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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory MSIPP CONNECT Juris Doctor Internship in Des Moines, Iowa


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking law students with an interest in law and policy who have a passion for solving complex problems in national security, energy, and science. The Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program - National Nuclear Security Administration (MSIPP-NNSA) is a research-based experience for students who are traditionally underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

PNNL’s core capabilities are chemical and molecular sciences; chemical engineering; biological systems science; climate change science; environmental subsurface science; applied materials science and engineering; applied nuclear science and technology; advanced computer science, visualization, and data; systems engineering and integration; and large-scale user facilities/advanced instrumentation.

PNNL integrates systems engineering, policy, and operational expertise into versatile and sustainable national security solutions. Our National Security mission strives to reduce the threat and impact of a range of threats, both at home and in more than 100 countries worldwide. We operate at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to bring scalable solutions to the global security mission. The Global Security Technology and Policy (GSTP) group works at the interface of science, technology, policy, and law to bring recommendations and solutions to national security challenges. We examine the issues impacting technology deployment that go beyond a technology’s basic functionality, such as laws, regulations, policies, economics, and user requirements. GSTP comprises a multidisciplinary, geographically dispersed team delivering innovative solutions to our sponsors’ national security challenges. Focus areas include international safeguards, strategic trade controls, arms control, nuclear security, radiological security, chemical and biological weapons security, and counterproliferation.


This internship position is available within the Global Security Technology and Policy (GSTP) group under the National Security Directorate. GSTP is seeking CONNECT consortium student members with academic and professional interest in one or more of the following policy areas:

  • National Security

  • International Relations

  • Nuclear Nonproliferation

  • Law and Policy

Classes, degrees, or certification in specialized topics such as arms control, export controls, sanctions, economics, international trade, law, and data analysis are desired. Experience with legal and policy research related to international relations is strongly preferred. Candidates will be asked to contribute to research and programmatic support to GSTP programs and will have the opportunity to contribute to both domestic and international efforts that promote U.S. Government international security and nonproliferation objectives.

Positions will be located virtually but may involve travel to the PNNL Seattle or Richland campuses.

Job Description:

  • Interns will have the opportunity to contribute to Laboratory projects. This may include work on discrete pieces of larger projects or simultaneously on multiple projects.

  • Interns will work on multi-disciplinary teams to contribute significantly to completing organizational projects that advance laboratory mission activities.

  • Seek out mentoring opportunities.

  • Utilize technical expertise in one or more scientific, engineering, or policy disciplines; determine significance and reliability of incoming information; integrate new information with current data.

  • Provide technical expertise, analysis, and publishable products to advance the frontiers of science and address some of the most challenging problems in national security, energy, and the environment.

  • Exercise knowledge of theory and general industry standards/practices in nonproliferation and nuclear security-related discipline or subject area.

  • Gather, analyze, and evaluate information from a variety of sources while utilizing technical expertise in one or more scientific, engineering, or policy disciplines, including national and international law.

  • Uses analytic techniques to develop creative or unique solutions to a variety of national and international nuclear nonproliferation problems, particularly those involving intersection of existing and emerging technologies, laws, regulations, and policies.

  • Augment knowledge of national and international legal frameworks with practical applications in national security, nuclear security, international safeguards, or related nonproliferation-related topics, such as nuclear export controls, nuclear and radiological security, advanced reactor technology, and nuclear safety.


To have a complete application package, the two (2) listed items below are required and must be uploaded correctly per the steps below:

Step 1: Upload Resume or CV in “Resume” section only (note: if applying to multiple positions, the resume uploaded will be the resume used for all positions an applicant applies towards)

Step 2: Combine the two (2) below requested documents into one (1) PDF document and name this file MSIPP-NNSA. This combined document must be uploaded into the “Additional Documents” section.

1) Current unofficial transcript, cumulative GPA must be listed

2) 300-word essay describing 1) your educational goals; 2) how your specific interests/experience align with NNSA mission and also pertain to one of PNNL’s core capabilities listed above; and 3) how you would contribute to the diversity of our programs.

If any one of the components are not uploaded per the instructions listed, applications will be rejected and will no longer be considered. Electronic applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. (PST) on the posting close date.


Minimum Qualifications:

Candidates must be currently enrolled/matriculated in a JD program at an accredited college. Minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Candidates should be matriculated/enrolled in a JD program at St. Mary’s Law School, as a participant in the CONNECT consortium.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including cross-cultural communication.

  • Experience performing open-source research.

  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail.

  • Ability to work independently and on multi-disciplinary teams.

  • Knowledgeable in at least one nonproliferation domain such as nuclear security, nuclear safeguards, radiological source security, export control compliance, strategic trade controls, and arms control.

  • Has demonstrated educational or professional experience applying quantitative and qualitative research and analysis techniques to inform policy.

  • Familiarity with federal organizations such as the Departments of Energy (DOE), Homeland Security (DHS), State (DOS), and Defense (DOD); the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

  • Has completed coursework in policy, law, nonproliferation, and national security topics.

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

Position may require domestic travel.

Additional Information

Due to business needs and client space, US Citizenship is required.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is subject to the Department of Energy Unclassified Foreign Visits & Assignments Program site, information, technologies, and equipment access requirements.

Testing Designated Position

Not a Testing Designated Position

About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3 hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at .

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

Beginning 05/01/23, if you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

Mandatory Requirements

Battelle requires employees to have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, subject to accommodation. Applicants are required to disclose their vaccination status following a conditional offer of employment and must attest to being fully vaccinated with a Center for Disease Control (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, or provide documentation of need for medical or religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Rockstar Rewards

Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company funded pension plan and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

  • Research Associates excluded.

**Once eligibility requirements are met.

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