Summer Research & Internship Opportunities

Many of our students pursue summer research and related internships as a great way to get more hands-on experience and to learn about what it’s like to be a professional scientist or engineer in both academic and industrial settings. There are lots of these opportunities out there; below is a list of some places to get started looking for a summer job in physics or a related field. Most of these are paid opportunities, but if the internship you’re most excited turns out to be unpaid, see below for links to Williams summer fellowships.

Note that application deadlines for off-campus internships are usually in January and February, with some as early as December; be sure to check the specific deadlines for programs you’re excited about, and to ask professors early (ideally 3-4 weeks in advance!) for recommendation letters if you need them.

If you are interested in a summer research position on campus at Williams, the application deadline is usually in mid-February. Watch for an informational email sent to all physics students in late January as well as information on the department web site, and/or come to the “All about Physics and Astronomy Research” informational meeting which usually takes place as the first colloquium of the spring semester.


Summer Research at Universities and National Laboratories

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
The NSF sponsors hundreds of REU programs at colleges and universities all around the United States. The link above lets you search for sites by subject area, location, etc.

Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) at the US National Laboratories
The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing research experiences at the Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories.


Opportunities at Specific Schools

(These are just a few specific opportunities that Williams students have participated in previously or that might be of particular interest.)

Research internships in science and engineering, including biomaterials, materials science, nanotechnology, robotics, computer science, and energy and the environment.

Princeton Center for Complex Materials REU
The PCCM REU program provides opportunities for undergraduates to carry out research at the forefront of materials science and engineering. Application here.

Purdue University College of Engineering SURF Program
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships in science, engineering, and technology.

Caltech SURF Program
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships at Caltech.

Caltech WAVE Fellows program
The WAVE Fellows program provides support for talented undergraduates intent on pursuing a Ph.D. to conduct a 10-week summer research project at Caltech.

Caltech Amgen Scholars Program
Caltech’s Amgen Scholars Program is geared towards students in biology, chemistry, and biotechnology fields. Some of these fields include biology, biochemistry, bioengineering, medical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, and chemistry.


Summer Internships in Industry and Applied Science

(As with the specific university-based internships above, these are just a few specific opportunities that Williams students have participated in previously or that might be of particular interest — you’ll find lots more out there!)

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Summer Internships

Draper Laboratory Internships

Momentive Summer Internships

IBM Summer Internships

3M Research & Development Internships

SpaceX Internships


Summer Research Internships Abroad

RISE Germany
Research Internships in Science and Engineering at top German universities and research institutions. No German language requirement. December deadline.


Williams funding possibilities to support unpaid internships

If you find an unpaid internship opportunity you’re excited about, be sure to check out the Williams Summer Funding Opportunities, as there may be a Williams fellowship that could pay for your summer work abroad or domestically. For example, past physics students have been funded by the Alumni Sponsored Internship Program (ASIP) as well as by Williams summer travel fellowships.