NASA internships and New Zealand Space Agency scholarships

The New Zealand Space Agency invited high-performing New Zealand tertiary students to apply to participate in the NASA International Internship Programme from June to August 2019. To complement this opportunity, the New Zealand Space Agency offered the New Zealand Space Scholarship.

The 2019 application process has now closed. Subscribe to Space Agency updates to hear about future opportunities.

Subscribe to updates(external link)

NASA International Internship Programme

The NASA International Internship Programme is an opportunity for tertiary students from around the world to work collaboratively on research with a NASA mentor.

The programme takes place at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in Silicon Valley, California and is designed to enhance international and intercultural understanding and skills by working on NASA research or a NASA-related mission or project.

Opportunities for collaboration with a diverse range of other interns are provided in both formal and informal settings.

2019 NASA Summer Interns

The New Zealand Space Agency received high calibre applications from talented tertiary students studying STEM subjects. Four students, three based in New Zealand and one already studying in the US, have been accepted into the 2019 summer intake and granted scholarships by MBIE.

US Ambassador Scott Brown and Economic Development Minister David Parker announce NASA interns

Economic Development Minister David Parker announces the four NASA interns with US Ambassador Scott Brown holding up their inaugural mission patch.

Photo credit: Ola Thorsen, US Embassy

Andrew Alder

Andrew is completing a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Andrew’s graduate studies in the US are supported by the Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award.

At NASA Andrew will be designing sensors to control aircraft with efficient flexible wings.

Andrew Alder from the University of Auckland/University of Boulder, Colorado.

Andrew Alder from the University of Auckland/University of Boulder, Colorado.

Photo credit: Andrew Alder

Steven McCabe

Steven is in the final stages of his PhD in Electronic Engineering at the University of Waikato. This research involved designing medical implants that can be used safely in MRI machines.

At NASA Steven will be designing wireless sensors for use in planetary exploration.

Steven McCabe from the University of Waikato.

Steven McCabe from the University of Waikato.

Photo credit: Steven McCabe

Rose Swears

Rose is completing a Master of Science in Chemistry at the University of Waikato. During her time at university Rose collaborated on a project to design new environmentally-friendly solid rocket fuels.

At NASA Rose will be researching printable biosensors for monitoring the health of astronauts.

NASA intern Rose Swears with US Ambassador Scott Brown

US Ambassador Scott Brown awards NASA intern (Waikato University) with her mission patch. Rose and the three NASA interns will head to the world class NASA Ames Research Centre in June for 3 months.

Photo credit: Ola Thorsen, US Embassy

Hammond Pearce

Hammond is completing his PhD in Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on safety-critical computer controlled mechanical systems.

At NASA Hammond will be working on a new type of neural network for controlling robotics.

Hammond Pearce, NASA intern speaks at the Beehive ceremony

NASA intern Hammond Pearce accepts the award on behalf of the four NASA interns at an event held at the Beehive on 13 May. Four interns were chosen out of a pool of 200 applicants.

Photo credit: Ola Thorsen, US Embassy

The New Zealand Space Scholarship

To help successful applicants undertake their internship the New Zealand Space Agency awarded them a New Zealand Space Scholarship.

The scholarship aims to:

  • Support New Zealand’s high-achieving students in space-related activities – the programme will give New Zealand’s future innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists a head-start in their careers by enabling them to develop technical skills at a world-leading space agency, build international professional networks and develop their understanding of the global space economy.
  • Build capability in the New Zealand space economy – New Zealand’s ability to leverage existing international space intelligence, thought-leaders and networks such as those at NASA is crucial as we continue to build capability in the New Zealand space industry. Over time, the programme’s alumni will provide a unique source of skills, knowledge and expertise into the New Zealand space economy.
  • Strengthen New Zealand’s connection to the global space network – the programme offers an opportunity to enhance New Zealand’s reputation as an active, responsible and credible space actor and strengthens New Zealand’s connection to the global space network.
  • Demonstrates New Zealand’s high-quality tertiary education – supporting New Zealand students to participate in the programme demonstrates that New Zealand tertiary education prepares students to achieve in STEM at the highest levels.

What does the scholarship cover?

The scholarship covered specified costs relating to the internship at NASA, as follows:

  • return economy airfares to United States
  • NASA administration fee
  • accommodation
  • stipend (to cover food, travel and other related expenses)
  • visa-related fees
  • medical and travel insurance.

The first round of New Zealand Space Scholarships are part of a pilot exercise and an assessment will be made later in the year whether to continue them in the future. 

The 2019 application process has now closed.

Subscribe to Space Agency updates to hear about future opportunities.

Subscribe to updates(external link)