NZ students now eligible for NASA Internships

New Zealand tertiary students will be offered the chance to participate in NASA’s International Internships Programme, under an agreement between the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and NASA.

“Through the programme, high-achieving students will have the opportunity to work in NASA’s best and most advanced research facilities, with access to expert mentors,” Economic Development Minister David Parker said.

“The experience could inspire someone to begin the journey to becoming an astronaut or to follow in the footsteps of great Kiwi scientist Sir William Pickering who led the successful effort to put the first US satellite in orbit.

“We thank the US for making this opportunity available to some of our best students.

“We hope this will galvanise them to think about how their skills could be applied in the space industry. That could be in areas such as Earth observation, data science, astrobiology or robotics,” David Parker said.

“Giving our future innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists opportunities to get a head-start in space-related careers will play a vital role in developing a thriving domestic industry.”

“It also strengthens New Zealand’s connection with global space networks and raises New Zealand’s profile as a location for space activities.

“New Zealand is well-positioned to become a hub for new space activities with its highly-skilled workforce and expertise in physics, energy, engineering and computer science research.”

The Agreement is accompanied by a new scholarship from the New Zealand Space Agency, which sits within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“The New Zealand Space Scholarship will be available to up to four successful applicants to cover the cost of participation, airfares, accommodation, and other associated expenses,” David Parker said.

U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown joined David Parker in welcoming the internship announcement.

“I’m very excited that New Zealand will be able to send their most promising students to work with leading NASA researchers. Working on the U.S.-New Zealand relationship is one of the best jobs in the universe, and this Agreement shows why. 

“The NASA International Internship Programme lets us boldly go even further, giving Americans and Kiwis the chance to foster innovation, develop modern solutions to modern challenges, and advance scientific breakthroughs. The future of the U.S.-New Zealand partnership is, in fact, the future – and this agreement represents one giant leap in our extensive scientific cooperation – from Antarctic research to investments in health, and onwards to the final frontier,” Ambassador Brown said.

The New Zealand Space Agency will accept applications from 10 September and intends to provide NASA with student nominations for the June 2019 internship session.

For more information, visit the New Zealand Space Agency’s website www.mbie.govt.nz/space.