Program Overview

The CIRCUIT program at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) offers undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research while building skills to make significant contributions to science. Diverging from traditional summer internships, CIRCUIT students participate in a yearlong cohort-based research experience as integral members of APL project teams and participate in unique, hands-on learning in a fun, collaborative environment.

What it entails: Participation includes a full-time (40 hours per week), on-site summer program at APL and a part-time (20 hours per week) school-year commitment. Students are also asked to participate in spring training before the summer session (8 hours per week). The summer session includes workshops and seminars designed to enhance students’ research skills. During the 2022–2023 school year, students will meet with their teams and mentors at least once per week.

Compensation: CIRCUIT provides a $9,500 stipend during the summer session, along with research credit for students’ work during the school year.

Applicant requirements: All undergraduates are encouraged to apply; there are no specific subject-matter background requirements, and CIRCUIT provides training and mentoring to support students in the broader research community. Applicants must simply demonstrate an interest in scientific inquiry, and preference will be given to students who plan to participate in both program sessions (summer and school year).

Trailblazers wanted: CIRCUIT encourages applications from “trailblazers,” which the program defines as high-achieving scholars from underserved backgrounds, women and other minorities in STEM fields, and those without a previous chance to earn research experience or who otherwise face barriers in achieving their dreams.

Participating Organizations

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, MD

Section 1 (Main)
Spring Training
March 2022 – May 2022
Summer Session
June 2022 – August 2022
School-Year Session
September 2022 – May 2023

2021 Research Areas

Artificial Intelligence
Precision Medicine
Planetary Exploration
Heliophysics and Space Weather

Program Timeline

Application Period Opens:
November 15, 2021
Priority Deadline:
January 10, 2022
Application Period Closes:
February 11, 2022
Interviews (rolling):
January 19 – February 23, 2022
Decision Notification:
March 1, 2022
Spring Training:
March 15 – May 15, 2022
CIRCUIT Summer Session:
May 31 – August 26, 2022

“CIRCUIT is a unique opportunity to not just learn from but also work alongside leaders in the field at the Applied Physics Lab. It is challenging in the most exciting way. It is life-changing not just in the skills you learn through it but also in the relationships built. CIRCUIT has been my favorite experience at Hopkins so far, and I would recommend it fully.” — 2019 Student