Higher Education Research Experiences at ORNL- Current Undergraduate Student

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Reference Code
How to Apply

Last updated: January 12, 2021.

Due to health and safety concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is restricting visitor access to campus and has temporarily suspended new internship appointments. You may continue to apply to this opportunity, but appointment offers will vary by program and will only be issued once it is deemed safe to do so.

For the latest information and guidance, please visit these COVID-19 resources:

If you have any questions, please contact us at ORNLedu@orau.org


The application will require:

  • Profile information
  • Educational details (i.e. dates of attendance/graduation, GPAs, majors, etc.)
  • Awards and honors
  • Internships or previous experience
  • Essay questions on relevant goals, interests, experiences, or skills
  • An updated resume (pdf)
  • Contact information for recommender, including current email address
  • Academic records - For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of academic records may be submitted showing name, school name, current/enrolled classes, and GPA (pdf)
  • Preferred start/end dates
    • These dates may be considered by the ORNL mentor in determining appointment dates, but are not guaranteed

All documents must be submitted via Zintellect. All application components must be completed and received in the system in order to be considered.

For questions, contact HERE@orau.org.


The Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provides opportunities for participation in research and related technical activities to qualified current undergraduate students. This educational experience offers selected participants the ability to learn from world-class scientists while utilizing the unique resources of ORNL and encourages careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and support fields.

Application Deadline

This is a continuous posting.  Applications will be reviewed and selected by ORNL mentors on a rolling basis as opportunities become available.


  • Full-time or part-time appointments may be offered
  • Flexible start and end dates


  • $600/week stipend paid biweekly for full-time participation; pro-rated if part-time
  • Effective October 4, 2020: $150/week housing allowance for full-time participants (paid with biweekly stipend)
  • Limited travel reimbursement (up to $500 total) for full-time participants if permanent address is at least 50 miles from Oak Ridge
  • Learn more about Housing for ORNL Research Participants

Before you get started on your applications, you should:

  1. Review the research areas at ORNL to determine what best fits your career goals. You can see the six discipline areas at www.ornl.gov.
    • For example, if you choose Clean Energy you will learn more breakthrough areas, news, current research highlights, and more. And you can explore other research areas, or related links and organizations to identify your areas of interest and key words, important terminology, papers, etc. that can be used as you answer application questions or update your resume.
    • Or type a key word into the search box at the top right corner on www.ornl.gov and follow the links provided to identify key researchers at ORNL or go to the webpages of the directorates or divisions.  For example, typing “Environmental Science” leads to the link for the Environmental Sciences Division.
    • And you can find general contacts and access many of the Division or User Facility pages under Our People. Be sure to click on the page links to find potential connections as the Director is usually not the best place to begin your connection process.

After you have completed your application, then reach out via email (use the Our People – Contact Us – Find People - Staff Directory link at www.ornl.gov to enter a name and obtain an email address) to the researchers you identify.

  1. Tell them about your background and describe how your career objectives and interests relate to their research.
  2. Include an updated resume/CV in the email and let them know which programs you have applied to at ORNL.
  3. Showing initiative by reaching out to discuss your passion for science and research is a great way to introduce yourself to potential mentors. This personal connection can be the key to “standing out” from other applications. As many of our ORNL programs use "pool" application posting where multiple mentors will consider candidates with a variety of interests for varied educational project opportunities, this is a critical step for selection success.

For more information, visit Science Education Programs at ORNL or contact HERE@orau.org.


Eligibility requirements:

  • Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree-seeking program at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university
  • Have a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale as of most recent semester
  • Be 18 years of age
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) at the time of application - LPRs are subject to DOE clearance approval for laboratory entry
  • Have medical insurance effective for entire term of appointment
  • Have one academic or professional recommender
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Currently pursuing an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 3.00
  • Academic Level(s): Undergraduate Students.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Business (11 )
    • Chemistry and Materials Sciences (12 )
    • Communications and Graphics Design (6 )
    • Computer, Information, and Data Sciences (16 )
    • Earth and Geosciences (21 )
    • Engineering (27 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (14 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (45 )
    • Mathematics and Statistics (10 )
    • Other Non-Science & Engineering (13 )
    • Physics (16 )
    • Science & Engineering-related (1 )
    • Social and Behavioral Sciences (28 )
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

I certify that:

  • To the best of my knowledge all information contained in this application is accurate
  • I understand that any falsification will render me ineligible for participation and, if found after participation has begun, may require me to reimburse any funds received

The ORISE GO mobile app helps you stay engaged, connected and informed during your ORISE experience – from application, to offer, through your appointment and even as an ORISE alum!