Skip to main content

Research Laboratory Internships for High School Students

COVID19 Status: We do not yet know how the COVID19 Health Emergency will affect our Summer Programs. At the moment (3/27/20) no UNM students are allowed in our labs to conduct research, and all hiring for summer positions is on hiatus. However we are continuing to accept applications for summer internships in the hopes that our summer program will still be possible.

Due to school closures we have extended the application deadline to April 30.

We understand that it may be difficult to obtain teacher recommendations and/or transcripts while schools are not in session. Please try to email or call your teachers and school administrator if you can, and keep us informed of your progress either by including a note in your application or emailing Stefi Weisburd at

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.


Due to NM Public School Closures, we will accept teacher recommendations and transcripts until April 30, 2020.

1. Fill out an application. You may fill the online application using either the Google Form  or Microsoft Form. Fillable PDF Version is available here.

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
C/O Engineering Student Success Center
MSC 01-1145
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

IMPORTANT 2020 INFORMATION: UNM will be a site for four REAP lab internships, each paying a $3,000 stipend. The deadline will be extended beyond March 15, 2020. Keeping checking the Army Educational Outreach Program's Research & Engineering Apprenticeship Program (REAP) website until you see New Mexico listed as a site.

Please note: 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. View additional information on how to find a research mentor. Students 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.