MSIPP CONNECT Undergraduate Intern

at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Springfield, Illinois, United States

Job Description


Protecting U.S. residents and visitors is among our nation’s highest priorities. As adversaries gain access to sophisticated technologies and materials, the threats grow more dynamic and complex-from cyber and nuclear to chemical and biological weapons of mass effect and other forms of terrorism. The PNNL national security mission employs our researchers, tools, and technologies to play a key role in advancing the ability to identify and secure nuclear materials, detect weapons of mass effect, manage nonproliferation treaties, secure our nation’s borders, and protect critical infrastructures. PNNL’s scientific discovery and capabilities-rooted in innovative theory, methods, algorithms, and tools-are enabling stronger, more resilient technologies and systems to safeguard national security. Coupled with decades of radiological and nuclear materials expertise, advanced computing and threat analysis capabilities, and a broad fundamental science base, we are identifying and countering emerging threats that have significant impact at home and around the globe.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking undergraduate students with an interest in law and policy who have a passion for solving complex problems in national security, energy, and science. The Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program – National Nuclear Security Administration (MSIPP-NNSA) is a research-based experience for students who are traditionally underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

PNNL’s core capabilities are chemical and molecular sciences; chemical engineering; biological systems science; climate change science; environmental subsurface science; applied materials science and engineering; applied nuclear science and technology; advanced computer science, visualization, and data; systems engineering and integration; and large-scale user facilities/advanced instrumentation.

PNNL integrates systems engineering, policy, and operational expertise into versatile and sustainable national security solutions. Our National Security mission strives to reduce the threat and impact of a range of threats, both at home and in more than 100 countries worldwide. We operate at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to bring scalable solutions to the global security mission. The Threat Prevention and Resilience (TPR) and Strategic Threat Analysis (STA) Groups work at the interface of science, technology, policy, and law to bring recommendations and solutions to national security challenges. We examine the issues impacting technology deployment that go beyond a technology’s basic functionality, such as laws, regulations, policies, economics, and user requirements. TPR and STA comprise multidisciplinary, geographically dispersed teams delivering innovative solutions to our sponsors’ national security challenges. Focus areas include international safeguards, strategic trade controls, arms control, nuclear security, radiological security, chemical and biological weapons security, and counterproliferation.

NOTE: Several documents are strictly required to submit with the application to be eligible for this position. Please read the entire job posting for detailed instructions.


This internship position is available within the TPR groups under the National Security Directorate. TPR is seeking CONNECT consortium student members with academic and professional interest in one or more of the following policy areas:

+ National Security

+ International Relations

+ Nuclear Nonproliferation

+ Law and Policy

Classes, degrees, or certification in specialized topics such as arms control, export controls, sanctions, economics, international trade, law, and data analysis are desired. Experience with legal and policy research related to international relations is strongly preferred. Candidates will be asked to contribute to research and programmatic support to TPR programs and will have the opportunity to contribute to both domestic and international efforts that promote U.S. Government international security and nonproliferation objectives.

Positions will be located virtually but may involve travel to the PNNL Seattle or Richland campuses.

+ Interns will have the opportunity to contribute to Laboratory projects. This may include work on discrete pieces of larger projects or simultaneously on multiple projects.

+ Interns will work on multi-disciplinary teams to contribute significantly to completing organizational projects that advance laboratory mission activities.

+ Seek out mentoring opportunities.

+ Utilize technical expertise in one or more scientific, engineering, or policy disciplines; determine significance and reliability of incoming information; integrate new information with current data.

+ Apply and interpret theories, principles, methods, tools, and technologies within an area of specialty.

+ Provide technical expertise, analysis, and publishable products to advance the frontiers of science and address some of the most challenging problems in national security, energy, and the environment.

+ Interns will exercise knowledge of theory and general industry standards/practices in nonproliferation and nuclear security-related discipline or subject area.

+ Gather, analyze, and evaluate information from a variety of sources while utilizing technical expertise in one or more scientific, engineering, or policy disciplines, including national and international law.

+ Uses analytic techniques to develop creative or unique solutions to a variety of national and international nuclear nonproliferation problems, particularly those involving intersection of existing and emerging technologies, laws, regulations, and policies.


To have a complete application package, the (2) listed items below are required and must be uploaded correctly per the steps below for consideration:

Step 1: Upload Resume or CV in “Resume” section only (note: If applying to multiple positions, the most recent resume uploaded will be used for all positions an applicant applies to).

Step 2: Upload a Cover Letter separately in “Additional Documents” section of the application titled “CONNECT- Cover Letter”.

+ Cover letter should include Statement of interest, reference relevant college courses, and relevant experience that may include extracurricular activities that have prepared you for this career.

If any of the components (resume and cover letter) are not uploaded per the instructions above, applications will be rejected and will no longer be considered. Electronic applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. (PST) on the posting close date.


Minimum Qualifications:

+ Candidates must be degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled at an accredited college or university.

+ Candidates must be taking at least 6 credit hours and have an overall cumulative GPA of 2.50.

Preferred Qualifications:

+ Successful candidates should be enrolled in a Bachelor’s program at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), as a participant in the CONNECT consortium.

+ Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including cross-cultural communication.

+ Experience performing open-source research.

+ Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail.

+ Ability to work independently and on multi-disciplinary teams.

+ Knowledgeable in at least one nonproliferation domain such as nuclear security, nuclear safeguards, radiological source security, export control compliance, strategic trade controls, and arms control.

+ Has demonstrated educational or professional experience applying quantitative and qualitative research and analysis techniques to inform policy.

+ Familiarity with federal organizations such as the Departments of Energy (DOE), Homeland Security (DHS), State (DOS), and Defe

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Job Posting: JC251984339

Posted On: Dec 04, 2023

Updated On: Feb 03, 2024

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