Technical Internship Program (TIP)

About the Technical Internship Program

EOL's Technical Internship Program (TIP) provides unique experiences to prepare science and engineering/technical support focused students from two-year colleges and vocational/technical institutions for successful careers. TIP is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of future science support communities and the workforce. Interns are hired to work hands-on with technical and scientific support mentors for up to 20 hours a week for 12 weeks. The Program provides a salary during the internship and is flexible to work with an academic schedule.

The next term of internships starts in January 2021. Internship opportunities for this time period are still being developed.

Check back in August 2020 for Application Dates

What does a Technical Internship Program intern do?

TIP interns work on projects with EOL scientific, engineering and science support staff to learn skills that will assist them in their career and academic advancement. During the internship, TIP participants are paired with mentors and develop knowledge to help them in future science support careers related to geosciences. Current TIP opportunities include the following:

Entry-level Programmer
Help configure and test real-time data streams that are put into a new system called "CHORDS" (see Update user documentation for the system.

Desired skills:
simple scripting skills in computer languages like Python
knowledge of web page design
ability to work with users to improve documentation

Electronics Technician
With mentorship and training from a senior electronics technician, interns will learn to construct, modify, install, troubleshoot and repair equipment under the guidance and supervision of EOL staff.

Desired skills:
knowledge of electronic circuits and components (resistor, capacitor, integrated circuits)
experience with basic electronic test equipment, such as Digital Voltmeter (DVM), Power Supplies and Oscilloscope
experience with using computer software (MS Windows, Word, Excel)
basic soldering skills

Mechanical Designer
With guidance and training from a mechanical engineering mentor, an intern will enhance their skills in Computer Aided Design (CAD) software used in the design of instruments and equipment.

Desired skills:
experience in mechanical design concepts
experience with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software such as SolidWorks

What skills and experiences will the interns gain during the internship?

Interns will work in a highly supportive, professional setting gaining real-world, unique experience while broadening their understanding of the careers needed to support atmospheric research. Interns will also have the opportunity to enhance their professional development skill sets through a series of seminars on topics such as developing and delivering presentations and improving interview skills. Internships at EOL and NCAR provide the opportunity to build strong professional networks that can benefit interns as they transition into the professional working world.

What kinds of skills do Technical Internship Program interns need to have?

The skill sets required of TIP interns depend upon the specific projects available to take on an intern, and the information submitted by candidates in their letter of interest. For example, a TIP intern who will partner with a systems administration mentor will need skills such as TCP/IP networking and Windows administration.

Interns will be mentored and provided with guidance and training on many skills. Complete skill sets are not required to apply, though a strong interest and desire to learn is essential.

What other requirements are there for Technical Internship Program interns?

TIP interns must be:

  • enrolled in a two-year or vocational/technical college in the Boulder/Denver area
  • authorized to work for any employer in the United States
  • able to work up to 20-hours per week
  • able to interact with mentors and peers in a manner that supports collaboration and inquiry
  • able and willing to work within guidelines and policies of the organization and assigned work groups

Download the 2019 TIP Announcement

Past Internships

Each 12-week-long internship will pair a Technical Internship Program intern with an EOL mentor so that the intern learns skills that will assist them in their career and academic advancement. Past examples of TIP internships include: 

Electronics Technician

With mentorship and training from an EOL radar engineer, interns learned to construct, modify, install, troubleshoot and repair remote sensing equipment under the guidance and supervision of staff.

“The experience that I got from the TIP program was amazing. All I knew was a view through a "hole" until I got an opportunity with NCAR. They have taught me surface mount soldering plus many other things. It helped me figure out what I want in my career. I greatly appreciate everything that they have done for me.”

Machinist/Instrument Designer

With guidance and training from a design and fabrication mentor, interns learned to use machining centers to produce parts and components used within instruments.

“The TIP internship program has given my education a practical basis by allowing me to gain experience in a real-world atmosphere and allowing me to apply my knowledge to real-world design and fabrication problems.”

Computer Help-desk Support

Computer help-desk support interns learned how to support a variety of systems, from Macs to PCs to Linux workstations, in a scientific research environment. 

“For me, the TIP was a very convenient opportunity to be able to learn from some highly experienced people in my field. It was the first exposure I have had working in an enterprise environment. I believe it adds value to my resume and I'm grateful for the people it was able to connect me to. In my experience, asking questions was invited, and the position allowed me to discover new things I had not learned before.”

Aircraft Mechanic

With guidance from aircraft mechanics, technicians and other staff, interns gained hands-on experience performing maintenance on the NSF/NCAR C-130 and the NSF/NCAR HIAPER Gulfstream V (GV) research aircraft.

“…the experience I gained with UCAR would be hard to find anywhere else, and I met some great people in the process. Opportunities like this are very hard to come by for someone in a “hands-on” field."

Project Management Assistant

With mentorship from Project Managers within EOL, interns were guided through project management best practices, which they then applied to their project throughout the project lifecycle from initiation to closure.

"The TIP did a great job of supporting me with my projects; i.e. research, website design and project management. Working with a real mentor was great. This program made an impact that has changed my life, my view of the world and (has shown me) where to work if I want to make a change. I have had other internships in the past, and none compare to the knowledge and experience that I gained from TIP. I hope many others get the opportunity that I had to work with the best scientists and the brightest up and coming individuals around.”

Scientific Data Assistant

Interns learned of the importance of accurate and conforming metadata in their work with guidance from an EOL software engineering mentor, by standardizing metadata across EOL datasets in a database. Interns used data management tools and techniques along with Linux skills to learn work-checking and to update the production database. 

“I learned a lot from this company. It taught me new useful things for my future and has made me more knowledgeable for future jobs. This experience was useful just for the fact that I learned a lot of different things and that I think this experience could carry on into different things for my future that will make me successful.”

Please check back in Fall 2019 for Application Dates

To apply*, visit the UCAR Opportunities site.  

*NOTE: All applicants MUST submit a not-to-exceed one-page cover letter clearly describing each of the following four items: 

  1. your technical interests and skills
  2. why you are interested in the program 
  3. how this program addresses your educational and career goals, and what you expect to gain if selected
  4. information on how your personal background and life experience (including social, cultural, familial, economic, educational or other opportunities or challenges) may help you make unique contributions to the program. 

This COVER LETTER is REQUIRED of all applicants in order to be considered for the program. Applicants who do not submit a cover letter that addresses the above four topics will be automatically disqualified from consideration for the program.

TIP is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of future science support communities and the workforce.

For questions about the internship, please email Alison Rockwell, EOL Project Manager

For questions about the application process, please email Malary Jones, UCAR Talent Acquisition Coordinator.