Program Description

The Lunar and Planetary Institute invites undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit to experience cutting-edge research in the lunar and planetary sciences. As a Summer Intern, you will work one-on-one with a scientist at the LPI or at the NASA Johnson Space Center on a research project of current interest in lunar and planetary science. Furthermore, you will participate in peer-reviewed research, learn from top-notch planetary scientists, and preview various careers in science.

The 10-week program runs from June 3, 2013–August 9, 2013. You will receive a $5,000.00 stipend plus $1000.00 U.S. travel stipend, or $1,500 foreign travel reimbursement for foreign interns.

The LPI is located near Johnson Space Center, on the south side of Houston, Texas. The LPI provides, on NASA’s behalf, leadership in the scientific community for research in lunar, planetary, and solar system sciences, and linkage with related terrestrial programs.


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Areas of Research

Representative Projects

Abstracts From Previous Intern Conferences

Papers Presented at the 28th Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 9, 2012

Papers Presented at the 27th Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 11, 2011

Papers Presented at the 26th Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 13, 2010

Papers Presented at the 25th Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 13, 2009

Papers Presented at the 24th Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 7, 2008

Papers Presented at the 23rd Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 9, 2007

Papers Presented at the 22nd Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 10, 2006

Papers Presented at the 21st Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 11, 2005

Papers Presented at the 20th Annual Summer Intern Conference
August 12, 2004

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

College undergraduates with at least 50 semester hours of credit interested in pursuing a career in the sciences are eligible. Relevant fields of study include the natural sciences, engineering, computer sciences, and mathematics. Applicants will be considered for appointment without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap status, or other nonmerit factors. Selection is based on these criteria: (1) scholarship, curriculum, and experience; (2) career objectives and scientific interest; and (3) match of interest of applicant with available research projects. All online application information must be received at LPI no later than January 18, 2013. Notification of selection will be made by March 11, 2013. Successful applicants should be prepared to make a decision regarding the offer to participate within two days of notification.

Application Requirements

Application form | Letters of reference

You will need to apply using the online application form. Paper applications will not be accepted. Once you begin the application you must complete all of the questions on the form, including essay-style questions. Transcripts and letters of recommendation may be submitted independently, but must be received by January 18, 2013, for your application to be considered.

Complete the application form. Upon submission you will receive a confirmation e-mail with your application number and a link to an online submission form for letters of reference.

Have three people submit online reference letters. They will need your application number and the correct spelling of your last name. We suggest that you forward the link from the confirmation e-mail directly to the individuals you are asking to provide a reference.

Have your college registrar mail an official transcript to: LPI Summer Intern Program Application #: 3600 Bay Area Boulevard Houston, TX 77058-1113

If you are a foreign national you will be asked to provide proof of English proficiency. This may be either in the form of a Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, or a letter from one of the professors in the English department at your university confirming that you have sufficient English language skills, both spoken and written, to successfully participate in our internship program. These should be sent to the same address as your transcript. You will be responsible for US taxes.

Be sure to include your application number in the address you provide to your registrar. Transcripts must be received by LPI no later than January 18, 2013

Applications are only accepted using the electronic application form found on this website.

Questions may be directed to
Phone: 281-486-2150
Fax: 281-486-2173


Friday, January 18, 2013   Deadline for Application
Monday, March 11, 2013   Notification of Acceptance
Monday, June 3, 2013   Program Begins
Thursday, August 8, 2013   LPI Summer Intern Conference
Friday, August 9, 2013   Program Ends


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the program open to non-U.S. citizens?
Yes, the program is open to international undergraduates as well as students from the United States.

2. Can participants start the ten-week internship after the program start date?
Start dates for the internship are flexible. Students on the quarter system often request late start dates. The program tries to be as accommodating as possible.

3. Where should my school send my transcript?
Transcripts should be sent to:
LPI Summer Intern Program
3600 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058-1113
Note: Please add your application number from the online application, if known.

4. When will applicants be notified of their selection?
All notifications should be made by March 11, 2013

5. Who is eligible for the program?
College undergraduate students with a least 50 semester hours of credit (or equivalent sophomore status) who are interested in pursuing a career in the sciences are eligible to apply. Students with majors in a physical or natural science, engineering, computer science, or mathematics have an advantage, but any eligible student may apply.

6. Are graduates and students already holding a bachelor's degree eligible to participate in the program?
While we do consider the applications of graduating seniors, they are not the main focus of the program. The program is really geared for students finishing their sophomore and junior years.

7. Where will the internship be located?
Interns will be located either at the Lunar and Planetary Institute or the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.


Claudia Quintana
Lunar and Planetary Institute
3600 Bay Area Blvd.
Houston TX 77058