NOAA Experiential Research & Training Opportunities (NERTO)

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

EPP/MSI NERTO 2020 Internships and Prevailing COVID-19 Pandemic Update - See Below


Aris Fernandez, EPP/MSI Master's Fellow in NERTO internship (Development of an Autonomous System for Adjusting the Seed Laser Power for a Doppler LIDAR’s Amplifier) with Drs. Alan Brewer and Paul Schroeder, Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO.

Aris Fernandez, EPP/MSI Master's Fellow in NERTO internship (Development of an Autonomous System for Adjusting the Seed Laser Power for a Doppler LIDAR’s Amplifier) with Drs. Alan Brewer and Paul Schroeder, Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO. (Aris Fernandez)


All EPP/MSI NERTOs should be postponed until Fall 2020 — except where the student is scheduled to graduate between March - September 2020.



Thank you for agreeing to serve as a NOAA mentor to support the training of the future STEM workforce. These are unique times that require innovation and flexibility to meet NOAA’s mission and commitments made to host a student intern. NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) invites Mentors to consider novel options (including the specific student and interests) as potential avenues to virtually engage with interns during the global pandemic.

  1. The decision to mentor an EPP-supported student during an internship is determined solely by the NOAA mentor - working within the guidance at the facility.
    • As a first step, NOAA mentors are advised to engage with the academic advisor and the student to determine the feasibility and options of conducting a NERTO at the NOAA facility; and,
    • No NOAA mentor is requested to go into an unsafe environment.
  2. The Cooperative Science Center (CSC) Directors are developing contingency plans in response to the current restricted access to NOAA facilities. NOAA EPP will review and incorporate, as appropriate, the recommendations from the CSC Directors as a protocol is developed for all planned 2020 spring/summer NERTOs. 


Date 3/17/2020



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 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 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.