Regional Introduction to Plasma Physics (RIPP)

The Regional Introduction to Plasma Physics (RIPP) is a 9-week summer internship program for undergraduate students enrolled at institutions across the southeastern U.S. (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico).

The ultimate goal of the program is to promote long-term relationships between students in the southeastern U.S. with investigators in Alabama. RIPP students will become involved in a summer research project at an FTPP institution for nine weeks. The program will also involve an intensive one-week online training activity participating in lectures, laboratory experiments, and short classes in plasma science given by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). This week will take place concurrently with the Department of Energy (DOE) Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program. In this way, RIPP students will be part of a larger, national plasma science student cohort, learn about opportunities in plasma science, and be exposed to the research environment of the national laboratory for plasma physics.

Check out some of last year’s projects!

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicants must be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time in a higher education institution in the southeastern U.S (in a state that is part of NSF EPSCoR), which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
  • Applicants must be pursuing a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field.
  • Applicants must be rising juniors or seniors. Applicants graduating before the internship are not eligible to apply unless they have accepted an offer to become graduate students at an FTPP institution. Freshmen applicants are ineligible.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.
  • Applicants must be 19 years of age by the start date of the appointment.
  • Interns must have health insurance coverage during the internship.
  • Some projects require US citizenship, this will be indicated in the project description PDF.

RIPP Projects

Project Title*Project CodeDisciplinesHost Institution
Radial and Latitudinal Dependence of Solar Wind TurbulenceZhao-UAHSpace PhysicsThe University of Alabama in Huntsville
Classification of Particle Motions in Plasma Using Machine LearningNakanotani-UAHPhysics, Math, Computer Science, Space ScienceThe University of Alabama in Huntsville
The Role of Turbulence Pressure on The Acceleration of Solar WindWang-UAHMHD Turbulence, Solar Wind AccelerationThe University of Alabama in Huntsville
The Origin of Energetic Particles in Magnetic ReconnectionChe-UAHPlasma, Numerical ComputationThe University of Alabama in Huntsville
Improving Growth and Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Microgreens Using Low-Temperature PlasmaMentreddy-AAMUPlant Science, and Agricultural ScienceAlabama A&M University
Developing Antimicrobial Scaffolds Using Low Temperature Plasma (LTP)Vig-ASUBiology, Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Material Science, Biophysics, etc.Alabama State University
Fast Imaging of Plasma Instabilities and StructuresThakur-Auburn2Physics, Applied Mathematics, EngineeringAuburn University
Fast Imaging of Plasma Instabilities and StructuresThakur-Auburn1Physics, Mathematics, EngineeringAuburn University
Design and Development of CubeSat Systems and Plasma Instrumentation for Science MissionsSpencer-USAAerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, PhysicsUniversity of South Alabama
Combining Machine Learning and Plasma Diagnostics for Autonomous Fabrication of Advanced MaterialsCamata-UABApplied Physics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science
and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and
Computer Engineering
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Cold-Plasma Activation of Chemical Sanitizers to Eliminate Salmonella SPP. and Listeria Monocytogenes to Improve Food SafetyMorey-AuburnFood Safety, MicrobiologyAuburn University
PUI Driven Turbulence Along The Trajectory of New HorizonsAdhikari-UAHPhysics, Math, Computer ScienceThe University of Alabama in Huntsville
Examining the Turbulent Nature of The Solar Atmosphere and Solar WindLi-UAHPhysics, Math, Computer Science, Space ScienceThe University of Alabama in Huntsville
*Please click on each Project Title to view project descriptions

Internship Benefits

  • A nine-week stipend of $6,200 to cover travel and general living expenses.
  • Paid on-campus* housing during the nine weeks in Alabama.
  • Online Introductory Course on Plasma Physics given by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL).

*If space is available, accommodations will be arranged at your host institution; otherwise, students will be accommodated in a hotel.

Intern Responsibilities

  • Interns must complete an Introduction to Plasma Physics online course through PlayPosit, prior to starting their RIPP internship.
  • Interns are required to participate in a virtual pre-internship meeting to discuss expectations and address any inquiries before the official commencement of the RIPP dates.
  • Interns must complete the online Introductory Course on Plasma Physics given by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) as a component of their internship period.
  • Interns must participate full-time for 9 consecutive weeks (40 hours a week, Monday – Friday).
  • Upon acceptance, additional instructions for applying to The University of Alabama in Huntsville as a non-degree-seeking student for the summer will be sent to you via email.
  • By the end of the internship, students must:
    • Present the results of the summer project to the host institution.
    • Complete a report about the internship experience.
    • Complete a feedback form to help assess the effectiveness of the program.

Key Dates

  • November 30, 2023
    • RIPP starts accepting applications
  • February 18, 2024
    • Application deadline: Last day for students to submit applications, supporting materials, reference letters, and project preferences
  • Beginning of March, 2024
    • RIPP makes offers to selected students.
  • May 20 – July 19, 2024*
    • Internship Dates

*Dates are subject to change


  • To start the application process:
  • Please click on Register/Login if you’ve never made an account on FTPP. You will be redirected to the registration/login page. You will need to create an account in order to complete the application. To do so, follow the on-screen instructions and register for an account.
  • If you’re a returning user and you have already logged in, you may click on Apply to be redirected to your student dashboard.
  • Once you’re redirected to the student dashboard, this will display all the projects and your submission status. By selecting a project, you can commence or revise your submission.
  • You have the option to save a draft of your application’s progress and submit it at a later time. To do this, simply click on “save draft”.
  • If you already have an FTPP account, you can access your student dashboard by visiting the “PORTAL” section in the navigation menu.
Regional Introduction to Plasma Physics (RIPP) Application
Register / LoginApply


Yes. If you are not logged in, you will need to click on “Register / Login”. On the next page, click on “Register”. Please create an account by filling out the needed information and clicking on “Sign Up”. Once you are logged in, you can fill out an application for any of the internships. You can also check your status of completed applications by visiting the student portal from the navigation bar.

No. The RIPP Summer Intern program is only open to those who are enrolled as undergraduates at the time of the internship. Graduating seniors are not eligible.

Most projects do not require U.S. citizenship. Please refer to the project list and descriptions to find out more.

Absolutely! The program is an introduction to the many different fields of plasma physics. At the beginning of the project, the online course will cover the basics of plasma physics.

Each participant will receive a stipend of $6,200, which is a form of student aid that is provided to support the participant’s living and travel expenses during the course of their internship. The stipend will be paid in two installments: (1) a six-week stipend at the beginning of your appointment (after you report for the first day of your internship) and (2) a three-week stipend at the end of your internship (after you have turned in your final reporting requirements).

Interns will have the option to be paid either by mailed checks or by direct deposit. The direct deposit set-up instructions will be emailed upon internship acceptance. Each participant will receive an email that will direct the participant to the necessary form. Direct deposit forms must be either physically mailed or dropped off at the UAH Accounts Payable office (The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Accounts Payable Dept – SKH 241, 301 Sparkman Drive Huntsville, AL 35899).

Please note it can take up to three or more weeks for stipends to be processed through the university system. You must be prepared to pay any internship-related expenses you incur before you receive your first stipend payment.

Students will be notified of their selection by email from the following address: If you are selected, please keep checking your email regularly as additional required forms will be emailed to you from this address.

Students submit an online application that includes unofficial transcripts in PDF format from their current college, two reference letters, a short essay, and a resume. Accepted students will be notified in April of 2023.

Yes, you can bring your car. You will have to pay a $50 summer parking permit fee to park on campus.

Yes, all RIPP participants must attend the online intensive plasma physics course, which happens during the first week of the SULI internship at PPPL. The course will occur on or around the second week of June 2024.

Engaging in additional coursework or employment during the RIPP internship period is strongly discouraged, as students are required to commit to a 40-hour workweek, Monday through Friday.