The primary goal of the summer internship program is to encourage promising young minority students to pursue careers in scientific research by providing them with an introduction to graduate level laboratory research and the opportunity to perform “hands-on” work at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC. The interdisciplinary research performed at NRL gives interns exposure to a variety of fields including materials science and engineering, chemical and biochemical engineering, aerospace engineering, physics, synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, computer science, mathematics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering.

Research topics - Past projects completed within this program include: catalytic sorbent materials, wireless power, cyber security, three-dimensional analysis of synthetic materials, biosensor design and engineering, organic/inorganic molecular imprinting, canine detection chemistries, space observations of coronal mass ejections, bio-fuels and alternative energy materials, microstructural studies of advanced steels, laser fabrication of living tissue for biosensor applications, nanoparticle characterization and synthesis, meta-Proteomics and mass spectral-based proteome profiling, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analysis, solar energy harvesting, graphical user interface for robotics engineering, nanocrystalline magnetic materials for power electronics applications and more.

Student Profile - Undergraduate students are primarily recruited from the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI). These universities include: Howard University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, Spelman College, Alabama A&M University, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Universities of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, Arecibo, Rio Piedras), Norfolk State University, Florida A & M University, Bowie State University, Virginia State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Jackson State University, Huston-Tillotson University, Prairie View A&M University, Tougaloo College, Philander Smith College, University of Turabo-Puerto Rico, Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, University of Hawaii- Manoa and others. Four hundred and thirty-nine minority students have completed research internships at NRL during the twenty-seven summers of this program's existence, 1992-2019. This has included 257 women and 182 men from a variety of scientific disciplines: Chemistry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Materials Science, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics.

Students chosen to participate in this program are expected to be motivated towards STEM and/or teaching careers. Preference is given to students to students whose objectives include an advanced degree in STEM disciplines, as opposed to a medical degree. The average grade point average for selected interns is typically 3.4 out of 4.0. A sampling of recent student projects can be sampled through the links in the left hand navigation.