ISI welcomes – and thrives on – student participation. Many of our USC research faculty support graduate research assistants who are working on significant projects. The result is a far richer experience than coursework alone can provide. Students are exposed to broad, deep academic investigation, along with real-world timeliness and relevance.
In practice, that means actually doing research with a faculty member in a collaborative, team-oriented environment. Students also may be able to move beyond pure research on some projects, and help develop viable prototypes with customers or other end users.
Because ISI isn’t a degree-granting institution, students who work with us generally are enrolled in USC Viterbi School master's or Ph.D. programs. But we’re open to students from other universities, and on some multi-disciplinary projects, to students in biology or other fields. Students may be engaged at our Marina del Rey or Arlington campuses.
Students may join ISI as:
- Graduate Research Assistants on paid stipends. Research assistants deepen their subject-matter knowledge and gain professional experience by working under ISI-USC research faculty. Students may conduct relevant Ph.D. research within the context of a larger project, and research professors may serve as Ph.D. advisors.
Research assistants must be master's degree or Ph.D. candidates. Assistantships may be available during the academic year and/or summer season. ISI West typically employs about 60 students across virtually every division.
- Summer interns on specific, paid projects. Positions are open to accomplished graduate students with computer science or other engineering backgrounds. One group that frequently hosts interns is Natural Language Technologies.
- Other status. Graduate students who are funded from other sources, such as fellowships, also may choose to work at ISI. ISI in Arlington, VA also hosts about 15 doctoral and master's degree candidates from major universities as visiting research assistants each summer.
Engineering undergraduates may join us through the Merit Research Program, Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) or other research awards, but must make arrangements with the Viterbi School directly. Undergraduate work-study students may be employed for non-research activities; please contact, our human resources department.