FAQ for interns and visiting faculty

What will I do in the Ames Lab internship or visiting faculty programs?

Student programs: Each student will be paired with an Ames Laboratory scientist/mentor for their internship; however, students should also expect to work closely with graduate students. Our program is either 10 weeks (summer) or 16 weeks (Fall and Spring) in length to allow interns sufficient time to write papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals, as suggested by mentors. Each student will also be required to prepare many other assignments.  Students will be required under the program to make an oral or poster presentation on the outcome of your research activities, complete a 1500-3000 word research project report, a general audience abstract, and a one-page peer review of another intern's talk or poster prior to the end of the program.


Visiting Faculty Program: VFP is intended to support the professional development of current faculty members who have the desire to increase the competitiveness of their own independent research at their home institution through scientific research collaborations with DOE laboratory scientists. As part of the program, selected university/college faculty members collaborate with DOE laboratory research staff on a research project of mutual interest. Faculty member participants may invite up to two students (one of which may be a graduate student) to participate in the research project.

Before the application submission deadline, all faculty applicants must submit a research project proposal that is co-developed with the research staff located at the host DOE laboratory. In advance of completion of their appointment, faculty participants are strongly encouraged to make an oral presentation on the outcome of their VFP related research activities, and must complete and submit a 6 – 8 page research project report. 


For complete list of required program deliverables: 



How will I keep track of important events and deadlines before and during my program?

In addition to your work in the research laboratory, there will other opportunities to expand your knowledge through tours and presentations, meetings with the internship coordinator, and deadlines for deliverables. Details of these events and deadlines will be kept on our online calendar

What will my weekly schedule include?

Forty hours a week is the normal work week for program participants; lab mentors will collaborate with participants to determine schedules. Also, we are planning a weekly progress meeting and possibly some "out-of-laboratory" activities. In addition to your research experience, we try to enjoy some leisure activities. All are included on our calendar of events. 

Is there a stipend?

SULI participants will receive a stipend of $650 per week during the internship period (10 weeks in summer, 16 weeks in Fall and Spring). Payments are issued monthly, so plan accordingly. 

CCI participants will receive a stipend of $650 per week during the internship period (10 weeks in summer, 16 weeks in Fall and Spring).  You will get paid monthly, so plan accordingly.

VFP faculty participants will receive a stipend of $1600 per week during the 10-week internship period (summer). VFP student participants will receive a stipend of $650 per week during the 10-week internship period (summer). You will get paid monthly, so plan accordingly. 

Because program participants are not Ames Lab or Iowa State University employees, they will not receive a W2 at income tax time.  Each will receive a 1099-MISC (sent to the permanent address indicated on your application).   The stipend is taxable income.  Please check with your tax preparer if you have questions about filing your tax return.

Where will I live during the internship or visit?

Housing is provided in nearby Iowa State University Campus apartment guest housing. We will assign you to an apartment before you arrive, as follows:

Summer visiting faculty: Schilletter-University Village. Please follow link for floor plans and a complete list of furnishings. In addition, linens and towels are provided. Bringing additional furniture is discouraged. Laundry is available on the premises. All units are non-smoking.

Spring and Fall interns: Schilletter-University Village. Please follow link for floor plans and a complete list of furnishings. In addition, linens and towels are provided. Bringing additional furniture is discouraged. Laundry is available on the premises. All units are non-smoking.

Summer interns: Frederiksen Court. Please follow the link for a complete list of furnishings. Laundry is available in the units. All units are non-smoking.

Summer interns provide their own:

  • study lamps
  • bed linens (XL twin-sized mattress) and mattress pad
  • pillows
  • blankets/bedspreads
  • towels/washcloths
  • wastebaskets
  • cleaning supplies
  • cooking/dining items
  • ethernet cable if desired (wireless internet access is available)


Housing Allowance. Our program now has funds that allow assistance for individuals that do not wish to take advantage of our apartments/dorms, or are working off-site. It pays $250 per week for students and $300 per week for visiting faculty, and it is added to their stipend checks. This includes students who may already have housing in Ames.

How will I get there?

Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participant.

Participants must submit their travel plans, including departure and return cities, method of travel, flight numbers, etc. to coordinate airport shuttles and apartment key distribution, and to qualify for travel expense reimbursements.  Contact Deb Samuelson  by the date specified in your orientation materials.  Airport shuttle schedules will be emailed to air travelers prior to arrival.


The program will reimburse round trip airfare (including ground transportation and checked bags); or round trip mileage only--no hotels, meals, etc. When the round trip is completed, the reimbursement forms will be submitted. The maximum amount for travel reimbursement is $500. This is a federal program, therefore federal policies apply.


Directions to Schilletter University Village

Schilletter University Village complex map

Directions to Frederiksen Court Housing

Frederiksen Court complex map

Iowa State University campus map

Do I need to bring my own computer?

There are several options for computer access during the program:

  • bring your own computer
  • use a department computer (your mentor will alert you to the availability in your assigned department)
  • utilize computer labs located throughout campus
What about internet access?

Schilletter Village has wireless internet (no wireless routers needed as in the past). 

Frederiksen Court apartments are also wireless. Guests bringing a laptop need to bring an ethernet cable if they plan to plug into the ISU campus network by using the ethernet ports in their Frederiksen Court apartment living room for wired access to the internet. Guests may also locate a wireless point on campus. Refer to this link for updated locations for wireless points on the ISU campus.

Where do I eat?

The program does not pay for meal plans at Iowa State University's dining venues, and Ames Lab does not operate a cafeteria.


Schilletter Village apartments have a fully equipped kitchen (appliances, pots, pans, utensils, and dinnerware). However, if you would like to purchase an ISU dining plan, you can log onto Access Plus to select a plan that works for your schedule. AccessPlus requires an ISU Network ID and password--which will be issued to each person on orientation day. Before purchasing a dining plan, please note the dining venues that are located near your laboratory and their hours of operation. 


Frederiksen Court apartments contains kitchen appliances—but no cookware, utensils or dinnerware. The two closest grocery stores are approximately 2 miles from the apartments (will probably require a vehicle, bus ride or bike). In addition to preparing your own meals and Hawthorn Market & Cafe, please refer to the ISU Dining Options.

Where will I park?

The program provides parking as part of housing accommodations. Permits will be provided at orientation (you won't get a ticket during move-in). On campus parking is not provided by the program, and is the responsibility of the participant. 

When is orientation?

Mandatory orientation is held the first day of the program, and the date, time, and location will be indicated on our calendar. Give yourself time to arrive via walking, biking, or public transportation, as on-campus parking is not provided. Orientation is all day, including:

  • program requirements
  • employment forms
  • computer access
  • lab supply distribution (notebooks, lab coats, eye protection)
  • meeting mentors
  • parking permits
  • lab training

PLEASE BRING one form of government-issued identification

MEDICAL INSURANCE and EMERGENCY CONTACT information will be collected prior to your arrival

Do I need any laboratory supplies?

The program provides these required items:

  • lab coat
  • safety glasses
  • lab notebooks
Is there a dress code?

The dress code is casual (jeans, khakis). Lab mentors will provide additional information on additional dress requirements for individual laboratories. Lab coats and safety glasses will be provided. The poster presentation at the end of the program requires business attire. 

Is there anything you don't provide?
  • Meals
  • Transportation in and around Ames
  • Payment for any outside activities
  • Membership in campus fitness facilities.
What does Ames and Iowa State have to offer?

A beautiful university campus. Get a map here. 

Great transportation! CyRide buses are safe, clean, and cost-effective.

A community with city parks, an historic downtown shopping and dining experience, and more