girl in a lab
Kayli Chun working in a lab.

The University of Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium (HSGC), a participant in NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project, invites undergraduate students to apply for University Research Internships (URI). These mentored internships can provide funding of up to $9,000 per academic year through a competitive application process. Applications for fall 2020 are due June 15.

HSGC URI positions are available at UH Mānoa, UH Hilo and UH Maui College campuses. Students’ proposed projects must support NASA‘s broad goals in space, planetary research or aeronautics.

Kayli Chun headshot
Kayli Chun

Kayli Chun, a senior in mechanical engineering, is currently enrolled in the second semester of her HSGC URI project with mentor Mehrdad Ghasemi Nejhad, a professor in the UH Mānoa Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Chun is researching ways to optimize strength and toughness of nanocomposite materials for improved mechanical performance, to avoid delamination during use in space.

“I am greatly humbled and grateful to be a part of this highly esteemed program,” Chun said. “The students are provided clear instructions on the actions needed to fulfill the programs requirements while also given the freedom and flexibility to conduct their research projects according to their needs.”

Past HSGC URI students have worked in engineering, geology, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, oceanography, mathematics, computer science, medicine, education and other fields.

How to apply

Applicant requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Full-time undergraduate students (at least 12 credits per semester) at UH Mānoa, UH Hilo or UH Maui College.
  • Sponsored by a mentor who is willing to guide the student for the duration of the award. Most mentors are UH faculty but senior researchers or other qualified personnel at UH or elsewhere are eligible.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be difficult for students to discuss their applications and project plans with mentors. So applicants can contact Marcia Nii and Peter Englert for help in finding a prospective mentor.

For more information on the internships see the HSGC website.

—By Sarah Hendrix