Internship Overview

Internships are a required component of the NRT Circularity Impact Program, and they should broadly address challenges and solutions related to achieving a circular economy. The NRT program aims to have internships provide a professional experience that complements the students' academic research and studies. If applicable, the work conducted during the internship should appear in the body or appendix of a student's capstone, professional paper, thesis, or dissertation, although this is not a requirement. Another goal of the internship is for students to gain real-world experience in a field they are interested in and to build relationships with and learn from professionals.

Internships should last three to six months in duration with a partner organization (corporations, government or non-governmental organizations) and will likely take place during the summer after the first year of a Master's program or the summer after the second or third year of a Ph.D. program. Paid internships will be prioritized for Trainees who do not receive funding through the NRT program.

New industry, government, and non-governmental organizations are invited to partner with this program and offer paid and unpaid internships to the Trainees. Please complete this form to express interest in providing an opportunity for Trainees.

Frequently Asked Questions from Internship Host Sites

What are the expectations of the internship and company?

  • Provide a 3-month internship of a minimum of 20 hours/week, preferably during the summer
  • Content of the work should relate to the circular use of water, energy, and materials
  • Assign a supportive supervisor who can serve as a professional mentor to the intern
  • Respond to communication with the Program Coordinator and Evaluator
  • Meet with the intern’s faculty advisor before and at least once during the internship (student arranges)
  • No restrictions on the location of the internship and virtual is an option, but we prefer that the student has a company office to go to so they can work alongside others
  • Provide a safe working environment (physically, mentally, and emotionally)

What’s the timeline for recruiting and securing internships?

Recruitment begins in the fall, and students apply for positions between January - March. The program aims to have internships secured by April but can work within the constraints of the company’s timelines.

How does our company/organization benefit from your students?

  • Employ a talented and motivated master’s or doctoral student to advance your work or start a new project
  • Improve your company’s sustainability operations and procedures, lowering your environmental footprint
  • Develop the next generation of professionals in your field
  • Gain affiliation with an NSF project that enhances graduate education and strives for a more circular economy

Do we have to pay the intern?

  • Yes, we prefer to find internships that can support the intern financially with an expected baseline wage of $20-25/hour for a minimum of 20 hours per week (totaling 240 hours). We have limited scholarship funds available if an organization is not able to invest financially in the intern.


Contact the Program Coordinator at [email protected] to learn more or to receive a copy of the flyer below.

Internship flyer page 1
Internship flyer page 2