Florida Space Internship Program

Space Life Sciences Lab, Exploration Park at Kennedy Space Center


The NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium (FSGC) and Space Florida (SF) are partnering in a STEM Internship Program at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory (SLSL), Exploration Park at KSC, during the summer every year (depending on availability of projects at the SLSL).  FSGC will act as the Lead in this program and will have final decision on the selection of potential STEM mentors and interns.  The  internships are of 10 weeks duration. The  internship program usually commence on June 1, and conclude on August 7. . This will be a paid internship of $6,000 for the 10-week program.

The goal of the Internship program will be to train and recruit Florida science/engineering students (US citizens only) into the aerospace & aviation workforce as future employees, while encouraging further study and academic achievement. Particular emphasis will be directed towards building and strengthening allegiances between Space Florida, Florida Space Grant Consortium, NASA-KSC, Florida Universities, as well as Space Life Sciences Laboratory & Exploration Park tenants.

For more information about the SLSL please visit: http://www.spaceflorida.gov/why-florida/facilities/space-life-sciences-lab

If projects are available for the Summer of 2017, the website will be updated during the month of February 2017.


Application and Program structure

Please note that you have to first register at www.floridaspacegrant.org before being able to apply online

  • Undergraduates & graduates in Florida institutions (US citizens only) may apply for a 10-week, paid summer internship at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center; each successful applicant will receive a $6000 stipend for their participation
  • FSGC and Space Florida will support the projects (if available during the summer) at the SLSL.
  • Students can only select one of the projects
  • Students will submit their application online at http://floridaspacegrant.org/cms/wp-login.php  by May 1 and will include the following documents:
    1. Resume
    2. Transcripts (unofficial transcripts may suffice)
    3. 1 letter  of recommendation
    4. 2 page cover letter listing their choice of their project (one project only) and a description on the reasons they would like to work on the project, their experience, and their plans for the future
  • Students must take care of their own private accommodations for the internship and are also responsible for their own transportation.
  • Students are expected to consider this internship as full time and therefore should not be attending summer classes.
  • The internship stipends will be paid directly to the students by  FSGC.
  • Each intern and SLSL mentor will be expected to submit a work experience report to FSGC at the conclusion of the program.

 Selected Projects for Summer of 2015

1. Dust Atmospheric Recovery Technology (DART) System – Dr. Andrew Schuerger, University of Florida (Lauren Brown, Univ. of Florida)

2. Generating metabolic networks of the modern stromatolite microbiome – Dr. Jamie Foster, University of Florida (Nick Cullen, Univ. of Florida)


2015 SLSL interns

2015 SLSL Interns Lauren Brown and Nick Cullen from the University of Florida

Internship Information

(a) Interns will be paid a total of $5,000, in two stages. 60% of the stipend will be paid to the student within 4 days of the internship start date, provided the interns have submitted the paperwork provided to them after the notice of their selection and before the start of their internships. Selected students will be given sufficient time to complete their paperwork. Interns will work a 10-week internship, 8 hours a day, precise times to be as agreed with Mentors.

(b) Interns will require their own laptops and must be US citizens.

(c) Interns will be orientated with the safety/security regulations/operations at SLSL, KSC and CCAFS.

(d) During Internship, Interns may be provided with an on-site tour of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with other opportunities to be arranged. This will raise awareness amongst the interns of the economic impact of the aerospace program in the US as well as current research.

(e) Interns will be provided with clear and written instructions as to their behavior, timekeeping, dress and the accepted standards of performance while they are interning at the SLSL/Exploration Park.

(f) Mentors will ensure that the SLSL interns have sufficient work to carry on with during their internship at the SLSL. Mentors will also assume full responsibility for the activities and behavior of their interns, while in the work zone.

(g) At the conclusion of the Internships, both mentors and interns will complete Final Technical Report and Activity Report which will be copied to both FSGC and SF.

(h) Towards the conclusion of the internship, the students will be invited to make a presentation of their work accomplishments to a gathering of Mentors and other invited space industry guests at the SLSL.

(i) FSGC reserves the right to require additional information / reports / waivers as may be required to comply with funding agency requirements at any time during the internship and within 1 year from the internship end date.

(j) Student selection preference will be given to new applicants.


Internship Schedule (2015):

  • March 26 – Request for student / interns released
  • May 1 – Closing date for students / interns
  • May 4 – Student Applications passed on to mentors
  • May 11 – Selection of 2 – intern / students
  • May 13 – Student / interns informed
  • June 2  – Internship commences
  • June 9  – 1st payment to interns (60% of stipend on submission of student tracking forms, signed scholarship agreement form and waiver forms)
  • July 30   2 Interns present at the SLSL and paid their final 40% upon receipt of required project description form and personal experience questionnaire
  • August 7 – Internship ends
  • September 7 – Mentors and student / interns will be requested to complete a Final Report



1. Shaun Abdelkarim (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) Project: Development of Microsensors for Biological Research” under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Schuerger

2. Mary Elizabeth Bishop (Florida State College at Jacksonville) Project: “Microgravity Induced Differential Gene Regulation in the Symbiotic Bacterium Vibrio Fisheri” under the guidance of Dr. Jamie Foster

3. Kimberly Cranmore (University of Central Florida) Project: “Assessing the Impact of Microgravity on the Innate Immune System Using the Squid-Vibrio Model System” under the guidance of Dr. Jamie Foster

4. Jessica Page (Florida Institute of Technology) Project: “Survival and Growth of Spacecraft Microorganisms Under Mars Simulated Conditions” under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Schuerger

5. Fernando Valbuena (University of Central Florida) Project: “Aerobiology of Atmospheric Dusts Over Florida: A Possible Source of Contamination on Planetary Spacecraft at KSC” under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Schuerger

Final presentations by the SLSL interns

at the Space Life Sciences Lab


NATHANIEL GARLAND  (UFL) “SyNRGE3-Symbiotic-Nodulation-in-a-Reduced-Gravity-Environment-­‐Cubed” under the guidance of Dr. Michael Roberts
KELLY GRAY  (FIT) “Optimization-of-growth-conditions-for-Synechocystis-SK-­‐14” under the guidance of Dr. Deborah Wells.  
KIMBERLY LINEBERGER   (FIT) “Microbial-Monitoring-Comparing-qPCR-Platforms-for-ISS-Integration” under the guidance of Dr. David Smith.
RAED NARVEL  (UFL) “Development-of-Antibiotic-Resistant-Microbes-During-Human-Space-Flight” under the guidance of Dr. Wayne Nicholson