Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis

Website Eligibility Deadline Undergraduate/Graduate Students Varies (see below)


The Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) program is a cooperative research initiative geared toward students working in nuclear engineering and science. Through one- to three-year summer internships, NESLS offers students on-the-job educational and research opportunities at a multidisciplinary national laboratory.

NESLS goals:

  • Maximize the abilities of students through cooperative research with mentors at a national laboratory
  • Increase on-the-job research opportunities
  • Provide a learning environment useful to both national laboratories and students
  • Train next generation nuclear scientists


  • Full- or part-time students enrolled at a U.S. college or university studying nuclear engineering, science, or a related field:
    • Physics
    • Earth and Geosciences
    • Engineering
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Other Physical Sciences
    • Computer Sciences
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences
      • International Relations
      • Political Science and Government
      • Public Policy
      • Risk Analysis
      • Science Policy/Science & Society
    • Nanotechnology
    • Other
      • Public Affairs
  • Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, Doctoral degree or Associate's degree
  • 3.0/4.0 cumulative GPA at the time of appointment

All awards and active participation in the program are contingent upon security access approval to Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Applicants must be able to participate a minimum of 10 weeks and must present at the required NESLS poster session.

Student applicants will be chosen on the basis of academic performance, class standing, career goals, recommendations, and compatibility of educational interests and abilities with the needs of ORNL.

Application Procedure

The profile and application will require:

  1. Contact information
  2. Education information (i.e. dates of attendance/graduation, GPAs, majors, etc.)
  3. Awards and honors
  4. Employment information and nature of work
  5. Information on special skills, research, areas of interest and /or expertise
  6. An updated resume
  7. Letters of recommendation or the contact information for the application system to send an online reference request to references
  8. Unofficial academic record showing name, school name, current classes and GPA - official transcript is not required
  9. Availability dates (if applicable)

To apply, click here.

NESLS Internship Term Spring Summer Fall
Deadline* Jan. 6 Feb. 28 Sept. 15

*Application deadlines are subject to change each year.

Value of the Award

  • Travel to and from (up to $500 each way)
  • Housing allowance of $150/week if located more than 50 miles from Oak Ridge
  • Weekly stipend

NESLS Weekly Stipend Rates: Stipends are based on class status as shown below.  Stipends shown are based on full-time participation; stipends and housing allowance will be pro-rated if appointed part-time.

  • First Year (Freshman) - $529/wk
  • Second Year (Sophomore) - $593/wk
  • Third Year (Junior) - $653/wk
  • Fourth Year (Senior) - $726/wk
  • Masters Student - $863/wk
  • PhD Student - $935/wk

Denotes class status completed prior to ORNL report date and as defined by college/university. Must be actively taking classes and not just enrolled. Applicants must be continuing education in an accredited degree-seeking program if graduating with degree before or during appointment period.

Contact Information

Have questions on how to apply? Contact Leslie Fox at For general program questions or additional program information, contact Julie Ezold at

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