Person giving presentation


SURF's Internships provide a unique learning environment in which undergraduate students work with experts from around the world to gain valuable real-world experience.

Job and Internship Opportunities

Dave Bozied Internships

Open to South Dakota residents and students attending South Dakota universities who major in physics, chemistry, geology, engineering, science education or communication or related disciplines.

Chris Bauer Engineering Internships

Created in memory of Chris Bauer, a former electrical engineer for Sanford Lab, two internships are available to undergraduate engineering students. One is given preference in electrical engineering.

  • The first is exclusively for undergraduate engineering students who are South Dakota residents or attending South Dakota universities.
  • The second is open to all U.S. undergraduate engineering students enrolled in an accredited program.

Jack Headley STEM Internship

Created in memory of John "Jack" Headley, this internship is awarded to an undergraduate student seeking to work in STEM fields and gives priority to underrepresented groups in the State of South Dakota. 

person filming scientist in cleanroom

Real-world Experiences and Fun

SURF's commitment to education can be seen in the many outreach programs, its efforts to advance science through world-class research, and its summer internships. Several undergraduate and graduate students work alongside experts from around the globe, gaining valuable real-world experience while helping SURF meet the challenges of operating America's underground science laboratory. It's not all work and no play. Every Neutrino Day, our interns help plan and oversee fun kids' activities.  

person works on accelerator section

Learning in a Unique Environment

Internships help students figure out what they want to do and give them the opportunity to work with people from around the world in a unique environment. All interns are required to go underground so they must be physically able to spend long days below the surface, sometimes under demanding conditions. At SURF, safety is a priority so interns undergo rigorous safety training. At the end of their 10-week program, interns give a presentation about their experience. 

Types of Internships

The internship applications open in the fall. Watch our Jobs and Internships Opportunities page for updates. 

Offering real-world opportunities

The internship program is a big part of Sanford Lab’s education and outreach efforts. Through this competitive program, students gain real-world experience that propels them toward a career in their chosen field.

Internships at Sanford Lab may be available in any of the following departments: Communications, Education, Engineering, Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), Operations, Science and Underground Access (UAG). In all departments, candidates should be comfortable working in an underground environment and following safety rules and guidelines appropriate to a laboratory and construction setting.

Typical ‘job descriptions’ for internships in each department are given below. Specific tasks will vary with the needs of the department over the course of the summer. 


A communications internship at Sanford Lab typically focuses on one area of specialty in the mass communication arts. This could include journalism, public relations, graphic design, and/or video production. Regardless of the specialty the intern will be expected to create and modify content for public distribution through the Sanford Lab web sites, public events, and other internal and external channels.

The summer intern will spend much of their time creating and modifying content for promotion of Neutrino Day. The intern should be comfortable in adapting graphics and messaging to fit various formats to promote the event and Sanford Lab. 


An education intern at Sanford Lab will work with the Education & Outreach team to develop and implement content and programs connected to the science and engineering of Sanford Lab for K-12 students and teachers. A typical summer includes presentations and tours for classrooms and summer camps, Neutrino Day activities and professional development sessions for teachers. As time permits, it could also include development of new curriculum units for K-12 classrooms. 


An engineering intern will work with one or more of the Engineering Department specialists in mechanical or electrical engineering to support current or future experiments and/or facility construction at Sanford Lab. 

Applicants with a major in mechanical or electrical engineering will be given first consideration; we will also consider applicants in technical areas such as drafting and CAD. 

Environment, Safety and Health

An EH&S intern will work with one or more of the EH&S Department specialists in Safety, Health, Industrial Hygiene, Training, Quality Assurance, Emergency Rescue, Experimental Support, Operational Support and Environmental. They will experience all aspects of maintaining a safe work environment for employees, scientists, contractor and visitors of Sanford Lab; they may be writing manuals or training modules one day and out in the field the next. 

Applicants are expected to have a major or minor in a safety related field. 


An intern in the Operations Department may work at the Waste Water Treatment Plant or other surface facilities at Sanford Lab to provide ongoing support of the facility. 


A science intern at Sanford Lab will work with the Science Department to support the experimental facilities and groups (astrophysics, biology, geology, geothermal energy, low-background counting) using the Sanford Underground Research Facility. The work will vary depending on which groups are active on site over the course of the summer. 

Underground Access

An intern in the Underground Access Department will work with the infrastructure and facility crews to support maintenance of the shafts and underground areas, support ongoing experiments and construction of future facilities. An intern may also have the opportunity to work with the Mine Rescue Team. 

Applicants are expected to have a major in Mining Engineering. 

Job and Internship Opportunities