Summer Internship


The Summer Exploration Internship Program is an annual initiative of the Institute for Earth and Space Exploration at Western University. This program will provide students with an opportunity to perform cutting-edge, hands-on research on a range of topics in an interdisciplinary environment. Students will work on a combination of interdisciplinary team-based research projects and focused individual research projects with faculty mentors, with a third of their time allocated to group projects and the remainder focusing on their individual project. Students will learn from widely respected scientists, social scientists, and engineers, and will participate in a series of group activities, including weekly meetings and seminars, Science Communication training, various workshops including team dynamics, and field trips.


Benefits of an internship

  • Gain valuable research experience in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Develop a range of technical and applied skills
  • Meet and work with professionals from academia, industry, and government
  • Experience a new work environment


Team-based research projects:

For 2021, the team-based research projects will focus on the following topics:
  • Lunar science in support of future missions
  • Astronomy with the James Webb Space Telescope
  • Development of CubeSats for Earth and planetary exploration
  • Delivering healthcare in remote environments: From Space to the Arctic
  • Asteroids: resources and hazards
Students should identify their top two topics in the application form. While every effort will be made to assign students to an identified topic, depending on the distribution of interests and numbers of applicants, this cannot be guaranteed. Students will spend approximately one-third of their time focused on the group project.


Individual research projects:

Individual research projects will be carried out under the supervision of an Institute faculty member. Students should identify in their application the research theme (or themes) that they would most like to work in as well as the faculty memebers they would like to work with (click here to view faculty). Successful students will be provided with a list of projects and matched with faculty members from that theme. Students will spend approximately two- thirds of their time focused on the individual research project.


View current Projects here!


Admission Requirements

The Institute for Earth and Space Exploration invites undergraduates who have completed at least 2-years of full-time study, students in a full-time professional degree, and recent graduates with an undergraduate degree (with a graduation date in 2021), to apply to this program. Preference will be given to applicants with Canadian citizenship or permanent residency but international students are encouraged to apply. The summer Exploration Internships are available up to a maximum of 16 weeks, beginning no earlier than May 1st and ending no later than August 31st. Interns are selected based on academic excellence, scientific interest and background and will be paired with an advisor who will support and guide them in their research. Stipends will be provided in the amount of $7,500 for a 16-week internship. Please note that the travel and housing expenses will not be covered. 

How To Apply

Please submit your application using the electronic online form. In addition, a letter of recommendation should be submitted separately by e-mail to 


Send the following documents in addition to the online form to

  • 1-page personal essay outlining your academic and personal background, educational goals, scientific interests, and why you are interested in this summer internship program
  • Resume/CV containing details about your education, previous employment, research/lab experiences, technical and programming skills, publications, conferences attended, and awards. Maximum of two pages
  • University Transcript(s). Unofficial transcripts are acceptable as long as they are generated by your college or university website
  • If you have applied to NSERC USRA, please attach Form 202.  


The deadline for applications is February 5th 2021, 11:59pm EST.


Offers will be made to successful candidates by March 22nd 2021.