Following the signing of an agreement between NIHERST and NASA in 2012, (which was renewed in 2018), the NASA I² project was developed to facilitate a structured educational exchange among students from Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), 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 since, and NIHERST has supported a total of nine (9) T&T nationals to attend the NASA I² to date.

The internship 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 lectures, supervised research, group projects and visits to NASA centres and laboratories.

NASA International Interns are nominated by the NASA I² foreign partners to participate in the project. Interns must have expertise and background in technical areas of interest to NASA. NIHERST is the official agency to administer NASA I² in T&T, having signed an international reimbursable Space Act Agreement with NASA.

NASA I² Research Areas

Interns will be required to undertake research projects at NASA Ames during the ten (10) week period (June 5th – August 11th, 2019) 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

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

Eligibility Requirements

T&T nationals are eligible to apply whether studying locally, regionally, or internationally, and are subjected to the Rules for Application. Students applying for the NIHERST/NASA I² opportunity must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a national of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Be a holder of a Trinidad and Tobago passport
  • NOT be a permanent resident of the United States or a holder of a U.S. “green card” (U.S. alien registration card). Applications are open to all T&T nationals including those studying abroad.
  • Be currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) in a topic relevant to NASA’s mission priorities.
  • Meet a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, or equivalent standard if university does not use GPA. 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 a space program
  • Show proficiency in English.

Applicants must express exceptional promise of making a contribution to national development.

How to Apply! - Required Documents

The Application process begins here! Download the Application Form 2019. Please ensure to use the version that specifies your academic status as studying i. Local or ii. Abroad):

  1. i. Local_Application_Form_2019_V01
  2. ii. Abroad _Application _Form_2019_V02

Application Package 2019 Checklist: The following must be submitted electronically - scanned and emailed to - by the application deadline of January 8th 11th, 2019, :

  1. 1. The completed and correct version of the Application Form 2019, with no modifications to the original text and format;
  2. 2. Proof of citizenship (i.e. a scanned copy of your birth certificate or passport biodata page);
  3. 3. Two (2) written recommendations (one must be an academic recommendation), signed/stamped, and with the contact information of the referees;
  4. 4. An unofficial academic transcript; and
  5. 5. A copy of your CSEC and CAPE certificates.

The following must also be submitted in hard-copy/original to address –
Ms. Darielle Rampersad, NIHERST, Level 13 Ministry of Education Towers, No 5 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, by deadline January 18th, 2019:

  1. 6. Original recommendations as detailed above;
  2. 7. Official Academic Transcript.

Rules for Application

The NIHERST/NASA I² project aims to provide an educational exchange opportunity for T&T nationals with the overarching goal of national development. In reference to the Sponsorship Strategy, funding will be sought through corporate sponsorship. Applicants will be subjected to the following Rules for Application:

  • Potential candidates will be notified of the Sponsorship Strategy before the application process.
  • All applicants will be screened under the consideration that the project is self-funded.
  • Students studying within T&T will be assisted in seeking funding through local partnerships.
  • Internationally based students can seek funding through international institutions, public and/or private.
  • NIHERST will provide official correspondence to the Summer 2019 Finalists, as proof of recognition in seeking funding.
  • NIHERST will solely control the distribution of all Sponsorship Requests.
  • NIHERST will manage all Sponsorship Funds submitted towards the NASA I² project.
  • NIHERST facilitates all Administrative Tasks.

Intern Obligations

The NIHERST/NASA I² 2019 interns will be required to:

  • Provide updates with photos, including a mandatory Mid-internship Report
  • Within three (3) months of completion of the internship:
    i.    Submit a full Internship Report
    ii.   Submit a Video Testimonial of the experience, guided and facilitated
          by NIHERST
    iii.  Conduct two public lectures within the Public Lecture Series 2019.
          N.B: Students residing abroad will be required to conduct remote
  • Carry-out obligations within the Sponsor Agreement
  • Participate in media interviews as required
  • Conduct additional research towards his/her undergraduate/postgraduate thesis, where possible
  • Complete Monitoring and Evaluation survey tools as required

Meet the NIHERST/NASA I² Alumni!

Ariel Chitan
Summer 2018

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “An Analysis of Upstream Blockages on the Aerodynamic Flow Quality in the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex 80ft by 120ft Wind Tunnel Test Section”

Keenan Chatar
Summer 2018

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Portable Data Capture System for the Triboelectric Nanogenerator”

Alyssa Mike
Summer 2017

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Advanced life support systems and technologies required to keep astronauts alive in space”

Valmiki Ramroop
Summer 2017

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Size Controlled Synthesis of Copper Nanoparticles for Applications in Printing Aerosolized Conductive Inks Using Plasma Jet” and “Sterilization of Escherichia Coli and Staphylococcus Epidermidis on Wheat Leaves Using Plasma Jet”

Kester Wade
Summer 2016

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Advanced life support systems and technologies required to keep astronauts alive in space”

Asher Williams
Summer 2015

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Human Nutrient Production in Space; Advanced Microbial Strategies for the Production of Nutrients within Crewed Spacecraft and Habitats”

Inzamam Rahaman
Summer 2015

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “JAVA coding for geospatial applications that will benefit both the public and NASA as part of the World Winds project”

Jason Renwick
Fall 2014 & Summer 2015

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Electronics prognostics, looking at capacitors, electrical energy and the prediction of failure in electronic devices”

Stefan Hosein
Fall 2014 & Summer 2015

NASA RESEARCH AREA: “Developing an intelligent integrated control and alarm system for a sustainability base at NASA”

NASA International Intern 2018 Presentation by Keenan Chatar
NASA International Intern 2018 Presentation by Ariel Chitan