A Collaborative National Center for Fusion & Plasma Research

Plasma and Fusion Undergraduate Research Opportunities (PFURO)

PFURO applications are closed.  All decisions will be out by May 29th. 

Current and recently graduated undergraduate students are invited to apply to the inaugural Plasma and Fusion Undergraduate Research Opportunities (PFURO) program!

Participants will conduct remote research this summer at undergraduate institutions throughout the US (universities, colleges, and other educational research institutions).  

PFURO participants will:

  • Conduct 10 weeks of remote summer research under the guidance of faculty and staff at US undergraduate institutions
  • Participate in the 2-week Intro to Plasma and Fusion course hosted by PPPL (June 14th-June 25).  
  • Be invited to join all of the workforce development seminars and workshops available for PPPL summer undergraduate interns
  • Receive a $600 weekly stipend for the duration of the 10 week, 40hr/week research experience.
  • Participants are offered travel to Princeton
  • Housing at the location of your internship (or $150 allowance per week, per student during 2020, 2021, and possibly 2022-dependent on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Be sponsored to present their research at a national topical conference.  Most students would present at APS-DPP, but it may also be GEC, ICOPS, SOFE, or another relevant topical conference. 


  • Participants must be currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited US institution OR
  • Applicants who will complete their undergraduate degree prior to starting their internship may apply as a "Graduating Senior", if (1) the applicant has not yet started a program of graduate study and will not matriculate as a graduate student prior to completing the PFURO term, and (2) the time period between receipt of an undergraduate degree and starting the PFURO term is less than two years. 
  • All applicants must complete the applications, including uploading the most recent transcript and have 1 recommender submit a recommendation letter.  
  • All applicants must be eligible to work in the US.
  • Women and underrepresented minorities in plasma physics and fusion energy research especially encouraged to apply.


Participants will conduct remote research on a topic in one of the following 4 main areas:

  • Magnetic Fusion Energy: Research focusing on the scientific challenges of making magnetic fusion energy a reality.  These are topics in plasma confinement, RF heating, stellarator design, turbulent transport, high-temperature superconductors, and many others.
  • Fusion Materials and Technology:  Research focusing on the materials required to build fusion reactors and the heat and tritium extraction.  Topics include: Neutron effects on materials, plasma-materials interaction,  blanket design, etc.
  • General Plasma Science: More than 99% of the visible universe is plasma and they cover wide scale and temperature ranges.  Topics include: Astrophysical plasmas, space plasmas, complex (dusty) plasmas, low-temperature plasmas, and many others.
  • High Energy Density Plasmas: Hot, dense plasmas have unique properties in the realm of plasmas and their physics can give insights into extreme astrophysical phenomena such as exploding supernovae as well as lead to advances in accelerator physics, inertial confinement fusion, among other fields of research.

Brought to you by:

The Plasma and Fusion Undergraduate Research Opportunities program is sponsored by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences at the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy, and the program is administered and managed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and by the US Fusion Outreach Team.


For any questions about the program, please contact us at arturod@pppl.gov

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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