APS/IBM Research Internships for Underrepresented Minority Students - FAQs

Should I send everything (letters of recommendation, essay and application form) in one package?
Please use the online application form to submit your essay and resume, and list of technical courses with dates and grades. Letters of recommendation from your professors should be sent to ibmurmin@us.ibm.com

Please do not send a transcript. If we need one, we will ask you for it.

When will I be notified about the internship?
The IBM selection committee will notify all applicants whether or not they are successful. This normally takes place in early April or before.

Are students at non-US colleges and universities eligible?
We only accept applications from students attending US institutions. Students can have any citizenship, not restricted to U.S., but their college must be in the US . This is because we have almost no way of comparing grades or course programs from foreign universities. An exception can be made in certain cases for applicants from colleges in Puerto Rico, but colleges in all other countries including Mexico are not eligible.

What kinds of things are you looking for in the essay?
In the essay, please tell us why you are interested in research and your chosen technical field, what do you like about it, what made you interested in it, what sort of science appeals to you, what you would like to do for a future career, and what kind of research experience you have had.

Will I get any help in finding a place to live?
IBM provides some housing assistance in two ways:

  1. Suggestions of where to look/lists of actual openings and

  2. Some financial assistance as a grant to offset the high cost of housing in this area. Please note that the amount of such payments varies each year, depending on various conditions (local economy, IBM budget, etc.)

The intern is expected to pay for the bulk of his or her housing costs out of the summer salary. Even so, most interns save a substantial amount from the summer.

Are there funds for travel to the internship site?
Yes. Awardees will receive a lump sum to cover relocation expenses. The amount will depend on on from how far away they are moving.

Is laboratory biology okay as a major?
Yes, both computational biology and laboratory biology are acceptable as majors as long as there is a biophysics or biochemistry emphasis.

I'm a math major. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes, if you have had some applied mathematics courses or if you math is for a computer science project. Applied math for the physical sciences or computer science if fine, as is math associated with quantum computing.

I'm an Astronomy/Astrophysics or Aeronautics major. Am I eligible to apply?
We do not have any research projects currently in these areas, and your application would unfortunately not be considered.

What kind of project will I be working on?
The type of work possible at the different IBM research sites is described on their web sites.

Research areas of the internship are individually chosen so as to optimize the match between the skills and interests of the student, and the ongoing research programs of the laboratory.

How much will I be paid for the summer?
Interns are paid a competitive industrial salary, which averages around $8000 or more for the summer.

What is the length of the internship?
The internship is roughly 10 weeks long and can be adjusted based on the intern's availability. The starting date is chosen to mesh with the student's school schedule and coordinated with him/her.

What about the due date?
Applications should be postmarked by January 31. You should inform your professors of this date, too. Letters of recommendation are sent separately from the application, and your application is not complete until we have received all materials!

Will I need a car to get around?
Many of the interns at IBM Research - Almaden do not have a car. There are housing opportunities not far from the site, public transportation, shuttles, and bike paths. Grocery shopping is either walking or biking distance for many people. If you come to IBM Research - Almaden and do not have a car, we recommend obtaining a bicycle, as the weather is generally good in the summer (very little chance of rain) and it comes in handy for commuting.

I'm a senior and plan to attend graduate school next year. Can I still apply?
One of the main goals of the internship is to benefit sophomores and juniors as they prepare to apply for graduate school. By the time you would be with IBM for the summer, your applications and acceptance to graduate school would be already long set. Please consider applying to work for IBM during the summer using one of the regular IBM summer positions, advertized on the IBM web page, or see the Society of Physics Students Summer Science Clearinghouse for more listings. .

For information on other summer programs at IBM, and hiring policies in general, please see Careers at Research.