Apply for a research internship

NEWS: applications closed at the end of March, but do call Mark Galassi at 505-629-0759 (voice only) if you have questions or if you or your school has made arrangements to engage a bit later.
We are taking sign-ups for the Research Skills Academy for the summer of 2024.

Take time to read this entire page carefully. The final checklist will be:

  1. Arrange to take the “Serious Computer Programming for Youth” workshop.
  2. Engage with us in earnest about training for research before applying.
  3. Read our post on what makes for a good application.
  4. Prepare resume.
  5. Prepare cover letter.
  6. Upload both with the form below.
  7. Get a recommendation letter from a teacher or mentor.
  8. Demonstrate some work done on non-school projects.

Internship work dates are July 8 to August 2, 2024. As we wait to start, please come take our programming courses, and drop in for mini-courses, at (or for Portland).

Preparing your resume

We now ask you to upload your cover letter and resume. These should be typeset in LaTeX and prepared with free/open-source command-line tools on linux. Do this with care because the way you write and typeset your letter and resume will give our mentors indications of how well you use software tools. Feel free to ask us for further guidance on this. Your cover letter should be specific to the Institute and should outline your goals from the internship, and will be key in getting you paired with a mentor. If you have various far-flung interests, you should mention them.

Your cover letter should also cover two other matters: (a) if you are in 11th or 12th grade you should mention that you are applying to other internships local to your area (for example, in Santa Fe you should also submit an application to Los Alamos); (b) if you do not satisfy some requirements (such as Python programming on the GNU/Linux operating system) you need to present a detailed plan to make that up right away, for example by taking the Serious Programming workshop. In virtually all cases we will tell you to take the next “Serious Programming” workshop.

Soft Skills are very important for any job and any work with a mentor. You should consider the development of soft skills to be a key portion of what you do to prepare for your internship. Your correspondence with us as you prepare your application will be an important indicator of soft skills.

Finally: you should not feel discouraged if you feel others have a stronger computational background. Instead you should call us to discuss that: we are a research program, not a computer science program, and we look for people with a unique combination of skills and who will learn to program.

We have further tips on how to prepare your application. You should read that post.

Here are examples of a well-typeset cover letter and resume.

These are written in LaTeX using style sheets that Rowan Nadon has helped us develop. The LaTeX source of this sample resume is available for you to adapt. Note that if building this on a debian/mint/ubuntu distribution you might need to install the latex extra packages with an instruction like

sudo apt install texlive-latex-recommended texlive-latex-extra

Once you have adapted the cover and resume you can convert the LaTeX markup to a PDF file with:

pdflatex MyName_Cover.tex
pdflatex MyName_Resume.tex

Note: learning LaTeX is an important skill which your mentor will expect you to have, but it can take some getting used to. If you need help please contact us right away. You can write to or call Mark Galassi at 505-629-0759 at any time. We will be very happy to hear from you and to help you.

Upload your resume

This form allows you to upload pdf files for your cover letter and resume.

    Upload your Cover letter

    Upload your Resume

    Please prove you are human by selecting the cup.

    Recommendation letter

    You should get a teacher or mentor who knows your work to write you a letter. If you cannot find a teacher available to do so please contact us at and we can arrange to interview you ourselves. (The interview option is only for cases of a toxic or deeply clueless school environment; in almost all cases we expect you to have a good relationship with a teacher.)

    You should send your teacher an email with two parts. The first part is a personal note from you which might look something like this:


    Dear <Ms/Mx/Mr> Teacher Name,
    I have applied for an internship with the Institute for
    Computing in Research this summer.  Their information is
    Could you please write a recommendation letter for me
    and email it to
    Please do not copy me on the recommendation letter.

    The second part contains our instructions on how they should prepare the letter.

    The Institute requests the following information:
    The Institute for Computing in Research would like
    this information from you as a mentor or teacher:
    * Recommender's email address.
    * Recommender's phone number.
    * A brief description of the student's strengths.  The
    institute is interested in students who (a) have a
    good work ethic, (b) are generous with their time with
    their peers, (c) are reliable, and (d) have shown
    the ability to work on their own.  We are much more
    interested in those qualities than in what prestigious
    past opportunities they might have had, so please touch
    on your observation of these characteristics in the
    Thank you