LCLS Internship Program

LCLS Internship Program

The LCLS has a well-established, paid 10-week summer internship program for undergraduate and graduate students looking for internship opportunities. The primary goal of the program is to provide interns with a stimulating, real-world research experience.

Alan Fry is the founder of the LCLS Internship Program in 2011 and head of the LCLS Laser Science and Technology Division. For him, there is not a one-size-fits-all internship that will meet the goals of the internship program. Technical projects are matched to the interests and skills of each intern, as well as to the programmatic needs of the facility. Each intern is partnered with a mentor, typically a staff scientist or engineer, who directs the internship project during the summer. Start and end dates are flexible, allowing the program to accommodate a large diversity of students.

“The LCLS Summer Internship program is an opportunity for students to be a part of the visionary science and engineering at a national laboratory and to interact with scientists, engineers and professionals at SLAC working in many different areas,” says Fry.

Research Opportunities

Internship Poster

Depending on the area of interest, intern projects may focus more on the research or development side of LCLS, involving students in hands-on laboratory projects, programming and data analysis, and/or some combination of the two.

Projects span topics including but not limited to:

  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, and Controls Engineering
  • Materials Science
  • High Energy Density Science
  • Laser Physics
  • X-ray Physics
  • Accelerator Physics
  • Structural and Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Science Communication
  • Business Administration

Student Experiences

The LCLS internship program has opened doors for many interns, introducing them to potential careers and a network of professionals at the frontiers of science.

Interns are matched with mentors whose work aligns with their interests and talents. Interns gain novel, hands-on experience, while mentors receive an extra helping hand and a pipeline of future potential employees, collaborators and users of SLAC’s facilities.

But the mentorship goes beyond project work, and many interns even look to their mentors for advice about graduate school and potential career paths.

At the end of the 10-week internship, LCLS interns wrap up the summer program with a poster contest to showcase their work, where posters are judged and awarded by LCLS staff.

For more information about LCLS intern experiences, check out the testimonials from our interns and posters from the most recent 2017 summer poster session.

See intern testimonials » See 2017 intern posters »

See Where Our 2017 Interns Came From
  • Cabrillo College – (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Colorado School of Mines (2) – Golden, CO)
  • Duke University – (Durham, NC)
  • Howard University (2) – (Washington DC, Maryland)
  • Imperial College of London – (London, UK)
  • Keio University – (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Kenyon College – (Gambier, OH)
  • Lewis and Clarak College – (Portland, OR)
  • Louisiana State University – (Baton Rouge, LA)
  • University of Michigan – (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Michigan State – (East Lansing, MI)
  • University of Maryland University College – (College Park, MD)
  • Oregon State University – (Corvallis, OR)
  • University of Portland – (Portland, OR)
  • Santa Clara University (2) – (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Stanford University (4) – (Palo Alto, CA)
  • Syracuse University – (Syracuse, NY)
  • Valencia College – (Orlando, FL)
  • UC Berkeley – (Berkeley, CA)
  • UC Irvine – (Irvine, CA)
  • UC Los Angeles (5) -- (Los Angeles, CA)
  • UC Merced – (Merced, CA)
  • UC Santa Barbara (3) – (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • UC Santa Cruz (5) – (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • UC San Diego – (San Diego, CA)

Who Should Apply

We look for bright, passionate undergraduate and graduate students interested in LCLS’s various research fields. Some interns go on to pursue full-time employment at SLAC, and many pursue higher academic and professional degrees.

The LCLS Internship Program requires that:

  • The intern must be 18 years or older at the time the internship begins.
  • The intern must be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident at the time of application.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status will be requested at the time an internship offer is accepted.

Other SLAC Internship Opportunities

In addition to the LCLS Internship Program, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has many other undergraduate and graduate internship programs such as the Community College Internship (CCI), DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program, Alonzo W. Ashley Internship Program, STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program, Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI), Youth Opportunity Program (YOP), SLAC Summer Institute (SSI), and the SLAC Summer Student Program.

Find out more about SLAC’s other internship opportunities