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Apply today for a summer internship at America’s underground science laboratory


LEAD, SD— Who operates America’s underground science laboratory? Scientists, engineers, educators, infrastructure technicians, safety professionals, communicators and more. Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) is now accepting applications for 2022 summer internships in a range of technical and creative disciplines. Application deadline is Jan. 20, 2022.

“Summer internships have been an integral part of SURF's mission since its inception,” said Peggy Norris, deputy director for Education and Outreach (E&O) at SURF. “Our former interns have gone on to rewarding careers across South Dakota and the region, including careers with SURF and SURF’s partners and contractors. Other former interns are in physics graduate programs and teaching the next generation of students to come through the pipeline.”

SURF offers internships is a variety of categories, including physics, chemistry, geology, engineering, science education and communication or related disciplines. Internships at SURF provide a unique learning environment in which undergraduate students work with experts from around the world and gain real-world experience. At the end of the paid, 10-week program, interns give a presentation about their experience at SURF. 

Last summer, Victor Hernandez Chinos, an industrial engineering and engineering management student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SD Mines), interned with SURF’s Quality Assurance, Quality Control Department in 2021.

“Interning at SURF provided the experience necessary to excel as an engineer,” said Hernandez,. For Hernandez, the biggest takeaway was learning to “build quality into the process” from the start of every project.

Serenity Engel, an SD Mines student studying physics, spent most days of her internship underground with the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) dark matter experiment. “Sanford Lab has been a very active presence in my life. And it's been my childhood dream to work here. So, it's really cool that I got to see it all come together,” Engel said.

Elliott Keller, who is pursuing a degree in education at BHSU, worked with the SURF Education & Outreach team to create professional development programming for South Dakota educators and prepare curriculum units for the upcoming school year. “I was kind of tickled to learn that SURF’s mission statement and their vision statement have strong connections to education. It is an integral part of this establishment,” Keller said.

Undergraduate summer experiences allow students to explore opportunities, build connections and envision where their degree might take them. Not an undergraduate student? Share this opportunity with a student in your life!

As the state and nationwide COVID-19 situation develops, SURF’s operations mode is subject to change. Interns will work closely with their supervisors to create virtual and/or in-person work schedules that align with current SURF regulations.

Learn more about SURF internships or apply now.  

SURF is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Our mission is to advance world class science and inspire learning across generations. Visit Sanford Lab at

More Information

Constance Walter
Communications Director
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