SPUR: APL/WSE-Summer Program in Undergraduate Research

Join us for the 2015 SPUR Poster and Information Session!
At this event on Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion, last summer’s SPUR Scholars will present a poster session about their research findings and representatives from APL and WSE will be available to answer students’ questions about the application and selection process.  Register now.

In 2014, The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Whiting School of Engineering launched SPUR, the APL/WSE-Summer Program in Undergraduate Research (SPUR), a prestigious and competitive summer internship program that provides highly qualified WSE students with the opportunity to conduct research at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, working on APL-sponsored projects.

In the program’s first year, WSE interns worked on projects in areas that included ballistic missile systems, prosthetics, computer vision, and secure mobile communications.

In addition to the opportunity to work closely with APL mentors on research projects, interns will have access to enrichment and social activities. Free shuttle service between the Homewood campus and APL is provided.

SPUR Scholars work on specific projects in APL Mission Areas.




Receive a stipend:

  • Completed Freshman Year: $900/week ($22.50/hour)
  • Completed Sophomore Year: $1,000/week ($25/hour)
  • Completed Junior Year: $1,200/week ($30/hour)
  • Completed Senior Year: $1,340/week ($33.50/hour) available only to seniors continuing at JHU in fall 2016 for an engineering master’s degree in one of the full-time programs.

Be assigned an APL technical staff mentor who will provide guidance and assistance throughout the summer assignment

Have access to free shuttle service between the Homewood campus and APL

Take part in additional activities and opportunities, such as:

  • A trip to an Orioles baseball game
  • Special tours of local area points of interest
  • Opportunities to present your summer project results to APL staff
  • Insider tours of a variety of APL laboratories/facilities
  • A lab-wide summer intern reception


For more information about the program, please contact Stacy Murphy, College Relations Coordinator at APL.



  • Application Access:
    Applications must be submitted through Handshake by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2015. If you have trouble accessing the posting, contact recruit@jhu.edu.

    SPUR Calendar:

    • Information Session and Kick-off Event: Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion
    • Application Deadline for Summer 2016: Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2015
    • Notification of SPUR Finalists: Late January 2016
      At this point, finalists will be asked to indicate their preferred project assignments.
    • Notification of SPUR Scholars: February 26, 2016
    • SPUR Internships Dates: Internships last for a minimum of eight weeks and a maximum of ten weeks, between June and August 2016
  • 1. Resume: Resume should include relevant coursework, description of technical skills, computer skills, lab skills, and demonstrate the student’s ability to work in a team and research setting.

    2. Letter of recommendation: The letter must be from a Johns Hopkins faculty member. The letter should discuss the student’s research ability and/or his/her skills in working as part of a team or group. Letters of recommendation may be uploaded directly into Handshake or, if preferred by the recommender, emailed directly to Stacy Murphy.

    3. Unofficial transcript (print from ISIS)

  • Student Eligibility Requirements

    1. Students who have completed their freshman, sophomore, and junior years at the Whiting School of Engineering and are returning to full-time undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins. Seniors returning to JHU for an engineering master’s degree in one of the full-time programs in the Fall 2016 semester may also be considered for this opportunity.

    2. U.S. Citizenship /Eligibility for Security Clearance (required)

    3. We are looking for students who have outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a team setting, and demonstrated ability to succeed in conducting high-level research.

Back to top