The Office of Student Development (OSD) was created to foster research and other educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. OSD sponsors orientations at the beginning of the academic year and holds meetings, forums, and social events for students engaged in research at the Institute. In addition, educational activities for K-12 students are coordinated through this office.

There are many research opportunities available to students at the EMS Energy Institute. Undergraduate students can gain research experience through coursework, outreach programs, employment, or volunteer work. In addition, OSD works with industry to facilitate student internship programs in the energy field. Graduate students conducting research in any one of the Institute’s core research areas have a very collegial relationship with research faculty and are viewed as colleagues.

Employment opportunities are available at the Institute during the academic year as well as through the summer with the purpose of building upon students’ academic experiences and better preparing them for the job market or graduate education. The EMS Energy Institute also deals with numerous industries and government agencies that routinely employ students in entry-level positions and can facilitate students in securing employment after graduation.

Undergraduate Opportunities at Penn State

Undergraduate Senior Thesis or Schreyer Honors College Thesis

Undergraduate students may conduct research at The EMS Energy Institute in fulfillment of their senior thesis or Schreyer Honors College Thesis. Faculty and staff act as advisors or co-advisors for students providing technical expertise and ensuring that the students fulfill their department senior thesis requirements. Students are given access to laboratory facilities and receive equipment training relevant to their research. Students interested in pursuing a thesis are advised to contact the OSD or faculty the semester prior to registering or beginning their research.

Penn State Campus Sustainability Office Internship Opportunities

The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)

The SROP program is for undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in a degree-granting program (in any field) at an institution of higher education, and who are members of a population underrepresented in the academy. Students must be citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. Participants are expected to devote full time to the program during the eight-week summer session and stay on campus so that they are immersed in the college experience.

At the EMS Energy Institute, students are paired with a faculty mentor who assists them through all phases of research. The student experiences the entire research process including the development of a hypothesis, experimental design, data acquisition, and data interpretation. At the end of the eight-week program, students present the results of their findings in a public research symposium. For more information on SROP visit

Undergraduate/Graduate Opportunities Outside Penn State

Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI)

This program places students in paid science and engineering internships at any of several Department of Energy facilities. Many of the participants in the program have decided on a career in science and engineering, and the students work with scientists or engineers on projects related the specific laboratory’s research program. An appointment is for 10 weeks during the Summer Term (May through August) or for 16 weeks during the Fall Term (August through December) and Spring Term (January through May). Students should expect to spend more than 40 hours per week and more than 8 hours per day in activities and/or research related to their internships. For more information check out the website at

The Division of Educational Programs at Argonne National Lab

The Department of Energy and Argonne Labs offer a variety of programs for graduate students as well as undergraduate research opportunities.

For undergraduate programs go to

For graduate programs visit

Search the Research Projects Catalog for specific research project descriptions available at Argonne.

Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

SCEP is a formally structured work-study program offered by the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) that provides work experience directly related to the student's educational program and career goals. Student positions can range from GS-4 (undergraduate) through GS-11 (graduate level) in primarily engineering, scientific, and technical occupations/disciplines. Students are hired at the GS level commensurate with their experience and education and are eligible for promotion, leave, and benefits. For more information visit

Minority Mentoring and Internship Program (MMIP)

The MMIP offers women and minority students intern employment opportunities with NETL. These internships provide hands-on research opportunities at a state-of-the-art national laboratory, depending on the students' interests and experience. NETL offers opportunities for student interns to work under the guidance of an NETL technical expert as government employees in positions that can range from GS-4 (undergraduate) through GS-11 (graduate level). Interns may work full-time or part-time throughout the year as their educational commitment allows. With their advisor's approval, students can use their research at NETL as the basis for their thesis work. Students who have completed their education and worked at least 640 hours at NETL are eligible for non-competitive placement as permanent full-time employees, if such positions are available. For more information on MMIP visit