MnDRIVE/LS-NSSA Summer Research Internship

Get Ready for Summer 2024! The MnDRIVE Summer Research Internship application will open on February 1, 2024! 

Thanks to a collaboration between the North Star STEM Alliance and Minnesota's Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE), LS-NSSA scholars have the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities during a 10-week summer program. 

MnDRIVE is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota that aligns areas of research strength with the state’s key and emerging industries to address grand challenges. LS-NSSA scholars may apply for research opportunities within three areas: 

Selected students will gain first-hand experience in scientific investigation in a dynamic, collaborative research environment. Students will be matched with MnDRIVE faculty, who will provide training and support. In addition to research, participants will engage in weekly workshops, create a research poster, and present their findings at the MnDRIVE Research Symposium. Participants will receive a $5,000 stipend for their research and participation throughout the summer. The stipend is limited to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.

2024 Important Dates:

  • February 1: Scholar Application opens
  • March 11: Scholar Application closes at 11:59 pm
  • March 31 - April 22: Faculty and Intern match period
  • June 7: Internship Kick-Off and Luncheon
  • June 10: Summer Research Internship begins
  • August 15: Summer Research Internship ends
  • August 16: MnDRIVE Summer Research Symposium

 Successful matches will be announced by April 22, 2024

What to Expect

Take a moment to browse through the programming from Summer 2023. This can give you an idea of what you might expect if selected to participate in MnDRIVE/LS-NSSA Summer Research Internship. This includes MnDRIVE faculty and projects, program deliverables, and calendars. 


Benefits of participating

  • Great experience in STEM, which may lead to a more robust resume and stronger recommendations
  • A $5,000 stipend funded through financial aid
  • Opportunity to produce a poster and present your research at the MnDRIVE Summer Research Symposium
  • Housing stipend and/or on-campus housing will be provided to any scholar who does not live in the Twin Cities metro
  • Build your professional development and science communication skills
  • Connect with your STEM peers

Recommended Qualifications

  • Have a GPA above 2.75
  • Be fully committed to the research experience (i.e., not planning to hold a full-time job or enroll in a course) 
  • Completed some STEM coursework 
  • Excited and ready to learn! 


  • Be/become an LS-NSSA scholar, apply online at, and email for questions.
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • In your 3rd or 4th year 
  • Must not be a graduating senior (May 2024 and August 2024 graduates are not eligible)

How to Apply

The online Scholar application opens on February 1, 2024.

The MnDRIVE Summer Research Internship application must be completed in one sitting and is due by Monday, March 11, 2024, at 5:00 PM

A sample application PDF and the final application form can be accessed here: [coming soon]

Items to prepare: 

  • Unofficial transcripts from each college/university you have attended 

    • Please name the file in the following format: Transcript_LastName_FirstName

  • Written materials

    • Short Answer Responses (see prompts below)

      • Please name the file in the following format: ShortAnswer_LastName_FirstName

    • Personal Statement (see prompt below)

      • Please name the file in the following format: PS_LastName_FirstName

  • Letter of Recommendation 

    • Arrange for a letter of recommendation (from a professional reference). Guide to asking for a LOR can be found below.

    • All letters of recommendation must be emailed by the recommender to LS-NSSA ( by 11:59 PM (CST) on March 11, 2024. 

    • Information for recommenders can be found below.



Short Answer Response Prompts

Please answer the following questions in 150 words or less: 

  1. We understand that students have a variety of commitments and engage in various activities outside of the classroom. Please discuss your typical involvement in extracurricular activities, family responsibilities, work, and/or community service.

  2. What are your expectations of your MnDRIVE faculty mentor, lab mates, and the MnDRIVE/LS-NSSA research community during the 10 weeks of the MnDRIVE Summer Research Internship? How do you expect to contribute to the lab, team, and LS-NSSA community? 

Personal Statement Prompt

In 500 words or less, submit a personal statement that addresses the following:

  • Why you wish to participate in this research program and what you hope to gain through the experience – including any information you feel supports your request to participate (i.e., research experiences, coursework, employment, internships).
  • How to reach your career goals through graduate education or future employment. 
  • Indicates the faculty mentor you are interested in working with and why.  


[Apply link coming soon]

MnDRIVE Summer 2023 




  1. Will there be housing for scholars who do not live in the Twin Cities? Yes. We will be providing campus housing for accepted interns who need it.  

  2. Will there be parking so that I can park on campus for work? Yes. On-campus parking will be provided for interns who need it during the research internship. Justification will be required.  

  3. What are the dates of the research internship? The internship will officially run from June 10, 2024, to August 15, 2024. A mandatory half-day kick-off meeting and luncheon for all MnDRIVE interns and faculty will be on June 7, 2024.  

  4. How many hours of work a week is required? This part-time internship requires 20 hours of work a week for 10 weeks.  

  5. What is the timeline once the application deadline closes? We begin reviewing applications on March 11th. We anticipate completing the application review process by March 31st, and students will hear from us regarding whether their application will proceed to the faculty matching phase or if they have been added to the waitlist. The faculty match process will take place from March 31st - April 22nd. The deadline for faculty to match with a scholar is April 22nd. During the matching phase, faculty will interview potential candidates to determine the best fit. All acceptances will be sent on or before April 22, 2024.  

  6. What if I am accepted to a different research program while I am waiting to be matched with a MnDRIVE faculty mentor? We understand that our program may be one of many you applied to for the summer. If you have decided to pursue a different program, please notify us immediately so we can move onto the next candidate. If you need an update on your application status in order to make a decision between our program and another, please do not hesitate to contact Liz Hitch ( 

  7. How is the $5,000 stipend distributed? Students receive a stipend check upon successful completion of internship milestones. Checks are $1,000 each and are disbursed in Weeks 2, 4, 6, and 8 of the internship, with the final check disbursed after the internship is complete. Typical milestones include, but are not limited to, regular attendance in the lab and at LS-NSSA workshops and the completion of all assignments by their deadlines. Participants will receive payment via the University payroll system and may elect to receive their stipend by direct deposit or mailed check. 

 Questions? Contact