When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is February 15 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

The RESESS Internship is a multi-summer research experience, primarily funded by NSF, that is dedicated to increasing diversity in the geosciences. RESESS encourages applications from individuals who are members of a group that is historically underrepresented in the Earth or environmental sciences and from students who can demonstrate experience working towards raising awareness about the importance of the geosciences among broad or diverse segments of the population.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Citizens and permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Full-time undergraduate students
  • Students who are majoring in math, physics, geology, geophysics, physical geography, chemistry, or closely related topics.
  • Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Students from populations that are underrepresented in the Earth sciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Is biology okay as a major?

If the student has course experience in geology, physical geography, environmental sciences in addition to biology, they will be considered for the program and should consider applying. The applicant must be willing to consider doing a research project that uses biology in the context of geology. For example, a project might focus on studying plant fossils, or the spatial relationship between plant diversity and underlying bedrock type.

I am interested in atmospheric sciences or atmospheric-ocean interactions. Is this the internship for me?

Please visit our partner internship program, SOARS, which has opportunities in the atmospheric sciences and atmospheric-ocean interactions. This will be a better match for you. RESESS does match students up with projects on climate change records ice core records, glacier retreat patterns, hurricane trends, and more. If you are interested in ecology & engineering, please visit the NEON internship’s website.

Are Semester and Quarter System students eligible to participate?

Yes! The program can support students from both school systems in through flexible start dates. You will be asked to provide your availability on your application.

How many summers can I participate in this program?

In general, interns may participate in the program for up to two summers.

What support is included with the internship?

  • A competitive weekly stipend for eleven weeks
  • Round-trip airfare to research location
  • Ground transportation stipend
  • A shared (dorm-style) furnished apartment
  • A research experience in the solid earth geosciences
  • Intensive communications and professional development courses
  • Opportunity for participation in a national science meeting

Will I get to do research on a topic I’m interested in?

Most likely, yes. One of the unique aspects to RESESS is that we do our best to find a project that matches the skills and interests of the student. Each student has their own project which will be the focus of their work, writing, and presentations over the summer. Examples of topics of focus include: slope or stream hydrology, earthquakes, plate tectonics, glaciers, water quality, geophysics, mineralogy, geomorphology, and many more.

We are also interested exploring a project or idea that grew out of needs in their community, or that the student believes needs attention. We will work with the community and try to find a science mentor in Boulder who would be interested in such a project. In your application, you will get to indicate what your primary fields of interest are in the geosciences, and we will try to pair you up with a project in that area.

Where will I do my research?

In their first summer, interns work closely with a scientist at one of: (1) the University of Colorado at Boulder, (2) Colorado School of Mines, or (3) another local research institution. One day a week is dedicated to RESESS activitie.

What kind of mentoring support will I get?

Each intern will have a science mentor or team, a communications mentor, and will participate in a weekly Writing Workshop and Communications Seminar. A writing instructor will guide interns through the process of writing a scientific paper based on their own research. Interns take part in workshops on making a scientific poster, and practicing giving oral presentations on their research. The Communications Seminar will introduce students to professional and informal communications, including resume and CV preparation and review, and uses of social media to communicate about you and your science.

What kind of professional development training will I get?

Interns will have the following opportunities to:

  • Work on their résumés/CU and receive feedback
  • Develop a short (10-12 minute) scientific talk
  • Learn how to write a scientific abstract
  • Submit a research abstract to a national conference
  • Learn how to make a scientific poster and present it

What Makes RESESS Different from a Typical REU?

We provide substantial support and individualized mentoring to each intern; we really take care of you! Good communication within the cohort and with science and communication mentors is encouraged, and each summer’s cohort develops their own sense of community.

Adventures and shared experiences throughout the summer help the students connect with each other and provide a feeling of mutual support. For example, we go on field trips to local geological sites, have workshops, and organize social events.

During the academic year, we provide our summer interns with the opportunity to apply for scholarship money, advice on courses or graduate schools, and support in applying to graduate school.

I have children. Can I bring them with me or go and visit them?

You should apply, and if you are accepted, we will discuss what kind of arrangements would be best for your family and whether we can meet those needs.

What is it like living in Boulder, Colorado, in the summer?

Boulder is very pleasant and sometimes quite hot in the summer, with occasional thunderstorm activity. It is very sunny, and Boulder is situated right beside some beautiful mountains to the west. There are many wonderful hiking trails nearby, and excellent bicycle lanes and trails along Boulder Creek and major roads. Boulder has a charming downtown area, and several restaurants close to Bear Creek Apartments where students live.

For more information on things to do in Boulder visit the following website links:

What should I bring?


  • Driver’s License + 1 of the following: Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, or Passport
  • Permanent Resident Card (if applicable)


  • Medical Insurance card
  • Medications


  • Casual work clothes
  • Professional business clothes (for your presentations and reception invitations)
  • Rain jacket
  • Summer fun clothes (shorts, t-shirts, jeans, etc.)
  • Sunglasses and hat/cap, water bottle
  • Swimsuit
  • Hiking boots/tennis shoes
  • Sweaters/light jackets (layer dressing is a plus—plan on periodic cool weather, especially when visiting mountain locations)

Fun and Practical

  • Pillow (if you have a special one!)
  • Large towel; EarthScope will provide you with hand towels and smaller bath towels.
  • Backpack or bag (To carry stuff on day trips or hikes)
  • Camera
  • Games, puzzles; the apartments do not have TVs
  • Camping gear (many interns camp during their summers here)
  • Sunscreen (bring plenty to save your skin)
  • Bike (You can ship your bike – or you can take it on the plane with you. Either option is at your own expense. Typically the airlines charge $50 each way plus about $25 for a box, but you will need to confirm the cost with your airline.)

Be sure to bring enough money with you to cover your groceries and entertainment for the first two weeks.

PLEASE NOTE: The RESESS program will cover the cost of checking one bag, so please plan accordingly.

What kind of social activities are organized?

Much of the first week in RESESS is dedicated to team-building activities. After that, interns often self-organize social gatherings such as potluck dinners or barbecues, almost weekly. Cohort-building is an important part of RESESS, and students leave at the end of the summer saying that they feel that they have a whole new family.

Who should I ask to be a reference for me?

Ask college professors who have taught you in science or math, and who know you and your work. You may also ask a scientist who supervised your work in a research lab, such as an employer in a summer internship or research job.

Do not get references from high school teachers, guidance counselors, friends, relatives, or non-science employers.

It is better to go with references who know you and your work and who believes in you, over a reference who has a big name but doesn’t know you very well.

Be sure to give your references plenty of time to prepare their letters of recommendation. A minimum of two weeks is considered to be courteous, and longer is better.

Please note, only finalists will need to have letters of recommendation submitted on their behalf, but it is good to notify potential references of the pertinent deadlines.

What is the acceptance process and when will offers be made?

Applications received before midnight Eastern Time, February 15, will be screened for minimum requirements and finalists will be notified by the RESESS staff by the end of February. Letters of recommendation (finalists only) must be submitted by the specified due date by the end of February. Finalists will then be evaluated by a selection panel. Offers will be made by mid to late March.

Are students who have participated in RESESS before glad that they did? Here are some quotes.

“RESESS really wants you to succeed. I was worried about failing this summer, but they help you at every step; there’s so much support.

“Prior to RESESS, I hadn’t really considered graduate school, except in case I didn’t get a job. Now I see the importance of grad school, and I have the skills and confidence to apply.

“The RESESS program is very unique in the sense that it gives an intern the freedom to choose the field of research they are interested in and allows them to participate in the program up to three years.”

Ready to apply? Click here!