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High School Students (Summer High School Intern Program)

Half a dozen high school students stand listening to a presentation in a room with scientific equipment.
Students participating in NIST's Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP) get a tour of the Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility on the Gaithersburg campus.
Credit: B. Hayes/NIST

Students interested in science can spend their summers in our labs at the Boulder, Co or the Gaithersburg, MD campuses through NIST’s Summer High School Intern Program (SHIP). You’ll learn from top scientists at NIST and work on your own research project. 

SHIP is an eight-week, unpaid educational internship. Students need to provide their own housing and transportation. More information on paid roles is available on our Student Employment page. 

Upcoming deadlines:

The application for SHIP 2024 is CLOSED.

The program runs annually from the Second or third week of June to the second week of August. (Actual dates vary each year.) 

The application period is open from December 1 through mid-February each year(varies by year). Learn more about the deadlines in our application page


SHIP is open to U.S. citizens who are juniors or seniors in high school during the application period. A minimum GPA of 3.0, and a desire to participate in scientific research, is also required. You must commit to the full eight-week program to participate. (There are no exceptions.) 

What You’ll Get 

This competitive volunteer program will give you the chance to participate in cutting-edge research at NIST and work with our staff scientists and engineers on a research problem. Learn about previous SHIP students’ research projects for more information. 

How to Apply

Applications generally open on Dec. 1 and close in first week of February of the following year. Learn more about the application process

Helpful (but Not Required) Skills for SHIP Students 

  • Python
  • Physics 
  • Electronics 
  • LabView
  • AutoDesk Inventor 
  • Java
  • AI knowledge generation 
  • SQL server
  • SQL Stored Procedures  
  • Visual Studio 
  • Web development 
  • Next generation computing 
  • Chemistry (basic) 
  • Math 
  • Computer programming 

Stories from our SHIP Students

Contact Us

ship [at] (ship[at]nist[dot]gov) 

Created May 17, 2010, Updated February 14, 2024