Internship Program


The Pathways to Computing Internship Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a 10-week summer program that provides undergraduate students with learning opportunities in computer science, computational science, and mathematics. Students will be mentored by ORNL research and technical staff and will be able to make contributions to projects in diverse domains including computer science, health data science, and climate science. In addition, students will gain valuable skills needed for a successful career in computing fields. Selected interns will have access to ORNL’s leadership-class facilities, including Summit, the world’s second most powerful supercomputer.

ORNL’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate oversees an immense store of computing power and its talented staff of computational scientists and mathematicians, conduct state-of-the-art research and development in computer and computational sciences in support of the Department of Energy’s missions and programs.

Who Should Apply?

As part of the ORNL Pathways to Computing Internship Program, the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate is committed to increasing diversity among interns and staff. We believe the teams required to solve the nation’s most pressing science challenges are those that bring together a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. We look forward to receiving applications representing diverse experience levels and backgrounds in the following areas:  

Primary focus areas will include:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning / Data Science
  • Astrophysics
  • Bioinformatics / Computational Biology
  • Computer Science Research (e.g. compilers, programming models, programming tools)
  • Cybersecurity
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences / Climate Science
  • High Performance Computing Operations (e.g. system administration, storage systems, system/user support)
  • Performance Profiling & Optimization
  • Quantum Computing
  • Software Engineering
  • Visualization
  • Other computer science areas (e.g. CS theory)
  • Other computational areas (e.g. material science, chemistry)


  • Stipend
  • Weekly dislocation allowance (paid with stipend)


Before starting the application, please read through this information to ensure you are eligible for this program and are aware of the required information needed to be considered.

Candidates must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student in a degree-seeking program at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university at time of application (including accredited community colleges)
      • Full-time enrollment status is determined by the number of hours or courses the school requires for full-time attendance (as defined by the Internal Revenue Service)
  • All students are subject to US Department of Energy clearance approval for laboratory access
  • Be in good academic standing with a cumulative minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be 18 years of age at time of application
  • Have medical insurance effective for entire term of appointment – information on effective dates during appointment period will be required at time of appointment acceptance
  • Have ORCID identifier number at time of acceptance

How to Apply

The application will require:

  • Profile information
  • Education information
  • Relevant Experiences (internships and employment)
  • Awards, Certifications, and Licenses
  • Relevant Skills
  • Statement of Purpose (500-word limit)
  • Choose top two areas of interest
  • Official transcript or unofficial academic record (most recent available) showing name, school name, current classes, cumulative GPA, received degrees (if applicable). *Official transcript will be required if selected and prior to start date
  • Updated resume/CV
  • One letter of recommendation


What was your research project?

I contributed to a larger project called SIGHT, an exploratory data visualization/analysis tool. I focused on performance analysis of data transfers between CPUs and GPUs and ways to optimize this.

What new skills did you learn during your internship?

I learned about GPUs and general-purpose GPUs, different parallel programming models, and about high-performance computing as a whole. 

What were your favorite activities or learning opportunities during the program?

I learned a lot from other interns and their projects – talking to them every day helped me expand my knowledge of computing, especially in areas of machine learning. Participating in the Smoky Mountains Data Challenge was also a great experience.

How has the program benefited you and your career or educational goals?

It has definitely helped me solidify my interest in computing and HPC. I can now confidently say that this is my field of interest moving forward.

What are your educational and career plans for the future?

I’m hoping to return to ORNL after my graduation for a post-bachelor’s research position. 

Would you recommend this program to others?

Yes, I’d recommend it to anyone interested in computing regardless of their level of comfort. There’s so much you can learn at a place like ORNL, and the opportunities are endless


For specific questions about the program and research projects, please contact