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What is the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

Support is provided by the NSF-funded Blue Waters Project for sustained petascale computing to support year-long undergraduate internship experiences involving the application of high-performance computing to problems in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics. The program provides a student stipend totaling $5000, a two-week intensive Petascale Institute, an allocation on the Blue Waters supercomputer, and, for select students, travel to the Blue Waters Symposium 2020.

This program provides support for undergraduate internship activities at any accredited degree-granting institution in the United States. The internships awarded through this program may be to students working with a faculty mentor on their home campus, or at another campus. Interested faculty need to create an intern position and can specify a particular student for whom the position is intended, or may select a qualified applicant with Blue Waters support through our program.


Who should participate in the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

  • Undergraduate faculty who would like to mentor one or more undergraduate students in a year-long internship in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics that involves teaching or researching the use of high-performance computing in studying problems in these fields.
  • Undergraduate students interested in participating in a year-long STEM internship. Students must be enrolled as undergraduates through Spring 2020 at a U.S. degree-granting institution.
  • Students and faculty who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM are strongly encouraged to participate in the program; including, but not limited to, women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.
  • Beginning graduate students who have a research advisor are eligible to apply to attend the Petascale Institute and will have their expenses covered by the program; any stipend would be the responsibility of their own research advisor.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to attempt to match themselves with a mentor and project before applying.


What are the expectations of participants?

Undergraduate interns are expected to:

  • Work with an assigned mentor in a year-long internship concluding by May 31, 2020 (30 hours per week over the summer and around eight hours per week during the academic year)
  • Attend the entire two-week Petascale Institute at NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 19 - 31, 2019
  • Submit progress reports to the Blue Waters Student Internship Program Coordinators
  • Participate in surveys, interviews, and focus groups administered by the Blue Waters Student Internship Program evaluators
  • Consider submitting an abstract for a poster about their project work to the Blue Waters Student Internship Program Coordinators in the spring (select interns will present posters at the 2020 Blue Waters Symposium)
  • Submit a student paper to the Journal of Computational Science Education (JOCSE) by May 31, 2020

Faculty mentors are expected to:

  • Provide mentoring, guidance, and project supervision to the assigned intern in a year-long internship concluding by May 31, 2020 (interns are expected to work 30 hours per week over the summer and around eight hours per week during the academic year)
  • Add the assigned intern to an existing Blue Waters allocation or apply immediately for a Blue Waters Education allocation to support the intern's work
  • Ensure the intern attends the entire two-week Petascale Institute at NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 19 - 31, 2019
  • Ensure the intern submits progress reports to the Blue Waters Student Internship Program Coordinators
  • Participate in surveys, interviews, and focus groups administered by the Blue Waters Student Internship Program evaluators
  • Ensure the intern considers submitting an abstract for a poster about their project work to the Blue Waters Student Internship Program Coordinators in the spring (select interns will present posters at the 2020 Blue Waters Symposium)
  • Ensure the intern submits a student paper to the Journal of Computational Science Education (JOCSE) by May 31, 2020


How do I apply for the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

For Faculty: By clicking the button at the top or bottom of this page, faculty should create undergraduate internship positions they have available, indicating either that the position is intended for a particular student applicant or that it is open to qualified applicants.

What you'll need to create a project proposal:

  • A title for the project
  • A summary of the project
  • A description of the work to be completed by the student
  • A description of how the project will make use of the Blue Waters supercomputer or other HPC resources
  • Name and email of student for which the project is proposed if the position is intended for a particular applicant
  • A list of conditions and qualifications for the intern


For Students: By clicking the button at the top or bottom of this page, eligible undergraduate students should submit an application for consideration. There is an area on the form where students can identify a faculty member as a mentor. Students who have taken the initiative to arrange an internship with a faculty mentor are more likely to be selected for this program than students who have not.

What you'll need to submit an application:

  • Information about your academic background such as current GPA, relevant coursework, and previous relevant work or internship experiences
  • The name, title, institution, and email address of your potential faculty mentor if you have already identified one
  • Names and email addresses for two references willing to complete a recommendation form


What are the important dates?

  • February 3, 2019: Deadline for student applications, recommendation forms, and intern positions from faculty
  • March 2, 2019: Notifications made to students and faculty
  • March 9, 2019: Confirmation deadline for students and faculty
  • May 19 - 31, 2019: Interns attend the two-week Petascale Institute at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus
  • June - August 2019: Interns work 30 hours per week on their projects, complete two monthly progress reports, and are paid a $3000 portion of their stipend after the completion of the summer module
  • August 2019 - May 2020: Interns work around eight hours per week on their projects, complete a monthly survey, complete two semester progress reports, and are paid the final two $1000 portions of their stipend (one at the end of each semester)
  • Some time in February/March 2020: Deadline for poster abstracts for the 2020 Blue Waters Symposium
  • May 31, 2020: Deadline for student paper submission to the Journal of Computational Science Education (JOCSE)
  • Some time in May/June 2020: Select interns attend the 2020 Blue Waters Symposium


How can I contact the Blue Waters Student Internship Program Coordinators?

Send email to bwsip at shodor dot org or call 919-530-1911.


How can I promote the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

A PDF flyer is available to inform students and faculty about this program.

Blue Waters Student Internship Program Flyer