Summer Research Program

MIT Lincoln Laboratory applies advanced technology to problems critical to national security. Behind the Laboratory's solutions are researchers with excellent technical abilities and imagination working in cross-disciplinary collaborations to develop systems from the initial concept stage, through simulation and analysis, to design and prototyping, and finally to real-world demonstrations.

Since 1975, Lincoln Laboratory has offered undergraduate and graduate students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a leading-edge research environment.

Students in summer programProgram participants will contribute to projects and gain experience that complements their courses of study. Opportunities exist in fields such as communications systems, sensor and radar data analysis, digital signal processing, laser and electro-optical systems, solid-state electronics, software engineering, and scientific programming.

Projects may be available for students with backgrounds in electrical engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, aeronautics/astronautics, materials science, molecular biology, biochemistry, and related fields.

Lincoln Laboratory is located in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, and is only 14 miles northwest of Boston. As part of the MIT community, program participants have enjoyed sports events, trips to the island off Cape Cod, sailing, and hiking. In addition, MIT and Lincoln Laboratory are close to most major routes to New England's shores and mountains.

Mentor with internsAbout the Program

To be eligible for the Summer Research Program, students must have completed their junior year of college or be enrolled in a master's or doctoral program. In addition, students must have maintained an excellent academic record and be a U.S. citizen.

Students will be supervised by Laboratory technical staff on a day-to-day basis. The program runs from early June through mid-August and provides the following:

  • Competitive weekly pay
  • Round-trip travel expenses for students relocating from a campus 50 miles outside the Boston area
  • Subsidized housing on the MIT campus for students relocating from a campus 50 miles outside the Boston area (meal plans are not available)
  • Daily free shuttle service from the MIT campus to Lincoln Laboratory (Monday through Friday only)
  • Access to the world-class libraries of MIT and Lincoln Laboratory
  • Access to professional and technical training
  • Access to MIT Medical/Lexington. Other employees and affiliates of Lincoln Laboratory may use MIT Medical on a fee-for-service basis. Those with outside coverage should present their insurance at the time of visit. Fees not paid by the insurer will be the responsibility of the individual.
  • For a nominal fee, program participants can join the onsite fitness center run by the MIT Athletic Department

Summer intern at workStudents will have opportunities to

  • Attend technical briefings
  • Interface with national experts in numerous fields of research
  • Work with state-of-the-art equipment on real-world
    technical applications
  • Present the results of their research conclusions at the end of the summer

Examples of Past Summer Projects

  1. Create a hypervideo system by incorporating a steerable mirror with a hyperspectral sensor to enable real-time data acquisition and detection capability at the level of 0.5 to 1 Hz
  2. Design components to meet the basic aeronautical, structural, and payload requirements for a rapid-prototyped small unmanned aerial vehicle; optimize the design to use fluid deposition modeling technology for part fabrication
  3. Investigate methods for high-impedance probing of avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and help set up a new probe station for electrical characterization of APDs and charge-coupled devices
  4. Develop a titanium nitride atomic layer deposition process in the Microelectronics Laboratory to deposit titanium nitride thin films with appropriate electrical properties
  5. Identify interesting cyber security technologies, evaluate them, and experiment with getting two of them to work together
  6. Design a mission planning software suite for future protected tactical satellite communications
  7. Integrate and test a web-based chat tool into the Laboratory's airborne communications testbed; then, modify code and add functionality to the system
  8. Help with hardware development, field testing, and system development for an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle
  9. Develop displays and software infrastructure for an unmanned aerial system ground control system/network, including developing a graphical-user-interface and interfaces to software, hardware, networks, and an open-source data-management system
  10. Design and implement a framework for evaluating the performance of information retrieval algorithms when applied to disaster-related social-media filtering tasks
  11. Perform mechanical design of Luminaire assembly of various imagers, radios, lights, and electronics for a border surveillance prototype
  12. Model and analyze the geolocation performance of the Microsized Microwave Atmospheric Satellite (MicroMAS)
  13. Research and implement two-dimensional mapping algorithms for sparse matrices
  14. Develop a novel system for topical and lexical analysis of speech corpora for situations in which no prior linguistic knowledge or annotation is provided to the system
  15. Design and code the software architecture for Monte Carlo simulations of ballistic missile defense scenarios

MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s fundamental mission is to apply science and advanced technology to critical problems of national security. To assure excellence in the fulfillment of this mission, the Laboratory is committed to fostering an environment that embraces and leverages diversity of thought, culture, and experience.

Because of the unique nature of our work, U.S. citizenship is required. MIT Lincoln Laboratory is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, veteran status, or disability.

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