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 a Senior Staff Scientist and the founder of the LCLS Internship Program in 2011. 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. Multiple start and end dates are available in the program to accommodate a large diversity of students' schedules.

“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

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, all LCLS interns participate in a poster session where they showcase their work to the other interns and LCLS staff. The best are evaluated by a panel of judges for quality of work, clarity of presentation, and impact on the LCLS mission; cash prizes are awarded to the best posters.

Intern testimonials » Intern poster session photos»

2022 Intern posters » 2021 Intern posters » 2020 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 candidate selection process is based on reviewing interns’ resumes. Candidates are not interviewed during the process.

The LCLS Internship Program requires that:

  • The intern must be 18 years or older at the time the internship begins.
  • All accepted candidates must have or be able to timely acquire US work authorization.

LCLS summer internship is a paid 10-week internship program, and we are open to adjusting the internship start and end dates to best accommodate interns’ schedules. The SLAC housing office can assist interns to find affordable housing accommodations in the area, however, the program does not provide direct funding for housing or travel expenses.

Intern selection process timeline

Early March to late April: SLAC HR will contact the candidates who are accepted into the program.

End of April: unsuccessful candidates for this year will be notified after the final candidate selection.

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