START HBCU Institute

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START HBCU: Securing Top Academic Research & Talent at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program – November 2022


This institute is the student branch of Sandia’s START HBCU program, which is focused on enhancing diversity in Sandia’s talent pipeline by partnering with HBCUs to increase research collaborations and expose diverse groups of talented students to the lasting impact they can have working at a national laboratory.

START HBCU interns are hired into a variety of technical and business disciplines across the laboratory and engage with interns and staff on-the-job and through a variety of intern-specific activities. A Sandia internship provides opportunities to contribute to the nation through the unique access to facilities, resources, and broad programs found only at Sandia National Laboratories.

Students are offered hands on flexible, challenging, interesting, and cutting-edge research opportunities while being mentored by Sandia National Laboratories scientists, engineers and business professionals. These hands-on experiences are supplemented with technical seminars and facility tours, which expose students to the broad range of engineering, scientific, and business disciplines represented at Sandia. Student interns are provided the opportunity and encouraged to present their work and accomplishments to their peers, Sandia leadership and the scientific community every August. In some cases, students are asked to present their work at professional conferences.

What You Gain

  • Exposure to the many job opportunities at Sandia National Laboratories
  • Hands-on research and business experience
  • Technical research paper publication for technical interns
  • Mentoring from Sandia National Laboratories staff
  • Engagement with Sandia’s diverse set of employee resource groups, community engagement opportunities

Project Types

Potential projects available for student interns include the following:

  • FEA modeling and thermal modeling of components and systems to understand weak points in the mechanical design
  • Collaborative research across a wide range of areas in computer science, applied mathematics, discrete mathematics, mathematical modeling, computational science and engineering, machine learning, deep learning, computational neuroscience and cognitive science, including cognitive and experimental psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics
  • Conducting hands-on research in Sandia’s multidisciplinary bioscience labs, carrying out a variety of activities such as developing cutting-edge molecular biology tools and techniques, maintaining algae and/or bacteria cultures at varying scale, using cutting-edge instrumentation to examine nanomaterials, performing phage experiments and more
  • Conducting hands-on experiments in Sandia’s chemistry labs to develop, modify and improve materials and characterize their performance for diverse applications including energy and national security missions. Ongoing projects include development of new biofuels, assessing materials for Hydrogen storage, materials compatibility and aging and lifetime assessments

Program Details

LocationCalifornia and New Mexico
When OfferedSummer
DisciplineCyber Security
Computer Science
Biological Sciences
Physical Sciences
Materials Science
Mechanical Engineering
Desired SkillsDesired skills vary by job and discipline

Application Procedure

  1. Use Sandia’s Careers tool to create a username and password.
  2. Enter “HBCU” into the Keywords text field, and click Search.
  3. Browse the list of START HBCU intern openings.
  4. Complete an online application for a specific intern opening.

Detailed instructions for using Sandia’s Career tool to apply for a position are also available.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

Sandia invites you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law, EEO is the Law Poster Supplement, and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Sandia is a drug-free workplace. As a national laboratory funded by a U.S. government agency, we are subject to federal laws regarding illegal drug use. Illegal use of a controlled substance, including marijuana even in places where it does not violate state law, may impact your ability to obtain and/or maintain a Department of Energy security clearance, and may result in the withdrawal of an employment offer or termination of employment.