Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Graduate Research Assistant Program

Work with the best minds on the planet in an inclusive environment that is rich in intellectual vitality and opportunities for growth

Contact  

  • Program Coordinator
  • Emily Robinson
  • Student Programs Office
  • (505) 665-0964
  • Email

graduate student

Gain relevant work experience while pursuing a graduate degree


The Graduate Research Assistant Program (GRA) is a year-round internship program that provides domestic and international students with relevant research experience while they are pursuing a graduate degree. This educational program is designed to complement the students' education with work experience related to their chosen field of study. In some cases, students can arrange to conduct masters or doctoral thesis research at the Lab. There are appointments in both the technical and professional fields.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is very excited to continue our student internship program for Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021.  Due to social distancing restrictions, most internships will be limited to remote work off laboratory property until the LANL operating posture changes.

Information for prospective students

Eligibility Requirements
  • Provide documentation of acceptance into a graduate program.
  • Enroll in and successfully complete a minimum of 6 graduate credit hours per semester (or the equivalent of full time enrollment). All students MUST remain enrolled at their university while working at the Lab during the academic year. Note: Students must provide the program coordinator with current, official transcripts annually to remain eligible. See the Annual Transcript Review section for additional information.
  • Have and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 on 4.0 scale. Note: Students must provide the program coordinator with current, official transcripts annually to remain eligible. See the Annual Transcript Review section for additional information.
  • Pass a new employment drug test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.
Apply For or Browse Internships
  1. To apply for or browse internships, go to iRecruitment at jobs.lanl.gov.
  2. Click the Quick Link that applies to you: Post Doc Jobs, Graduate Jobs, or Undergraduate Jobs.
  3. Click the Vacancy Name number (in blue) to view any internships’ details.
  4. To apply for a position, you must have a job account. When applying, make sure to upload:
    • Resume
    • Cover letter. The cover letter should address the timeframe(s) you are available for an internship.
    • Transcripts
  5. If you do not find an internship vacancy that aligns with your academic or professional goals, you can apply to the capability-specific vacancies listed below. Note: The capability-specific vacancies require degree applicability.

The capability specific job vacancies listed below will be open from August 3, 2020 until March 31, 2021.

  • Biological Sciences Internship Program, Vacancy Name IRC81424
  • Computational Sciences Internship Program, Vacancy Name IRC81426
  • Engineering Internship Program, Vacancy Name IRC81428
  • Physical Sciences Internship Program, Vacancy Name IRC81430

For step-by-step instructions visit How to Apply and read the Student opportunities section.

If you have problems with the online application, visit Application Process Issues for assistance.

Hiring Process
  1. Student completes paperwork specified by the mentor for the hiring package.
  2. Mentor submits a hiring package to Human Resources (HR) for approval.
  3. Upon approval, an official offer letter is emailed to the student.
  4. The student reviews and accepts the offer, and returns the signed offer letter to HR within two weeks of receiving the letter.
  5. Once the signed offer letter is returned, HR will confirm a start date and the student will be scheduled for new hire orientation. Note: Students should not report to their worksite until they have gone through the hiring and orientation process.
Post-Master's Opportunities

The Post-Master's category of the GRA program offers graduate interns the opportunity to participate in the GRA program after receiving a master's degree.

This category applies to those interns who have been awarded a master's degree within the past three years but have not yet been accepted into another master's program or a PhD program. Post-Master's interns may remain in this category for up to two years.

To remain in the GRA program after the two-year maximum in the post master's category, interns must be accepted and enrolled in another graduate program (master's or PhD).

Apply for or browse internships

  1. To apply for or browse internships, go to iRecruitment at jobs.lanl.gov.
  2. Click the Quick Link that applies to you: Post Doc Jobs, Graduate Jobs, or Undergraduate Jobs.
  3. Click the Vacancy Name number (in blue) to view any internships’ details.
  4. To apply for a position, you must have a job account. When applying, make sure to upload:
    • Resume
    • Cover letter
    • Transcripts

Mandatory policies for current student interns

Annual Transcript & Salary Review Process

The annual transcript and salary review process enables the Student Programs Office to ensure year-round and returning students continue to meet our eligibility requirements and are progressing in their academic programs. This process also ensures students are being compensated in accordance with their level of academic attainment.

A new process to collect official transcripts from students pursuing an undergraduate (AA/AS/BA/BS) or graduate (MA/MS/PhD) degree is in place. Students must upload their most recent official transcript to the FERPA/HIPPA compliant Transcript Review Google form as a PDF or JPEG.

Upload a transcript ONLY if the following is true:

  1. You have completed your fall 2020 semester and your grades and upcoming spring semester schedule have been posted to the transcript.
  2. You have completed your Winter 2021 quarter and your grades and upcoming spring quarter schedule have been posted to the transcript.
  3. For students who took a gap semester this past fall due to COVID, upload your official transcript with grades from the last semester or quarter you attended.

All US and GRA Students (casual and year-round) are required to participate in the transcript review process. Failure to do so, could result in the termination of your student internship. *High School, Post Bachelors and Post Masters interns are exempt from this process.

How to obtain a transcript:

Have your university send the official transcript directly to you either via email or to your physical address (if your school does not have digital transcript capabilities).

Once the transcript is received, download it and upload it to the Google form, or open the transcript's sealed envelope, scan and upload it to the Google form. (Please note the google form will only accept PDF or JPEG files). 

Transcript Review Google Form Link
(The form will be open for submissions on January 4, 2021)

Major Deadlines: Due by COB

Semester System interns, submit your google form by February 28, 2021
Quarter System interns,
submit this google form by April 20, 2021

GRA Program Time Limit Policies

If you have a BS/BA degree

  • 4 years for students pursuing MS degree
  • 7 years for students pursuing PhD
  • 7 years for students pursuing MS and PhD

If you have an MS degree

  • 2 years for students pursuing 2nd MS degree
  • 4 years for students pursuing PhD
  • 6 years for students pursuing new field MS and PhD degree

If you have received a PhD

  • Individuals may remain in the GRA program for up to three months after receiving a PhD
Work Schedule Policies

9/80 work schedule

Summer students, post baccalaureate, post masters, and GRA students working on a thesis or dissertation are eligible to participate in the 9/80 work schedule. The student must have permission from the mentor to work this schedule, and it must be requested and approved through the payroll system.

Summer students

All students are eligible to work full-time (40 hours a week or the 9/80 schedule) during the summer months. In addition, students are not required to be enrolled in courses over the summer.

Year-round students

Students participating in some special undergraduate programs, post baccalaureate appointments, post-master's appointments, and GRA students working on a thesis or dissertation are excluded from the 30-hour per week work restriction.