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Research Laboratory Internships for High School Students

Applications accepted between March 1 - March 31, 2020.

ERC Research Learning Experiences Program

Who: Rising 10th graders to graduating seniors
When: Summer Internships range from 5 to 8 weeks depending on the program. Some internships may not be full time.
Pay: Stipends or hourly (rates set by UNM Youth Summer Hire Program)

The School of Engineering offers six paid summer internships at UNM through three grants:

  1. CISTAR Engineering Research Center (chemical engineering)
  2. NASCENT Nano Engineering Research Center (nanomanufacuturing)
  3. QESST Engineering Research Center (solar cells)

Students work on important engineering problems under the guidance of undergraduates, graduate students, post docs and/or faculty. They participate in group meetings and are invited to attend engineering seminars and outreach events. QESST interns are usually also invited to travel to Arizona State University at the end of the summer to present a poster with other high school students from around the country. All candidates are welcome. Female and students from underrepresented, low-income, and first-generation backgrounds are encouraged to apply.


Some CISTAR, QESST, and NASCENT internships are on south campus at or near the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM). Some CISTAR internships are located on the main UNM campus. Parking on main campus is not provided.

Selection criteria:

  1. Student must be at least 16 years old at the time of hiring.
  2. For paid positions, student must be a citizen of the United States or be authorized to work in the U.S.
  3. Student must have a reliable way to get to UNM.
  4. Student must be committed to complete the entire program.

1. Online application:

2. Please have 1-2 teachers fill out a recommendation form and email it to with the subject line: HS recommendation_YOUR LAST NAME.

3. Have your school scan and email a copy of your transcripts to, with the subject line: HS transcripts_YOUR LAST NAME. Your school may also give you a hard copy, which you may scan and send to us at, with the subject line: HS transcripts_YOUR LAST NAME.

If you are unable to send any of these documents electronically, you may send hardcopies to the following address:

High School Summer Research Learning Experience
MSC 01-1145, Room 2101
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Contact Information

For more information on UNM Engineering Outreach Programs, contact Stefi Weisburd, Outreach Manager, at

Phone: (505) 277-8402.

Other Internship Opportunities

Please note that other paid and volunteer research internship opportunities may be available with individual faculty members in the school of engineering as well as through other departments, colleges and schools. For additional information on how to find a research mentor, click HEREStudents are welcome to approach faculty, departments and schools with well-researched and thoughtful emails exploring possible research experiences. It is recommended that students send resumes listing highest math, science and programming classes taken, significant research and programming skills, and science/engineering projects, clubs and experiences undertaken. Students are reminded to please check their email inboxes and spam folders regularly. University business is NOT conducted via text.

Other programs:

Information for Faculty and Administrators

Minors on Campus Policy

Even if an intern is taking an unpaid position in your lab it is advisable for you to follow the guidelines outlined under the Non-UNM Student Hire Programs.

This means you must do the following:

  1. Make sure your lab and the intern’s duties comply with child labor laws. See the Non-UNM Student Hire Programs page for details or NM Workforce Solutions AND this Acknowledgement of Certification of Minors Form.
  2. Designate a mentor and obtain a background check for the mentor. Background Checks are in effect for 3 years. OGS conducts background checks for graduate students. For faculty and staff: departments should complete the Background Check Form and submit the request via email to Indicate that the check is for the supervision of minors.
  3. Mentors must take an online class Minors on Campus either through Online Learning (EOD 486 Minors on Campus). Contact the Compliance Office if the mentor does not have access to Online Learning.
  4. Obtain the signed copies of the forms below from the minor’s parents and return them to Nada Hack at
  5. Optional: You may ask your research intern to read these guidelines and return them to you. Feel free to modify these according to your lab’s protocols.