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 three-dimensional analysis of materials, biosensor design and engineering, organic/inorganic molecular imprinting, bio-fuels and alternative energy materials, laser fabrication of living tissue for biosensing 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, and nanocrystalline magnetic materials for power electronics applications.

Student Profile - Undergraduate students are primarily recruited from the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities ·an'd Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI). These universities include: Howard University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University, Spelman College, Alabama A&M University, Morehouse College, Cla.rk Atlanta University, Universities of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, Arecibo, Rio Piedras), Norfolk State 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 and others. Three hundred sixty minority students have completed research internships at NRL during the twenty-five summers of this program's existence, 1992-2017. This has included 207 women and 153 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.