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SMaRT Internship Program

Many of UT’s faculty work in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Lab and contribute to the world-class research that is being done there. The Student Mentoring and Research Training program (SMaRT) seeks to further promote research and utilize our unique partnership with ORNL by funding multiple paid 10-week undergraduate internships that focus on ORNL-related research with a UT faculty member.

About the Program

This research experience is a eight-month commitment from February to October that is comprised of a training period in the spring, a full-time paid internship in the summer, and a reporting period (presentation of your research) in the fall.

During the summer internship component, students will work alongside a UT faculty mentor in an ORNL-related lab on UT’s campus or at ORNL. Applicants must choose to do research within one of ORNL’s six main research divisions:

Timeline and Internship

Students will be paired with a graduate student mentor during the spring and fall semesters and are expected to meet at least twice per month during the months of February – May and August – October.

From May to August, you will complete a full-time (40 hrs/wk) internship. You will receive $5,000 over the course of 10-weeks, housing in Laurel Hall if needed*, weekday bus transportation to ORNL if needed, and up to $500 for a travel grant if you choose to present your research at a discipline-specific conference within the following two semesters after your internship. Upon the completion of your internship, you are required submit a poster and present your research at Discovery Day in the fall. Additional presentation opportunities on campus or at ORNL may also be available in late-July or August

*Housing in Laurel Hall is available to students who do not already have local housing arrangements for the summer. There is no cash payment for students with their own arrangements. 

  • February – May 2020 – You will work with a team of graduate assistants to complete a series of mentorship trainings and professional development activities (every two weeks)
  • June 1 – August 7, 2020 – You will work in a full-time research appointment with a UT faculty mentor.
  • August 7 – October 2020 – You will create a research poster and present your research at Discovery Day, a fall research poster symposium held by the Office of Undergraduate Research. You will have other opportunities to present your research on campus or at ORNL during this time.


Applicants must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have at least 30 credit hours by May 2020 and will be enrolled in classes at UT for both Spring 2020 and Fall 2020
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA at the time of your application
  • Be available for the entirety of the program from February to August
  • Agree to present at Discovery Day in the fall

* While applicants are not required to be US Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents to participate in this program, possible restrictions may apply based on research project

How to Apply

Fill out the application below and submit all required materials. You will be asked to submit the following with your application:

  • A statement of interest
  • A description of previous research experience (if any)
  • An updated resume
  • An unofficial copy of your current transcript
  • One academic or professional recommendation (contact information only)

The application deadline for 2020 is October 31, 2019. Applications will be reviewed by Science Alliance and the Office of Undergraduate Research. Offers will be made to successful applicants by early January.

To Apply, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to
  2. On the home page, click on the title, “Undergraduate Student Mentoring and Research Training (SMaRT) UTK-ORNL Internship Program Application”
  3. To the right, click the button that says “Apply-SMaRT Undergraduate Application”
  4. Click the blue “University of Tennessee” Login button
  5. Enter your UT NetID and password and click “Login”
  6. Click the Submit Application button to submit your application when completed. You should receive a confirmation email indicating that your application has been submitted.

Need more information?

Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at or 865-974-8560