At the Brookhaven National Lab Research Internships and Fellowships Informational Webinar on October 5, attendees learned about the many educational opportunities available through Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). “To create a meaningful existence and a sense of purpose, students need to find that intersection in life where passion, mission, vocation, and profession come together,” said Noel Blackburn, M.E., manager of university relations and Department of Energy internship programs in the Office of Educational Programs at BNL.
These opportunities help expand students’ insight and understanding of their desired career path. “Ideally, students should participate in an internship program before they graduate and enter the workforce,” he said. “I want students to understand what their professional life may look like.”
Blackburn is responsible for a $4.3 million university internship program at BNL, designing, implementing, and managing workforce development research programs for undergraduates, graduates, and faculty at BNL. He does all of this while creating access to opportunities for underrepresented groups in Brookhaven and Department of Energy (DOE) enterprise programs.
BNL is a multidisciplinary laboratory and one of 17 DOE National Laboratories. Scientists from laboratories, universities, and industries around the world use these facilities to conduct research in physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, energy, and the environment to develop innovative applications.
Some of the programs available to college students include a one-week mini-session over the winter break, where students participate in a research project. The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program is a more intensive course. It runs for 16 weeks in the fall and spring and 10 weeks during the summer. SULI encourages undergraduate students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math careers by providing research experiences under the guidance of BNL science and engineering staff.
In addition to programs geared toward students, BNL offers a Visiting Faculty Program, which is designed as a launching pad for research faculty to work collaboratively with BNL researchers.
During the webinar, Blackburn offered students advice on how to improve their chances of success, reviewed deadlines to apply for programs, as well as tips for the application process, including submitting essays on research experiences and interests, professional experiences and goals, and obtaining letters of referral from a professor that a student collaborated with on a research project.
Contact Amy Smith, New York Tech associate director of employer relations, to learn more about opportunities at Brookhaven National Laboratories.
By Carol Lane