NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO)

EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Center-supported students participating in NOAA mission-aligned research and training at NOAA facilities

A person works on a complex-looking open machine with many wires and other computer hardware.

NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunities (NERTO) provide value to both the NOAA host offices and the EPP/MSI Cooperative Science Center-supported students. This is a win-win opportunity for NOAA and its academic partners. NERTOs increase the number of Cooperative Science Center (CSC)-supported students who participate in meaningful NOAA mission-aligned science, technology, engineering, mathematics, policy, natural resource management, and social science research and training at NOAA facilities and earn NOAA mission-aligned postsecondary degrees.

Benefits for NOAA host office:

  • Bring new skills to move discrete projects forward

  • Introduces new views, questions or answers, and gain publication(s) from NERTO projects 

  • Gain an objective look at potential candidate(s) for future NOAA mission enterprise workforce

Benefits for NOAA EPP/MSI CSC-supported students:

  • Gain broader range of skills including learning and functioning in NOAA organizational culture(s)

  • Participate in applying academic training on authentic mission-aligned issues and challenges

  • Create network for future success in a workforce with specialized skills

The Cooperative Science Center (CSC) award supports CSC-funded cohort students during the NOAA Experiential Research & Training Opportunity (NERTO) at the NOAA facility. NERTO duration must be a minimum of 12 contiguous weeks and no more than a total of one year in length. 

Click here for a quick reference of the NERTO Protocol.

Key NERTO elements:

  1. The NOAA mentor creates an internship opportunity, includes "for EPP CSC student" in title, and submits via the Student Scholarship Internship Opportunity (SSIO) database for approval by the EPP/MSI Program Office.

  2. The complete application package for internship applicant is submitted to the EPP/MSI Program Office ( by the NOAA CSC Director.

  3. The EPP/MSI Program Office completes an administrative review, usually four business days after application deadline. 

  4. A selected CSC intern offer letter (including logistics/ responsibilities/ expectations of outputs and outcomes in a defined interval) is prepared by the NOAA Host Mentor and sent to the EPP/MSI Program Office, no less than six weeks before the internship start date.

  5. The internship acceptance letter from the selected CSC intern is due to the EPP/MSI Program Office from the Center Director, no less than five weeks before internship start date.

  6. The internship start date is negotiated between the NOAA Host Mentor and the CSC. The CSC intern must satisfy the minimum NERTO duration of 12 contiguous weeks. The maximum duration for a NERTO is 12 months. Funding for travel and residential accommodations of the CSC intern during the period of the NERTO are the responsibility of the CSC intern and their home CSC institution.

  7. Internship badging and network access are the responsibility of the NOAA Host Mentor for the internship.

  8. The 12-week NERTO Internship Plan and internship end date must be collaboratively developed, established, and shared with the EPP/MSI Program Office.

Frequently Asked Questions for NOAA Mentors

Frequently Asked Questions for CSC Students

EPP NERTO Update (4/15/2019)


EPP NERTOs (By–the-Numbers)

Completed: 56

In-progress: 11

Planned (2019 - 2020): 20

Needed 2020 - 2021: ~25


Line/Staff Offices with NERTOs

Line/Staff Office

Number of NERTOs






(1 with OMAO)










*Includes completed, in progress and planned as of 4/15/19

Contact information: 

If you have questions about NERTO, please contact the NOAA EPP/MSI Program Office either via email at or by phone: 301-628-2913.