Service Academies and ROTC Research Associates (SARRA)

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  • Service Academies & ROTC Research Associates (SARRA)

    The SARRA program brings service academy and ROTC students to the Lab for summer internships. Interns work alongside the world’s best scientists and engineers to help solve national security challenges.

    Each summer, the Laboratory’s Service Academies & ROTC Research Associates (SARRA) Program, brings approximately 30 students from the United States Military Academy at West Point, the United States Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and ROTC programs to Los Alamos to participate in important mission-oriented work.

    SARRA students—who are funded by DTRA and are Q-cleared—spend four to eight weeks working with a Lab mentor on a project that has real national security implications. The program provides these future military officers with their first exposure to innovative scientific, engineering, and computational tools—and to the people who allow the Laboratory to answer the most difficult national security problems.


    "We believe it’s important for these students to understand the science, engineering, and technology available at the Lab because these are the tools that can help them deal with problems they’ll face as military officers...
    Our program also provides each of these cadets and midshipmen with future reach-back capability, if and when they need assistance resolving issues encountered while on active duty.”
    —Michael Port, Mission Integration Office

    How to Apply

    The application deadline is January 31st, 2024 by 5 p.m. Mountain Time. The majority of SARRA students plan to major in STEM fields, but liberal arts majors will also find meaningful work at the Laboratory.


    “My interest in computer science and cyber has been renewed, and it’s good to see the applications of computer science in the real world. I’m so thankful to have had this experience and to have had my curiosity ignited thanks to LANL staff.”
    Claire Badger, Air Force Academy Cadet

    "Overall, my visit at the Lab was a highly educational experience. I was able to greatly broaden my understanding of the processes involved in scientific research and even dip my toe in the application to contribute to our nation’s defense and the essential missions here at LANL. I hope to one day continue my contribution to this field, perhaps returning to the Lab one day, myself."
    Corban Barstow, West Point Cadet

    “I learned new approaches and techniques and increased my ability to tackle difficult problems. Solutions to national security challenges need to be functional. It’s important that military leaders convey functionality when presenting the Lab with problems. It is equally as important that scientists try to understand that constraint when supporting the military.”
    Mary Clare Cassidy, Army Cadet 

    “The perspective I gained as a LANL student helped guide my actions as a B-52 weapons squadron commander in 2015.”
    Erik Johnson, Air Force Lt. Col. (SARRA student in 1999)


    Want to know more? Email program director Zandree Stidham.