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 afforded the opportunity to attend the summer internship, and in 2017, two nationals were also selected to represent at 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
  • Astrobee Software Intern Ames Research Center
  • Biosensor Development Ames Research Center
  • CubeSat Cluster Test-Bed Ames Research Center
  • Data Mining and Analysis for Sustainability Base Ames Research Center
  • Explore Impact of Network Delays on Distributed Spacecraft Testing Ames Research Center
  • Lunar Topographic Products from Orbital Images Ames Research Center
  • Metabolic control for adaptation to spaceflight environment
  • Monitoring Changes in ASRS Reports using Python and Text Mining Ames Research Center
  • Prognostics and Health Management Ames Research Center
  • Studies of the aqueous history of Mars Ames Research Center
  • The Influence of Mechanical Unloading on Biological Function Ames Research Center
  • Upgrading a Space Debris Simulation Software for planetary defense assessments Ames Research Center
  • Engineering Student Intern, Experimental Aero-Physics Branch Ames Research Center
  • Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Ames Research Center

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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.

NIHERST/NASA I2 Eligibility Requirements:

Persons applying for the NIHERST/NASA I2 opportunity must meet the following eligibility requirements.

To apply for a NASA internship, you must:

  • Be a national of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Be a holder of a Trinidad and Tobago passport
  • Be currently residing in Trinidad and Tobago
  • NOT be a permanent resident of the united states or a holder of a U.S. “green card” (U.S. alien registration card)
  • Meet a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, or equivalent standard if university does not use GPA.
    • N.B: Your cumulative GPA must reflect 3.0 at the time of application, and not pending grades for the new academic/current semester. This does not apply to First Year, Semester 1 students.
  • Have a high academic standing and a demonstrated interest in the space program
  • Show proficiency in English.

In addition to the above general requirements, applicants must not have spent a substantial amount of time living or studying in the U.S. within the past 3-5 years. The NIHERST/NASA I2 program aims to provide an educational exchange experience to those not previously afforded such an opportunity. Applicants must also express exceptional promise of making a contribution to national development.

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.
  • Provide updates with photos, mid-internship.

Application Procedure

Complete an online application form and submit as a Word Document (.doc) to NASAinternship@niherst.gov.tt, along with the following supporting documents as electronic files:

  • Proof of citizenship (i.e. scanned copy of birth certificate or passport)
  • Two (2) signed recommendations one of which must be an academic recommendation. The references should include the referee's contact details and current (or relevant previous) position.
  • A scanned copy or unofficial academic transcript.
  • A copy of your CSEC and CAPE certificates

Additionally, you are required to submit the official academic transcript and the original references, via drop-off or mail to:
Ms. Darielle Rampersad
International Projects Unit, NIHERST,
Level 13, Ministry of Education, Education Tower,
No. 5 St. Vincent St. Port of Spain

For further information please contact Ms. Darielle Rampersad, International Projects Unit, NIHERST, Level 13, Ministry of Education, Education Tower, No. 5 St. Vincent St. Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Office: +1 868 625 6437 ext. 2308.

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