Internships focus on Earth benefits of space research

Want to be an intern at NASA? Applications are now being accepted for 10-15 week summer internships involving research that benefits health care on Earth.

The positions, offered as part of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Summer Internship Program, provide an introduction to the health concerns associated with long stays in space. The program offers undergraduate, graduate and medical students the opportunity to work under the guidance of scientists and physicians at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston and NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Applications for the program are due January 31, 2010, and include an online application, CV or resume, letter of interest, and two letters of reference. Participants must have completed their second year of undergraduate studies by the summer of 2010 and must be U.S. citizens. Since 1998, 117 students from 60 universities have participated in the highly competitive program.

"Interns work in labs at NASA and learn not only how their work is benefiting space exploration but also how the research benefits health on Earth," said Dr. Jeffrey Sutton, NSBRI director. "We hope as a result of their exposure that many of the students will seek careers related to the nation’s space program."

Typical internship projects include assessing muscle performance and changes in lean body mass, studying the effects of radiation on bone, testing products in the space food systems laboratory, and developing techniques to assess physiological adaptation to space.

NSBRI, funded by NASA, is a consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight. Research findings will also impact the understanding and treatment of similar medical conditions experienced on Earth. The Institute’s science, technology and education projects take place at more than 60 institutions across the United States.

For more information on the NSBRI Summer Internship Program, visit, contact 713-798-7896 or email