Call For Participation

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Call for Participation in the Blue Waters Student Internship Program: Applications open September 1, 2017

Preparation for petascale computing requires solid grounding in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), HPC and HPC-related curricula. As a community, we must address the engagement of a larger and more diverse workforce to broaden participation and to ensure that CSE education keeps pace with the evolution of science and technology. We will leverage faculty expertise to establish best practices, identify and fill gaps, and modernize the CSE curriculum across all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The NCSA Blue Waters petascale computing facility funded by NSF will support this effort by providing 1% of the computing capacity of its computational infrastructure in direct support of educational applications. The Blue Waters system will support sustained petaflop performance of scientific codes, and thereby provide a unique educational learning experience for students across the nation.

Rationale and Audience

The Blue Waters education emphasis is intended to prepare the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students, the next generation of K-12 teachers, and an educated workforce. All undergraduate institutions are encouraged to participate including 2- and 4-year colleges and universities, minority serving institutions, EPSCoR institutions, women's colleges, and institutions addressing special needs students.


To achieve these goals, the Blue Waters Student Internship Program (BWSIP) is launching research experiences for undergraduate and graduate students to engage the national community.

Applications open September 1, 2017

What is the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

Support is provided by the NSF-funded Blue Waters Project for sustained petascale computing to support year-long undergraduate internship experiences involving the application of high-performance computing to problems in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics. The program provides a student stipend totaling $5000, a two-week intensive high-performance computing workshop, an allocation on the Blue Waters supercomputer, and, for select students, travel to the Blue Waters Symposium 2019.

This program provides support for undergraduate internship activities at any accredited degree granting institution in the United States. The internships awarded through this program may be to students working with a faculty mentor on their home campus, or at another campus. Interested faculty need to create a position description, and can specify a particular student that the position is intended for, or may select a qualified applicant with Blue Waters support through our program.

Who should participate in the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

  • Undergraduate faculty who would like to mentor an undergraduate student in a year-long internship in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics that involves teaching or researching the use of high-performance computing in studying problems in these fields.
  • Undergraduate students interested in participating in a year-long science or engineering internship. Students must be enrolled as undergraduates through Spring 2019 at a U.S. degree-granting institution.
  • Students and faculty who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM are strongly encouraged to participate in the program; including, but not limited to, women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.
  • Beginning graduate students who have a research advisor are eligible to apply to attend the Petascale Institute and will have their expenses covered by the program; any stipend would be the responsibility of their own research advisor.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to attempt to match themselves with a mentor and project before applying.

How do I apply for the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

For Faculty: By clicking the button at the top or bottom of this page, faculty should create descriptions of undergraduate internship positions they have available, indicating either that the position is intended for a particular student applicant or that it is open to qualified applicants.

What you'll need to create a project proposal:

  • A summary of the project
  • A description of the work to be completed by the student
  • Name and email of student for which the project is proposed if the position is intended for a particular applicant

For Students: By clicking the button at the top or bottom of this page, eligible undergraduate students should submit an application for consideration. There is an area on the form where students can identify a faculty member as a mentor. Students who have taken the initiative to arrange an internship with a faculty mentor are more likely to be selected for this program than students who have not.

What you'll need to submit an application:
  • Information about your academic background such as current GPA, relevant coursework, and previous relevant work or internship experiences
  • The name, title, institution, and email address of your potential faculty mentor if you have already identified one
  • Names and email addresses for two people willing to complete academic letters of recommendation

When is the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

Intern position descriptions from faculty must be submitted by January 15, 2018, and student applications must be submitted by February 2, 2018. Be sure to click the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the web form to be entered into the BWSIP system. Review and selection will be conducted in early February, with notifications being made by February 15.

A two-week Petascale Institute will be held in late May / early June 2018, at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) facilities on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Interns are expected to work full-time over the Summer and as their schedules allow during the academic year. Work plans will need to be arranged by the student and faculty mentor and approved by the Blue Waters Student Internship Program.

As part of the program, students and faculty will apply for and receive education allocations on the Blue Waters supercomputer. This process is detailed on the Blue Waters website.

How can I promote the Blue Waters Student Internship Program?

A flyer is available (in pdf format) to inform students and colleagues about this program.

Blue Waters Student Internship Program Flyer

Applications open September 1, 2017

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