Naval Research Laboratory (Stennis Space Center, MS)

Naval Research Laboratory

Program Dates: June 1 - July 24, 2020

You must be a U.S. citizen.  You must be at least 16 years of age on the day you check in. 

You must secure your own mode of transportation. NRL-SSC does NOT accept students with dual citizenship. The student would need to renounce his/her foreign citizenship for the duration of his/her employment with NRL-SSC. He/she would have to shred any foreign passport in witness of NRL-SSC security personnel. 

I don't have a car or driver's license.

The Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC) is located on a NASA facility and is at least a 25-minute commute for anyone participating in the program.  Once at the gates of the facility, NRL is an additional 5-7 minute drive. Therefore, you will need a driver’s license and vehicle or other means of transportation to participate. Parents will not be cleared through the gate to pick up or drop off students.

Do you provide housing or housing stipends?

No, you must secure your own housing arrangements-- via independant rental, extended family or other means.  Generally, most students aply to labs in teh areas commutable from home.  However, we receive applications from - and hire! students from thousands of miles away as well.  It is recommended to acknowledge that you have avalaible housing when applyinig to a non-local lab.

What are my chances of being selected?

The chance of a student being selected for SEAP at NRL-SSC varies each year based on the number of funded interns provided by the Office of Naval Research and the number of students who choose to apply.

Am I expected to attend every day?

Yes.  This is a paid internship.  Students are compensated for 40 hours of work each week and, therefore, are required to be present and participate 8 hours per day Monday through Friday.  The start and end times of your individual schedule will align with your mentor's work schedule and will be decided after you arrive.  Office hours generally fall between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

What Will I Do as a SEAP at NRL-SSC?

As part of the SEAP experience, students at NRL-SSC are required to complete a project and/or experiment under the guidance of their mentor based on the mentor's research focus and the interest of the student. Upon the project's completion, the students will design a scientific poster and deliver a formal presentation of his/her work to other students, NRL scientists and others and participate in a poster session at the end of the internship. 

During the eight-week program at NRL-SSC, students visit other scientific agencies and organizations at SSC, attend seminars presented by visiting scientists and professors, and participate in student working lunches with other SEAP interns. 

Most—not all—projects focus involve numerical models of environmental processes, comparison of models, data visualization, and some engineering of hardware. You are not expected to be an expert in any of these areas; you are expected to have a curiosity to learn.

A typical day may include any or all of the following:

How Can I Make My Application Stand Out?

Every Navy lab/warfare center is different both in mission and how they utilize SEAP interns. Thus, their selection criteria are different and how they review applications is different. Here, our science focus is on ocean sciences (e.g., modeling of ocean physics) and related technologies (e.g., geospatial computing).

Students are encouraged to share their true interests and abilities when applying for a SEAP position at NRL-SSC. If you know how to program, list which languages. If you don’t know how to program but really want to learn, say so. Tell us a little about yourself and show your personality. Tell us about your goals in life and for this internship.

Keep it brief, but be honest and be thorough. Don’t leave any section blank!

My mom/dad/other adult has a question about the process, about my application, etc.

We always prefer hearing from the applicant. We will not discuss specific application content or status with anyone other than the applicant. 

About NRL

The Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center (NRL-SSC), part of the Ocean and Atmospheric Technology Directorate, is home to 200 scientists, engineers, mathematicians and support professionals.

NRL-SSC is a detachment of the main NRL, located in Washington, D.C.  NRL-SSC is home to the Ocean Sciences Division and Acoustics Simulation and Tactics Branch.

The NRL field site is located at SSC because of their special relationship with the organizations they support, specifically commands within the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, which is also located at Stennis Space Center.

The Marine Geosciences Division plans and executes a broad spectrum research, development, technology and engineering program in marine geology, geophysics, geoacoustics, geotechniques, and mapping, charting and geodesy. The division also provides necessary digital databases, geoacoustic and geophysical models and simulations to support training, system design, performance prediction, and operational needs of the Navy.

The Oceanography Division is known for its combination of theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches to oceanographic problems. The division numerically models the ocean on the world's most powerful supercomputers and operates a number of highly sophisticated graphics systems to visualize ocean model results. Many scientists perform work aboard seagoing vessels in addition to their in-house lab work. The division maintains two satellite receiving systems, a computer network with automated processing capabilities for ocean color and advanced optical instrumentation and calibration facilities. In the laboratory, the division operates an environmental scanning electron microscope for detailed studies of microbiologically influenced corrosion in naval materials.

The Acoustics Branch performs basic and applied research and development in underwater acoustic phenomena while addressing environmental acoustics issues across a spectrum of frequencies. These issues use measurements at sea, advanced signal processing techniques and computer models, and develop and validate advanced scattering and reverberation models.

For information:

Shannon Mensi,, 228-688-5328