NASA internships and New Zealand Space Agency scholarships

The NASA International Internship Programme is not currently active due to COVID-19.

If the International Internship (I2) Programme does reopen in 2022, we cannot guarantee that New Zealand candidates will be able to travel internationally safely and reliably to take up the opportunity.

Therefore, we are not currently taking applications for the NASA IProgramme. The earliest we may be able to accept applications will be late 2022 for internship positions in 2023.

NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) internships

Unlike the I2 Programme, the NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) internships can take place remotely from New Zealand. We are currently only offering the next NASA JPL internships in early 2022 to existing applicants whose internship process was cancelled due to COVID-19. The earliest we will be taking applications from new candidates will be alongside the I2 applications in late 2022.

In the meantime, find out about our 2020 JPL intern Emily Kendall’s experience working with the NASA JPL cloud computing team.

Emily Kendall on Cloud 9

Subscribe to NZSA updates and we'll let you know about any opportunities for space internships as soon as they come up.

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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 Center in Silicon Valley, California and is designed so interns can enhance their 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.

The application process is 2-phased. Candidates must first be selected by the New Zealand Space Agency, and secondly by NASA as it chooses finalists from a broader pool of international applicants.

To see what past interns have worked on watch their Vlogs

The New Zealand Space Scholarship

To help you undertake your internship, the New Zealand Space Agency will award New Zealand Space Scholarships to the successful students.

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.
  • Demonstrate 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 covers specified costs relating to the internship at NASA, as follows:

  • return economy airfares to United States
  • NASA administration fee
  • Accommodation (please note, the successful candidate is likely to be accommodated onsite in NASA lodging)
  • stipend (to cover food, travel and other related expenses)
  • visa-related fees
  • medical and travel insurance.

The scholarship will only cover costs associated with participating in the NASA internship. Any additional costs associated with the candidate extending their stay in the United States is their own responsibility.

The 2020 application process is open until 5pm, 19 December 2019.  Late applications will not be accepted.

2019 NASA Interns

Over 200 applications were submitted to the New Zealand Space Agency’s call for the 2019 NASA International Internship Programme. From these, Hammond Pearce, Rose Swears, Andrew Alder, and Steven McCabe were selected for the first summer intake from June to August 2019. Finbar Argus, Lynley St George, and Sam Donald were selected for the fall intake from August to November 2019.

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

Former 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

To find out about their projects and experiences watch their Vlogs

Subscribe to Space Agency updates to hear about future opportunities.

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Last updated: 11 October 2021