centers, and other informal learning settings;
  • Policy think-tanks; and
  • Non-profit organizations.

It is expected that the internship will be research-focused in a STEM field or in STEM education research and will be on-site at the host organization unless a specific exception to this is granted due to extenuating circumstances by the cognizant program officer.

Important Dates

  • March 29, 2024: Submit supplemental funding requests to Graduate Division. Please note, applications are open all year around since this is a rolling deadline. Expect the review and processing for an INTERN proposal to take at least seven months. Carefully review the application components and instructions.
  • April 15: NSF’s target date for each fiscal year. The Graduate Division will submit vetted applications by this date.

Eligibility Criteria

  • To be eligible, graduate students must have completed at least one academic year in their graduate programs (master’s or doctoral) and be making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degrees.
  • Either be working under a PI with an NSF grant OR be a current NSF Graduate Research Program Fellow.
  • GRFP Fellows must be active, either “on tenure” or “on reserve” during the entire period of the proposed internship.
    • If a Fellow is “on tenure” no stipend or tuition can be requested as part of the budget.
    • If a Fellow is “on reserve” funds for stipend and tuition during the interval of the internship will be considered.  The maximum stipend that will be considered is 2,833/month.

Application Process

Sign-in to CampusGroups with our UCI credentials to submit your application: https://cglink.me/2eo/s50482


Pre-Application: Questions about applying to NSF Intern can be directed to Dr. Kayleigh Anderson-Natale at kayleiga@uci.edu.

Post-Application: Questions on the status of your application can be directed to Sonia Lepe at slepe1@uci.edu.

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