2021 SPS Summer Internship Positions

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Applying for a 2021 SPS internship?

Check out the weekly journals and see presentations from the 2020 interns!  

Applications open November 1 

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Education and Outreach Positions

AIP Niels Bohr Library and Archives Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: American Institute of Physics (1 available)

Are you curious about the human story behind scientific discoveries? The AIP Niels Bohr Library & Archives is looking for two interns to work with staff to create a museum-style exhibit to highlight the human side of physics using the fascinating photographs, oral history interviews, archival collections, and books from the library and archives collections. The exhibit will fill three small display cases and could have an online companion piece. Interns will research potential topics for the exhibit and work with staff to select the most appropriate topic, locate information and resources for inclusion in the exhibit, and create and install the physical exhibit in the display cases. The interns will also create a social media outreach plan to promote the exhibit on various outlets, including a newsletter, blog, Facebook, and Twitter (using Hootsuite Social Media Dashboard), and will create separate outreach plans to promote the Library & Archives and the exhibit to SPS student members and, more broadly, to physics departments within colleges/universities. Other creative outreach and promotion items are encouraged (i.e., bibliography for related reading and research, posters/flyers/other graphic print announcements, bookmarks and other promotional materials). We are looking for creative ideas to showcase the intersection of science with the humanities.

  • Demonstrated writing skills
  • Interest in public outreach
  • Strong creative skills, visual presentation and/or marketing skills

***Note that this position may be combined with the AIP History of Diversity position

AIP History of Diversity in the Physical Sciences Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: AIP Center for History of Physics Intern (1 available) 

The American Institute of Physics' (AIP) Center for History of Physics seeks an undergraduate physics student with an interest in the history of physics to contribute new lesson plans and other resources for the AIP Teaching Guides on Women and Minorities in the Physical Sciences and to test and revise existing materials in response to feedback from teachers. The interns will utilize materials in the collections of the Niels Bohr Library & Archives at AIP related to the designated topics—oral histories, autobiographies, photos, etc. The interns will work with the director of the Center for History of Physics, graduate research assistants, and library specialists to refine the historical narratives and the web resources.

The American Institute of Physics' Center for History of Physics works to preserve and make known the historical record of modern physics and allied sciences. Through documentation, archival collections and educational initiatives, the Center ensures that the heritage of modern physics is safeguarded and its story accurately told.


  • Completion of at least two years of college physics
  • Interest in public outreach and informal education
  • Ability to effectively communicate scientific topics to pre-college students
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience with web design preferred

**Note that this position may be combined with the AIP Niels Bohr Library & Archives position

Society of Rheology/Soft Matter Kitchen Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: Society of Rheology & American Institute of Physics (1 available) 

Food is a universal route for the understanding and appreciation of soft matter physics and rheology. The Society of Rheology (a founding member of AIP) is looking for a summer intern to work with staff to create high quality, food-based content as part of the Soft Matter Kitchen online initiative. This initiative—currently hosted at www.arif.zone/home/kitchen—aims to use food as an avenue for explaining rheological and soft matter concepts in an exciting, approachable way. The content will eventually be incorporated into the Society of Rheology’s various outreach programs. The intern will assist in researching food materials along with relevant soft matter and rheological concepts, and in producing essays or video content. The intern will also have the chance to promote the project on various outlets, including an article for the Society’s biannual newsletter, as well as the Society’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. We are looking for an enthusiastic, curious researcher to help the Society showcase how rheology and soft matter are present in everyday life in ways that are both functional and fun.


  • Demonstrated writing and research skills
  • Organized, self-starter
  • Experience in project development or project management

APS Careers Progam Intern (Updated for 2021)

Host: American Physical Society (1 available)

APS is seeking an enthusiastic, engaged candidate to support our work of conducting research on physics jobs, creating career development resources, and keeping students and early career scientists, and their mentors, better informed on career prospects for physicists.

The intern will conduct a quantitative analysis of job postings from the APS Job Board to find key skills sought by employers hiring physicists. The intern may also conduct outreach to employers hiring candidates with a physics bachelor's degree.


  • An innovative thinker who enjoys pursuing "outside the box" ideas
  • A creative, enthusiastic self-starter who works well with others
  • Strong coding skills using Python, Linux/Unix, or equivalent, and experience with data analysis and processing required
  • Some experience with machine learning tools preferred
  • Candidate should be passionate about promoting physics, and helping other physics majors recognize the value of their skills, knowledge, and abilities
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

APS Education & Diversity Intern (Updated for 2021)

Host: American Physical Society (1 available)

The American Physical Society (APS) is seeking a full-time Education & Diversity Summer Intern who is interested in learning more about the national data that drive many of our programs and how we promote cultural changes in physics. Specific tasks include updating national physics education statistics webpages, including detailed analysis and documentation of the data. Additional tasks may involve developing materials to publicize department programs, such as written articles, brochures, or videos. Other duties may be assigned.


  • Proficiency in Excel (required).
  • Experience in Python, R, and/or other coding languages (strongly desired).
  • Demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Strong organization, documentation, and prioritization skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to adapt to quickly changing schedules.
  • Ability to work well with interdepartmental teams as well as independently.
  • Knowledge of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices and research (desired)

APS Public Engagement Intern (Updated for 2021)

Host: American Physical Society (1 available)

Are you passionate about physics and want to transmit your knowledge and passion for physics to others? American Physical Society (APS) Public Engagement Department is seeking a full-time summer intern student to work with our team on learning how to do virtual public engagement more effectively. More specifically, we are looking to do a study of our past year of engaging with the public through our different online platforms (social media - IG, Twitter, FB), website, blogs, videos, etc to determine what is working and what not, who is the audience that is engaging with us in the different platforms and how are they engaging. This assessment will then lead the intern to write recommendations on changes to our virtual public engagement strategic plan.


  • Creative thinker who enjoys pursuing "outside the box" ideas
  • Enthusiastic and experienced about communicating and promoting physics
  • Strong communication skills
  • Work well with team members
  • Comfortable with data analysis and data visualization skills
  • Desired but not required: Experience with social media, designing/creating websites, website search engine optimization and user interface

SPS Science Outreach Catalyst Kit Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: Society of Physics Students, American Institute of Physics (1 available)

Are you passionate about sharing physics with the next generation? Do you like developing fun and educational science activities? SPS Science Outreach Catalyst Kits (SOCKs)  are self-contained kits that feature creative, informative, and hands-on physics activities for SPS chapters nationwide to use in outreach programs in their communities. The SOCK intern will take the 2020-21 SOCK from inception to completion by brainstorming, testing, designing, and refining activities. The intern will participate in several physics outreach events over the course of the summer and will write up lesson outlines and reflections on their experiences for a manual that will accompany the SOCK. The science theme for the 2020-21 SOCK will be determined in coordination with the selected intern.


  • Interest in public outreach and education
  • Experience in outreach or education with K-12 students
  • Ability to effectively communicate scientific topics to non-scientists
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Experience with science outreach or education preferred

AAPT Teacher Professional Development Programs Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: American Association of Physics Teachers (1 available)

The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) seeks an SPS intern to help develop and disseminate resources for AAPT’s K-12 teacher professional development programs, including face-to-face and digital resources. The intern will have the opportunity to develop a suite of curricular resources, develop and moderate monthly webinars, craft blogs, learn about and contribute to federal education policy, and engage in various grant programs related to teacher leadership, heliophysics, the integration of physics and computation, advancing women in physics, and more. The intern will have the opportunity to attend the AAPT Summer Meeting and provide hands-on programming to high school teacher attendees. The intern will also support eMentoring and online learning by assisting with pairings of mentors and mentees, program evaluation, arranging for a webinar series, and streamlining online resources. 


  • Demonstrated writing skills
  • Interest in teaching, particularly at the high school level
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Some experience as a teaching or learning assistant or other classroom teaching, experience using technology in physics education, and familiarity with the Next Generation Science Standards preferred.
  • Experience with computation, engineering, or project-based learning will be a plus.

Physics Today Science Writing Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: American Institute of Physics - Physics Today (1 available)

Physics Today, the world’s leading physics magazine, seeks an editorial intern for the magazine and its website. Responsibilities include writing about new studies in the physical sciences, doing research for stories under development for the magazine, and helping with PT’s social media accounts. This is a great opportunity for someone considering a career in science journalism.


  • Demonstrated writing skills
  • Excellent communication skill
  • Familiarity with Facebook and Twitter preferred

Science Policy Positions

AIP Mather Public Policy Intern - Capitol Hill (updated for 2021)

Host: American Institute of Physics (AIP) and Congressional Offices on Capitol Hill (2 available)
*US citizenship required 

AIP Mather Public Policy interns are physics majors who spend the summer working in a congressional office on Capitol Hill. Interns provide support to representatives and staff as needed on a range of issues. While duties vary depending on assignment, previous Mather interns have attended and helped prepare for hearings and markups, written letters to constituents, gathered background materials related to votes, and provided general support to the offices.  The AIP Mather Public Policy Internship Program is supported by the John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts, and aims to promote awareness of and interaction with the policy process in Washington DC for undergraduate physics students.

Specific placements for Mather interns are arranged on an individual basis after they are selected. Previous AIP Mather policy interns have worked in member offices (including Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL 11), Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ 1), and others) and committee offices (US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology).


  • Interest in science policy
  • Basic understanding of how Congress and the US government works
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • US Citizenship

 AIP Mather Public Policy Intern - NIST (Updated for 2021)

Host: American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology  (1 available)

The Office of Advanced Manufacturing at NIST runs a number of advanced manufacturing innovation programs.  The AIP Policy Intern could anticipate working on the Manufacturing USA program, a $3 billion public-private partnership consisting of fourteen (soon to be sixteen) R&D institutes that each work in different technology areas and aim to create new industries in the United States.  For more information, see www.manufacturingusa.com.  

The office convenes and enables industry-led, private-public partnerships that focus on manufacturing innovation by engaging U.S. universities, state and local governments, and technology manufacturers.  It uses an integrated whole-of-government advanced manufacturing initiative to facilitate collaboration and information sharing across federal agencies, including NSF, DOE, DoD, NASA and others.  By coordinating federal resources and programs, the office enhances technology transfer in U.S. manufacturing industries and helps companies overcome technical obstacles to scale-up new technologies and products.

We anticipate that the AIP Policy intern would work on a mixture of our day-to-day policy needs and, if interested, could work on a summer capstone project as well.  The intern could anticipate in-person or virtual visits to Capitol Hill and to other executive branch agencies.  Our twin goals are for the American people to receive the benefit of the intern’s thoughtful, dedicated work, and for the intern to receive a valuable educational experience through exposure to science and technology policy making. 

AIP FYI Science Policy News Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: American Institute of Physics (1 available)

Are you interested in how science informs public policy and how the government sets policies that impact science? Do you want to help communicate policy developments to scientists? If so, consider applying for a summer internship with FYI, an objective science policy news and resource center supported by the American Institute of Physics.

The AIP Science Policy News Intern will help the FYI team research, write, and distribute news articles about federal science policy debates and decisions. To improve the FYI team’s awareness of science policy developments, the intern will attend and summarize a wide variety of events, including congressional hearings, think tank discussions, and federal advisory committee meetings. The intern may also have the opportunity to be the lead author for one or more articles.


  • Interest in science policy
  • Interest in communicating policy developments
  • Demonstrated writing skills

Science Research Positions

Science Research: NASA Goddard Research Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (1-2 available)

SPS interns will work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.  Several possible projects are listed below.

2020 Cosmic Microwave Background Polarimetry

Our laboratory is currently developing millimeter wave and far-infared technologies to characterize the polarization of the cosmic microwave background radiation. The enabling technologies under development for these space borne applications include high sensitivity cryogenic detector systems and quasioptical polarization modulators. These efforts involve characterization of new materials as well as modeling and measurement of devices. An interest in developing instrumentation and analysis skills in a small team setting is desirable.

2020 Planetary Environments Laboratory

Potential Project 1: 

The planetary environments laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is developing ion optics for use in two orbitrap mass spectrometer instruments. These instruments are being developed for in situ scientific missions on the moon and Europa (an icy moon of Jupiter), respectively. The Moon mission will aim to better understand the composition the Moon, support K-Ar dating, establish a “life signature blank” for future astrobiology missions, and identify economically viable deposits. The Europa mission is focused on the detection of molecular biosignatures and the chemistry of Europa’s surface. The ion optics are used to focus and accelerate ions produced by a UV laser into the inlet of the mass spectrometer. The primary goal of the internship will be to tune the ion optics to inject a series of spatially confined packets of ions so as to maximize the signal and mass resolving power of the mass spectrometer. Students have experience doing experimental work (e.g. a physics or chemistry lab class) or who are interested in optics (light optics or ion optics) are encouraged to apply.

Potential Project 2:

The MiniEPMA (Miniature Electron Probe Micro Analyzer) instrument aims to determine elemental composition of a mineral target on an asteroid, comet, or other airless body.   By combining efficient microscale compositional mapping with a new light-element (C/N/O) capability, this work will significantly advance our capability for remote in situ determination of the elemental composition of samples of planetary, asteroidal, and cometary material. Composition provides key evidence about the processes by which rocks, soils, and ices were formed and altered (for example, accretion, differentiation, and hydrothermal alteration) thus recording past stages in solar system evolution. The capability for rapid basic elemental analysis will also contribute to the location of resources to support exploration. The MiniEPMA instrument uses an addressable carbon nanotube based field emitter array to produce a compositional map on a target. The goal of the internship will be to support the fabrication and testing of new field emitter array candidates and completed electron guns for use in the prototype instrument. Characterization of the emitter emission current, life time, and emitter uniformity will be key in producing a lower power array of target spots on a beam observation system.


  • Previous research experience preferred
  • Must meet the eligibility requirements for the NASA internship program including US citizenship

Science Research: NIST Research Intern (updated for 2021)

Host: National Institute for Standards and Technology (2 available)

Position description for 2021 is pending, but the position description for a previous SPS NIST Research intern is below.

Prior NIST Research Intern Position Description: Identifying biomolecules in solution
A new sensor is being developed at NIST that will uniquely identify individual biomolecules in complex solutions. The sensor is based on a solid-state nanopore with molecular-scale features and an integrated transistor using a 2 dimensional semiconductor. This device will take advantage of the fact that every molecule has a unique electrostatic profile, arising from the unique arrangement of functional groups, ligands, and heteroatom within the molecular structure. The intern will assist in some of the nanofabrication steps, electrical testing, and fluidic testing using targeted molecules.


  • Interest in physics research
  • Previous laboratory/measurement experience, especially in the area of electronics or materials
  • Programming skills a plus