Learner Opportunities

Below you will find programs and scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, internships for high school and college students, post-doctoral fellowships, special programs for early career researchers, faculty members, and senior scientists. Some of these programs occur only at NASA centers, but others support students or scientists at universities. Some are funded through NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, but many are sponsored either by other directorates within NASA, the NASA Office of STEM Engagement, or non-NASA organizations. Some programs are open to more than one group as indicated (postdoctoral, graduate, undergraduate or high school).  

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP)
Postdoctoral Opportunities
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists the opportunity to share in NASA's mission, to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind. NASA Postdoctoral Fellows work on 1 to 3 year assignments with NASA scientists and engineers at NASA centers and institutes to advance NASA's missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering,human exploration and space operations, astrobiology, and science management. NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellows contribute to our national scientific exploration, confirm NASA's leadership in fundamental research, and complement the efforts of NASA's partners in the national science community.

NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP)
Postdoctoral Opportunities
This program supports outstanding scientists to pursue independent research in any area of NASA Astrophysics, using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrumental development. Starting with the fellowship program in 2018, the Hubble, Sagan and Einstein fellowships are merged into one program with a single application. The new NHFP preserves the legacy of NASA’s previous postdoctoral fellowship programs; once selected, fellows are named to one of three sub-categories corresponding to NASA’s “big questions": How does the Universe work? – Einstein Fellows; How did we get here? – Hubble Fellows; Are we alone? – Sagan Fellows.

NHFP fellowships are tenable at U.S. host institutions of the fellows' choice, subject to a maximum of two new fellows per host institution per year, with no more than five fellows being hosted by a given institution in any three-year period (where the cumulative count begins with the 2018 fellows). The duration of the fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment, and two annual renewals, contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds.

Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics (RTF)
Postdoctoral Opportunities
This fellowship provides early career researchers the opportunity to develop skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instruments/projects and become principal investigators (PIs) of future astrophysics missions; to develop innovative technologies that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on a trajectory towards long-term positions. The Fellowship duration is one to five years (subject to a peer review process and availability of funds from NASA).

Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowships
Postdoctoral Opportunities
Through the Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS, formerly UCAR Visiting Scientist Programs) NASA helps to support this program that matches early career PhDs with experienced mentors at U.S. research institutions for two-year fellowships. The goal of the program is to train the next generation of researchers needed for the emerging field of Heliophysics. CPAESS releases an announcement of opportunity annually in the fall and applications are due in mid-January.

Space Radiation Studies
Postdoctoral and Graduate Opportunities
Scientists studying the effects of radiation on human space flight can conduct research on radiation interactions at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven, Long Island.

Science Job Opportunities
Postdoctoral and Graduate Opportunities
NASA jobs that are primarily offered through USAJOBS.

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
Graduate Opportunities
NASA supports some graduate students every year to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Read the call for abstracts for complete details.

Blue Marble
Graduate Opportunities
Scientists interested in pursuing advanced degrees following their first four years of college are invited to participate in NASA’s post-baccalaureate research program, Blue Marble. After earning their bachelors degree, and prior to enrolling in a Masters program, students have the opportunity to perform guided research with NASA scientists, acquire real-world lab experience, contribute to published research, and earn publication citations.

Future Investigators in Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST)
Graduate Opportunities
Since 2007, four of SMD’s divisions, i.e., Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics, at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, have supported graduate student-initiated research through the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowships (NESSF). Beginning in 2018, the FINESST solicitation replaced the call for new NESSFs. SMD’s Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES)" solicitation added FINESST as a cross- or multi-divisional appendix starting with ROSES-2019. Discover the FINESST notice of funding opportunity (NOFO), i.e., which parts of SMD participate, read selected research abstracts from prior years, etc. by visiting https://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and search using keyword “FINESST”. Typically, FINESST NOFOs are released in late October or early November, with proposals due in early February. 

NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities
Graduate Opportunities
Opportunities for individuals pursuing or planning to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities (see solicitation for complete eligibility requirements). These awards are a component of the Space Technology Research Grants Program which engages the entire spectrum of academic researchers, including graduate students. Please note that this replaces the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF).

The National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. Fellowship
Graduate Opportunities
GEM assists underrepresented minority students in obtaining M.S. degrees in engineering and Ph.D. degrees in engineering and the natural and physical sciences.

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project
Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities
This fellowship contributes to the nation's science enterprise by funding research, education, and public service projects through a national network of 52 university-based Space Grant consortia. The consortia fund graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, or STEM, as well as curriculum enhancement and faculty development.

NASA Fellowship Activity
Graduate Opportunities
Beginning in 2018 the Office of STEM Engagement offers this opportunity to graduate students.

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)
Graduate Opportunities
ORISE provides recent bachelor’s and master’s degree graduates research opportunities to help prepare for a STEM career while providing laboratory knowledge.

NASA Internships
Graduate, Undergraduate and High School Opportunities
Being an astronaut isn’t the only cool thing about space.  Interns use their creativity and innovation to work on projects impacting NASA’s mission, such as returning to the Moon by 2024.  As a NASA intern, you will be part of an amazing team that is dedicated to space exploration.  You will work with leading experts and gain valuable experience as you participate in research and mission projects.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech
Postdoctoral, Graduate, Undergraduate and High School Opportunities
An internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a chance to do the impossible. Here, you won’t be going on coffee runs -- unless that coffee needs to be harvested from the moon and you’re on the team that’s building the probe to do it. Our internships put you right in the action with the scientists and engineers who’ve helped make JPL the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system.

NASA International Internships
Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities
Internship opportunities at a NASA field center university offered for students from participating countries competitive.  During the internship, students work with U.S. and other foreign interns under the guidance of NASA mentors. 

The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP)
Undergraduate Opportunities
Scientists studying the effects of radiation on human space flight can conduct research on radiation interactions at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven, Long Island.
At NASA we have a commitment to educate and inspire the next generation of scientists. The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) enables 10 college students a year to join us on the NASA Ames where they can get hands-on, real world experience working on scientific investigations. Each summer, junior and senior college students solicit research partners, work with mentors, and design a personal research project to explore over a 10-week period. Please note: SLSTP study opportunities are available to US citizens, only.

Pathways Program
Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities
At NASA, you have the opportunity to work and explore careers while still in school.  The Pathways Program provides currents students with paid work experience and recent graduates with a dynamic career development program at the beginning of their careers.

NASA’s Lucy Mission to Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids
Undergraduate Opportunities
Undergraduate science and engineering students enrolled in an accredited U.S. 2- or 4- year institution can learn about xxx by applying to the Fall, Spring or Summer Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) Virtual Academy. Each no-fee, on-line Academy runs 12 weeks for 1.5 hours/week plus homework and team projects. Students are required to have access a computer with 1) high-speed internet and 2) a headphone with a microphone. Successful students will receive a certificate to show applied workforce competency on internship, scholarship, or job applications.

USRA Scholarship Awards
Undergraduate Opportunities
USRA provides college scholarship awards to students who have shown a career interest in science or engineering with an emphasis on space research or space science education, and aeronautics-related sciences. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students attending a four-year accredited college or university that offers courses leading to a degree in science or engineering. Applicants must be within two (2) years of earning a B.S. or a B.A. in a field of science and engineering, including life science and science education by the time the award is received. Scholarship awards are made in the fall, with applications accepted during the summer. Deadline details are available at the website.

The NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP)
Undergraduate Opportunities
SARP is an eight-week summer program for rising senior undergraduate students to assist in the operation of instruments onboard an aircraft to sample atmospheric chemicals, and/or to image land and water surfaces in multiple spectral bands. Research areas include atmospheric chemistry, air quality, forest ecology, and ocean biology. Along with airborne data collection, students will participate in taking measurements at field sites. The program culminates with formal presentations of research results and conclusions.

NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program
Undergraduate Opportunities
Undergraduates majoring in geology or related fields take part in an 8-week summer internship program, in which qualified students get to work with a NASA-funded planetary scientist at the scientist's home institution. In the past, sites have included NASA Ames Research Center, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the U.S.G.S. Astrogeology Branch in Flagstaff, Arizona, and many others. 

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program
Undergraduate Opportunities
A competitively selected program designed to support current sophomore and junior undergraduate students to work with scientists at the SETI Institute and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center on projects spanning the field of astrobiology from microbiology to observational astronomy.

The Lunar and Planetary Science Summer Intern Program
Undergraduate Opportunities
The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience cutting-edge research working one-on-one with a scientist at the LPI or at the NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in lunar and planetary science.

SEES High School Summer Intern
High School Opportunities
A nationally competitive STEM program for high school students. The program provides selected students with exposure to Earth and space research. Interns will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work.

GL4HS: GeneLab for High School Students
High School Opportunities
Scientists studying the effects of radiation on human space flight can conduct research on radiation interactions at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory in Brookhaven, Long Island.
Next-gen tools for the next generation of scientists. Each year 10 Bay Area juniors and seniors have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge omics research using open science data on GeneLab. Over the course of three weeks, NASA scientists mentor high school students as they come up with a hypothesis, analyze GeneLab databases, and research the results. Students gain invaluable experience performing real science while collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes, using methods including computational biology and bioinformatics.