How To Get An Internship In ISRO

Getting an internship at ISRO can fuel your teen’s career in space science and research. We tell you all about how to apply for an internship in ISRO.

By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj

How To Get An Internship In ISRO

                                              Image Credit: http://www.isro.gov.in

With Chandrayaan-2 launched by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) in July 2019 and the subsequent soft-landing attempt of its lander Vikram on the moon in September 2019, here’s how to get your child who is drawn towards a career in space to follow his dreams. An ISRO internship will mark the beginning of the road to achieving his aspiration. As the number of internships available are very limited, it is essential that your child plans well in advance for this. In this article, we tell you all about how to get an internship at ISRO and the various centres in India your child can apply to.

Who can apply

Engineering students (any discipline of BE, B Tech, ME, M Tech) are generally preferred; however, even those pursuing post-graduate or graduate programmes in science can apply and aspire to intern at ISRO.

How to apply for internship

The centres under the Department of Space (DOS) in India, offer three types of internships – summer internship, winter internship and long-term internship.

1. Students can apply directly to any centre associated with ISRO across the country. A few centres are mentioned below.

ISRO centres in India

  • ISRO Headquarters (ISR HQ), Bengaluru
  • ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bengaluru
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram
  • ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri
  • National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad
  • Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad
  • Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota
  • For more centres, visit http://www.isro.gov.in/about-isro/isro-centres

2. Students should send the applications through their respective colleges only. Direct applications will not be entertained.

3. Students should send project proposals with a broad outline of the proposed work to be carried out; the proposals should be within the overall framework of research and operational programmes of the respective centres.

4. Students will be selected based on academic merit, availability of projects, availability of supervisors, suitability or fit of the candidate for the relevant profile.

About the internships

Nature: Internships at ISRO can be across various departments (depending on the requirements during specific points of time)

Areas: According to the ISRO website, some of the disciplines in which project work or training can be undertaken are –

  • Electronics
  • Mechanical
  • Civil
  • Electrical
  • Astrophysics
  • Astronomy
  • Solar physics
  • Microwave
  • Radars
  • GPS Technology
  • Geo-informatics
  • Remote sensing
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Image processing

Duration:

For graduate students – 2 to 6 months

For post-graduate and research students – 3 months to 1 year

Each centre may have a set period during the year for internships, which is displayed on its site.

Stipend: Nil

Note: Electronic gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, camera, pen drive, CD/floppy, etc., will not be permitted inside the premises of ISRO centres; so, let your teen be prepared for a gadget-free period during the internships!

Internship at SAC (Space Applications Centre)

Students can also intern for ISRO through the SAC-Academic Associate Programme (SAC-AAP), which offers internships across various domains. Under this programme there are three schemes:

1) Work-experience internship (WEI) – to final year graduate engineering (BE, B Tech) students for 4–6 months

2) Dissertation internship (DI) – to final year post-graduate (ME, M Tech, MS, MCA) students for 6–12 months

3) Research internship (RI) – to research scholars pursuing Ph D in a field related to SAC for 4–12 months

Also read: The story of Kalpana Chawla

For younger children

If your child is pursuing school education, you can still fuel her passion for space science and research. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Encourage participation in space science competitions. Here's an example of one such competition: ISRO calls Bengaluru students to launch 'water rocket' (The Times of India, Sept 7, 2017)
  • Plan a field trip to ISRO or any of its associate centres; a trip to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre's museum will be an enriching experience for your child; the museum is open to public between 09:30 and 16:00 hrs every day except Sundays and declared holidays
  • Visit planetariums
  • Engage her in fun activities related to space, such as creating models of the solar system or phases of the moon
  • Get your child to witness satellite launches
  • Introduce her to the good old way of watching eclipses through pin-hole cameras made from cardboard boxes
  • Have family star-gazing activities out on the terrace on clear summer nights
  • Watch documentaries on the National Geographic channel during weekends and enjoy the travel to outer space
  • Have space-themed birthday parties

Famous Indian astronauts 

Here's a list of astronauts from India (or of Indian origin) who did our country proud; your child can surely draw inspiration from them.

Rakesh Sharma: The first Indian who travelled to space aboard Soyuz T-11 on 2 April 1984.

Ravish Malhotra: He served as a back-up to Rakesh Sharma in the Soyuz T-11 mission. However, he never got to travel to space. But his achievements earned him the Kirti Chakra award.

Kalpana Chawla: The first American woman astronaut of Indian origin to set off to space aboard space shuttle Columbia in 2003.

Sunita Williams: Another American woman astronaut of Indian heritage, Sunita Williams went into space on two missions – in 2006 and 2012.

‘Aim high, aim far; your goal the sky, your aim the star’ – let this adage be your child’s motto. Let her dare to dream big right from an early age. Very soon, her one small step will become a giant leap for mankind! So, nurture the astronaut in your child!

About the expert:

Reviewed by Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, ME, PhD on 2 August 2019

Padma Shri Dr Annadurai, the 'Moon Man', is a renowned Indian scientist who is currently the Vice president for Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology (TNSCST). The highlights of his nearly four decade experience at ISRO include two major missions - Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan.

About the author:

Written by Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj, PhD (Eng & Edu) on 4 August 2017; updated on 25 October 2019

The author is an educationist, language specialist and writer. In a career spanning over two decades, she has taught from preschool to B-School and trained teachers, master trainers and software professionals. She is also a former member of curriculum and syllabus development committees (Govt of Tamil Nadu). Her passion for the written word matches her enthusiasm for entertaining little kids by breaking out into nursery rhymes.

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