Intern / Mentor Selection & Matching Process


Both interns and mentors must apply to this program by the given deadline using the online application forms linked below. Once all applications are received, the selection process begins with the UArizona NASA Space Grant Steering Committee reviewing and ranking all student applications. 

Intern Application

Mentor Application

Review & Matching Process

Following the application deadline, the Space Grant Steering Committee (composed of ~10 faculty and professionals from various disciplines at the UArizona, as well as local industry) review all intern applications. The Committee ranks intern applications based on the content and quality of the applicant's responses to three open-ended questions. Motivation for applying, interest-level, potential, and involvement (work, volunteerism, other activities) are also considered. Prior research experience is not a factor in the selection process as this internship program is designed to provide first-time research opportunities to interested and motivated students. 

The highest ranked (~25-30) applications are then matched by the Committee to the most suitable mentored project. The Committee evaluates foremost the interests indicated on a student's application. Experience and skills are also considered in making a match with a research project. Some limiting factors (e.g. ability to travel off campus for certain positions, time commitment needed, virtual v. in-person) are also considered. The goal is to provide a new and rich experience to the student applicant that aligns with their goals and interests. 

Most students have no previous experience with any particular faculty or industry mentor. However, some intern and mentor applicants identify each other in their applications as desirable research/work partners prior to the selection process. If a student applicant is awarded an internship and has identified a desirable mentor, the Committee will make every effort to match them with that proposed mentor. Please note: having established an intern/mentor match prior to applying has no bearing on the selection of final internships. Student awardees are selected first, entirely based on their own merit irrespective of mentor applications. 

Mentors, please note that there tend to be more mentor applications than available funding and capacity for Space Grant internships. Nevertheless, the selection process is entirely student merit-based. It is only after the highest ranked students are selected that the process of matching interns to the most suitable mentor application begins. 

Once a selected intern has confirmed their participation in the internship program, important sections of an intern's application will be sent to their matched mentor for a final approval of working on that project. In addition, certain sections of the mentor's application which are relevant for the student will be provided to the intern during the intern's orientation session. Following the intern's orientation session, interns will be given the tools and resources to reach out to their matched mentor to establish a first meeting, and the program begins.