Read on to learn more about the Army Research Laboratory’s Summer Student Experience and How To Apply

The DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Research Associateship Program (RAP) Summer Student Experience (SSE) is an educational program that allows undergraduate through PhD students and recent bachelor’s and master's degree graduates to participate in a paid research experience at a Department of Defense laboratory over the summer break. Participants are paired with scientists and engineers at ARL who are helping to shape and execute the Army's program for meeting the challenge of developing technologies that will support Army forces in meeting future operational needs. 

As a participant in the ARL-RAP SSE, you will be part of high priority research efforts that are broadly supported by 11 research competencies.

HRED - Humans in Complex Systems (HCS) - Multi-disciplinary non-medical approaches to understand and modify the potential of humans situated in and interacting within complex social, technological, and socio-technical systems

HRED - Biological & Biotechnology Sciences (BBS) - Biological related disciplines, including synthetic biology, biological materials, biological/abiological interfaces, and biological effect

CISD - Military Information Sciences (MIS) - Underpinning sciences, physical autonomy, and enablers required to provide timely, mission-aware information to humans and systems at speed and scale for all-domain and coalition operations

CISD - Network, Cyber and Computational Sciences (NCCS) - Sciences to enable and ensure secure resilient communication networks for distributed analytics in Multi-Domain Operations

SEDD – Electromagnetic Spectrum Sciences (EMSS) - Novel approaches to sensing and operating across the entire electromagnetic (EM) environment; counter-sensing across the EM spectrum; protection from EM effects; emerging concepts for RF, radars, and electronic warfare

SEDD – Energy Sciences (ES) - Science of mechanical and electrical power generation, storage, conditioning and distribution; energy conversion; and emerging concepts for lasers, directed energy (DE), DE protection and propagation

SEDD – Photonics, Electronics and Quantum Sciences (PE&QS) - Materials (and related manufacturing methods) and devices intended for achieving photonic, electronic, and quantum-based effects 

WMRD – Mechanical Sciences (MS) - Science of novel mechanics, mechanisms, and control to enable manned/unmanned ground and air vehicle concepts

WMRD – Sciences of Extreme Materials (SEM) – Materials and related manufacturing methods focusing on mechanical response and performance extremes, including active, adaptive, and flexible/soft materials; novel manufacturing science for energetic materials

WMRD – Terminal Effects (TE) – Sciences and applied research of weapon target interactions

WMRD – Weapons Services (WS) – Internal, transitional, and external ballistics; launch, flight, control, and navigation of guided weapons and aerial systems; development of novel weapon concepts


Adelphi Laboratory Center (ALC), Maryland and Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland


U.S. Citizenship is not required to be considered for the Summer Student Experience, but non-U.S. Citizens are strongly encouraged to apply early to allow additional processing time for the ORAU Immigration Office and ARL security.

Qualifications/Eligibility Requirements

A candidate must be in good standing (a minimum of a 2.5 GPA) at an accredited university or technical institute. Candidates should be in an academic program leading to an undergraduate or graduate degree.

  • Degree: High School Diploma/GED, Associate's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, or Doctoral Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 2.50
  • Age: Must be 18 years of age

Application Requirements

The following must be uploaded into the online application:

  • Resume - Please list your relevant coursework and lab work on your resume as well as all papers, presentations, or publications you may have authored or co-authored. Include any reprints or abstracts if they are available.
  • Transcripts - Transcript verifying receipt of degree/or identifying current enrollment. Original student copies are acceptable.
  • Statement of Interest - Write a one-page description of your scientific research experience. Please include references to your lab work as well as any relevant academic coursework. How does this experience intersect with your personal and professional goals?
  • References - Reference forms are not required for the Summer Student Experience, but names and contact information for references are part of the online application. During the review process, some Advisors/Selecting Officials may contact references for further evaluation.


First Round Application Deadline: December 27, 2022

Second Round Application Deadline:  January 31, 2023


Tentative Summer Program Dates:  May 15 through September 29, 2023.  When chosen for an appointment, you will coordinate your exact participation dates with your Advisor.


For questions about the Summer Student Experience Program, please email