The NASA International Internship Program (NASA I²) is a structured agency-wide program that provides a collaborative environment in which non-U.S. interns (university undergraduate level students) or fellows (university graduate level students) are able to work alongside international peers. Following the signing of an agreement between NIHERST and NASA in 2012, (which was subsequently renewed in 2015), the NASA I² program was developed to facilitate a structured educational exchange among students from Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. interns and visiting university students from abroad, under the mentorship of a member of NASA’s science and engineering workforce. The first cycle of this partnership was implemented in 2014, with two nationals being sent off to the NASA Ames Research Centre for the four-month fall internship, after a stringent local screening process. The program has had continued success in 2015, both in the sixteen-week spring internship and the ten-week summer internship whereby the past interns returned alongside two newly selected ones, to continue their research at NASA’s request. In 2016, one national was also afforded the opportunity to attend the summer internship.

The program is intensive with an emphasis on group work, teamwork, research and creativity. The content balances science and technology with issues of management, finance, and social and human issues faced by aerospace professionals. Students take part in seminars, informal discussions, evening lecture, supervised research, group projects and visits to NASA centres and laboratories.

Research Project Areas:

Students/Fellows will be required to undertake research projects at the NASA Ames in one of following areas:

  • Advanced Life Support
  • Biosensor Development
  • Computer Science Programmer
  • CubeSat Cluster Test-Bed
  • Data Mining and Analysis for Sustainability Base
  • Explore Impact of Network Delays on Distributed Spacecraft Testing
  • Lunar Topographic Products from Orbital Images
  • Metabolic Control for Adaptation to Spaceflight Environment
  • Monitoring Changes in ASRS Reports using Python and Text Mining
  • Nanotechnology in Electronics and Sensor Development
  • Prognostics and Health Management
  • Studies of the Aquous History of Mars
  • The Effects of Mechanical Unloading on Biological Function
  • Upgrading a Space Debris Simulation Software for Planetary Defense Assessments

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N.B. – Assignment of research project areas will be confirmed by NASA during NASA’s final ranking and selection of candidates.

Criteria for Application:

To apply for a NASA internship, you must:

  • Must be a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Must be currently residing in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Must be currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) in a topic relevant to NASA’s mission priorities
  • Must meet a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0, or equivalent standard if university does not use GPA
  • Must have a high academic standing and a demonstrated interest in the space program
  • Must show proficiency in English.

Upon completion of their NASA Internship, the interns/fellows will be required to:

  • Submit a full report within three (3) months of return, on the research project undertaken to NIHERST and their tertiary level institute
  • Conduct two public lectures within three (3) months of return – one on the research undertaken and one on the experience of the internship
  • Participate in media interviews as required
  • Conduct additional research towards his/her undergraduate/postgraduate thesis, where possible.

Participating international students will also be required to participate in required officer education activity by NASA.

Application Procedure

Applicants are required to submit the completed application form, along with proof of citizenship (i.e. copy of birth certificate or passport), two (2) written and signed/stamped recommendations, the contact information of the referees and an official transcript, electronically to and in hardcopy to Ms. Darielle Rampersad, International Projects Unit, NIHERST, 8 Serpentine Road, St. Clair, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Preference would be given to candidates who are able to further research within Trinidad and Tobago.