Research Internships

Summer Research Opportunities 

Scripps Institution of Oceanography offers a variety of summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs.


Scripps Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)

SURF Internship

SURF is 10-week, NSF-funded summer research program. Potential research projects span the fields of oceanography, marine biology, earth sciences, geophysics and atmospheric sciences. On-campus housing is provided. The program seeks to increase the diversity of students successfully prepared to pursue career pathways in earth and ocean sciences and aims to recruit underrepresented minorities, veterans, students with disabilities, and students from institutions with limited research facilities and/or limited curricula in earth, ocean or atmospheric sciences.

Application deadline: March 15, 2021


California Current Ecosystem Long Term Ecological Research (CCE LTER)

CCE LTER Internship

The California Current Ecosystem (CCE) Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site is an interdisciplinary group of scientists, students, and educators that is working to understand and communicate the effects of long-term climate variability on the California Current pelagic ecosystem. Projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program.

Application deadline: March 31, 2021


Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE)

CAICE Internship

The CAICE program focuses on projects that improve our understanding of how aerosol particles impact the environment, air quality, and climate. The program seeks undergraduate students with an interest in chemistry who would like to participate in cutting-edge CAICE research. Women, students from underrepresented groups, and military veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to current second and third year undergraduates.

Application deadline: Feb. 28, 2021


Center For Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) Internship Program

CW3E's mission is to provide 21st Century water cycle science, technology and outreach to support effective policies and practices that address the impacts of extreme weather and water events on the environment, people and the economy of Western North America. The internship program provides summer research opportunities to undergraduate students on projects regarding U.S. West Coast weather phenomena such as atmospheric rivers and the North American Monsoon, and to provide our own senior graduate students and post-doctoral scholars with opportunities to obtain mentoring skills.

Application deadline: March 12, 2021


UC Natural Reserve System - Field Science Fellowship

The Field Science Fellowship is an opportunity for two-person teams of University of California faculty and undergraduate students to propose field science research projects that will primarily be conducted in one of the reserves in the UC Natural Reserve System. Approved research proposals will be awarded $5,000 for in the form of a student stipend and $1,000 to cover project costs. Proposals should focus on field research projects that will allow students to perform full-time research for 8 weeks during the summer.

Application deadline: January 20, 2021


Environmental Systems Senior Internship Project

For current UC San Diego students enrolled in the Environmental Systems (ESYS) undergraduate major, the program places a significant value on interdisciplinary problem solving and all majors are expected to complete an integrative Senior Project in their final year. The ESYS Senior Project is designed by the student to focus on an interdisciplinary environmental problem or research topic. An important component of the Senior Project is an off-campus or laboratory internship.

Application deadline: Included as part of ESYS major

UC San Diego Academic Internship Program 

The UC San Diego Academic Internship Program provides an opportunity for eligible UC San Diego juniors and seniors to earn course credit for substantive internships related to their academic and career goals. The program strives to facilitate partnerships that lead to genuine learning opportunities for students, and create value for our community partners.

Application deadline: Various


UCSD Academic Enrichment Programs (AEP)

The Summer Research Programs through AEP equips students with the skills to become research scholars, encourage students' pursuit of graduate study, and increase graduate school enrollment among underrepresented, low-income, and first-generation college students. Among the available summer programs are the McNair Program, Triton Research & Experiential Learning Scholars (TRELS) and the Summer Training Academy for Research Success (STARS). There are also a wide variety of scholarships that students can apply for to conduct their own research during the summer, more information can be found on the AEP website and on the website for USCD's Undergraduate Research Scholarships. Keep in mind that many applications have deadlines in February for summer programs and/or scholarships. 

Application deadline: STARS, January 27, 2021; others vary


Marine Physical Laboratory (MPL)

MPL Internship

The MPL summer internship at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a 10-week research program in marine science and technology. MPL seeks inquisitive and motivated undergraduates with exceptional aptitude for quantitative science, majoring in engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, or geology. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled in their first, second, or third year of undergraduate study. 

Canceled for 2021


Other Internships at Scripps and Birch Aquarium 

Other than the REU programs, there is no formal internship/volunteer program at Scripps for external high school or college students. Other internship positions in labs are up to the discretion/needs of each lab director to decide whether they take on qualified interns or volunteers.

To inquire about becoming a volunteer research assistant at Scripps, we recommend visiting the Centers and Programs page, Labs page, and Researcher Profiles to find a field, research topic, or researcher that interests you. Contact information for each program, lab, or researcher is found on each corresponding page; you can reach out to them directly to see what opportunities might be available. 

Birch Aquarium at Scripps offers summer internships for high school and college students and volunteer positions for a range of ocean lovers, from students and working adults to retired professionals. The minimum age for aquarium interns and volunteers is 16. Visit Birch Aquarium’s website for additional details on internships and volunteer positions