APS/IBM Internship Application Process

Application Deadline: February 15

Should I send everything (transcripts, letters of recommendation, essay and application form) in one package?

Please use the online application form to submit your essay, resume, and list of technical courses with dates and grades. Letters of recommendation from your professors should be sent to apsibmin@us.ibm.com .

Please ask the Registrar at your college or university send your transcript directly to the above email address, or if that is not possible, to the address below:

Dr. Barbara Jones
Chair, APS/IBM Research Internship for Undergraduate Women
Dept. GFBA/D01
IBM Almaden Research Center
650 Harry Road
San Jose , CA 95120-6099

When will I be notified about the internship?
The IBM selection committee will notify all applicants whether or not they are successful. This is normally by April 15 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. in looking for housing, along the line of suggestions of where to look, and also lists of actual openings, which people in the local area send to IBM; and
  2. in the form of financial assistance to offset the high cost of housing in this area. 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 her housing costs out of the summer salary and the grant. Even so, most interns save a substantial amount from the summer.

Are there funds for travel to the internship site?
Yes, there are funds for travel to the internship sites. Awardees will receive a lump sum to cover their relocation expenses. The amount will depend 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?
A mathematics major is OK, if you have had some applied mathematics courses, or if your math is for a computer science project. Applied math for the physical sciences or computer science is 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, more or less adjusted to the intern's timeframe. The starting date is chosen to mesh with the student's school schedule and coordinated with her.

What about the due date?
Applications should be postmarked by February 15 of the internship year. You should inform your professors and the registrar at your college/university of this date, too. Letters of recommendation and transcripts may be sent separately from the application, however your application is not complete until we have them!

I don't have a car; what about transportation?
Many of the interns at IBM Almaden do not have a car; there are housing opportunities not far from the site, and there is public transportation and shuttles, as well as bike paths. The same goes for grocery shopping; it is either walking or biking distance for many people. If you did come to IBM Almaden and did not have a car, we would recommend obtaining a bicycle, as the weather is infallibly good in the summer (no chance of rain), and it comes in handy for commuting. At IBM Yorktown, there is also public transportation as well as carpooling opportunities; the same holds for Austin .

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 summer positions, advertised on the IBM web page, or see the Society of Physics Students (SPS) listings.
Gray arrow   SPS List of Summer Research Opportunities