Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI)

The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program at PPPL is for undergraduates interested in performing plasma physics and fusion energy research. Students perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting PPPL's research.

Applications for the SULI program are solicited annually for three separate internship terms. Internship appointments are 10 weeks in duration for the summer term (June through August) or 16 weeks in duration for the fall (September through December) and spring (January through May) term.

SULI Key dates

For eligibility requirements, benefits, and application information,  https://science.osti.gov/wdts/suli

Due to COVID-19, housing will be limited. On-site projects are approved on a case-by-cases basis and depends on approval.

As a part of the summer internship only, students are offered housing on the Princeton University campus (pre-pandemic).  

Fall and spring term students are responsible for finding housing in the local community. All students receive a $650/week stipend; an additional housing grant is dependent on funding availability.

2023 spring SULI term dates (16-weeks): On or around the second week of January through the end of April

2023 summer SULI dates (10-weeks): On or around second week of June through the end of the second week of August

2023 fall SULI dates (10-weeks): On or around second week of September through the end of December

What is Expected of Each Participant

  • Complete the full ten or sixteen-week program

  • Attend the intensive plasma physics course at PPPL (summer only)

  • Complete a research paper and present a poster summarizing your results 

  • Submit an abstract of the research in the required format

  • Attend all scheduled events including lectures, seminars, tours, and group activities

  • Conduct yourself in a responsible and professional manner

Participants should expect to spend 40 hours per week on activities and/or research related to their internships.

Length of Appointment

  • The length of the appointment for the summer term is 10 weeks (June through August).
  • The length of appointment for the spring and fall terms is 16 weeks (January through May for spring, September through December for fall)

Eligibility for the SULI program requires that all applicants:

  • Must be currently enrolled full-time or have recently graduated with an undergraduate degree, as described in the two cases below.
    • Currently-enrolled students:
      • The applicant must be currently enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited institution (including accredited community colleges and 2-year colleges) and also have completed at least one semester as a matriculated undergraduate student at the time of applying.  Students enrolled at colleges and universities on the quarter system must have completed at least one academic quarter.  Grades for the completed semester must be shown on the submitted transcript(s).
      • Applicants, including freshmen, must have completed at least 6 credit hours of postsecondary courses in science, mathematics, engineering, or technology disciplines, and must have completed at least 12 credit hours towards a degree by the time they apply. Credit hours and grades must be reflected on the submitted transcript(s).
      • Advanced Placement credits or other undergraduate credits obtained prior to undergraduate enrollment cannot be applied to meet the minimum one-term completion requirement.
      • 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).
    • Recent graduates
      • Applicants who will have completed their undergraduate degree prior to starting their internship may apply as a "Recent Graduate."  This includes students who have graduated with an associate's degree or bachelor's degree, those who have completed a combined BS/MS program, and those who have completed an undergraduate degree and are now enrolled in a graduate studies program.  The time period between receipt of an undergraduate degree and starting the SULI term must be two years or less.
  • Must have a cumulative minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all completed courses taken as a matriculated student at the applicant's current (or recently-graduated) institution and at any institutions attended as a matriculated postsecondary student during the 5 years preceding the start of the most recent enrollment. (This does not include college or university courses taken while solely a high school student.)
  • Must be 18 years or older at the time the internship begins.
  • Must be a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident at the time of applying.
    Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status will be requested at the time an internship offer is accepted. Acceptable form of proof of U.S. Citizenship includes, but is not limited to, a Certified Birth Certificate, an U.S. State Government Issued Enhanced Driver’s License, U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, Consular Report of Birth (of U.S. citizen) Abroad, or Certification of Birth. Lawful Permanent Residents must have a current United States Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551).
  • Must have earned a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent at the time of applying.  Proof of an earned high school diploma or of passing all five GED tests required to achieve a Certificate of General Educational Development should be provided on the applicant’s undergraduate transcripts. 

Additional Eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants are limited to participation in the SULI program to no more than two internships.
  • Applicants can apply to the SULI program a maximum of four times.

Click here for previous SULI student presentations

Click here for SULI deliverables guidelines

For questions pertaining to the PPPL SULI program, please contact Deedee Ortiz at dortiz@pppl.gov.