Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Graduate Research Assistant Program

Point your career towards Los Alamos Lab: work with the best minds on the planet in an inclusive environment that is rich in intellectual vitality and opportunities for growth.


  • Program Manager
  • Scott Robbins
  • Student Programs
  • (505) 667-3639
  • Email
  • Program Coordinator
  • Emily Robinson
  • Student Programs
  • (505) 665-0964
  • Email

Get relevant research experience while pursuing graduate degree

The Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) Program is a year-round educational program that provides students with relevant research experience while they are pursuing a graduate degree. In some cases, students can arrange to conduct master's or doctoral thesis research at the Laboratory.

  • The majority of the appointments are in the technical and scientific disciplines.
  • Appointments are available for 90 days up to one year, with option for renewal based upon program requirements.
  • Students are selected on the basis of field of study, grade point average, and research interests.
  • Individuals may remain in the GRA program for up to three months after receiving a PhD.

Eligibility requirements

  • Provide documentation of acceptance in a graduate program
  • Enroll in and successfully complete a minimum of six graduate credit hours per semester
  • Initially have and maintain cumulative 3.2/4.0 GPA
  • Laboratory requires successful applicant to complete a pre-employment drug test


For information about benefits, see New Hire Benefits Options.

Continuing/returning students

You are required to submit official transcripts to the Education Program Office at MS T011 or errobinson@lanl.gov by February 28th each year for the annual eligibility/salary review process.

Maximum number of years allowed in GRA program

If you have a BS/BA degree

  • 4 years for students pursuing MS degree
  • 7 years for students pursuing PhD
  • 7 years for students pursuing MS and PhD

If you have an MS degree

  • 2 years for students pursuing 2nd MS degree
  • 4 years for students pursuing PhD
  • 6 years for students pursuing new field MS and PhD degree


  • All students MUST remain enrolled at their university while working at the Laboratory during the academic year. Students are required to provide proof of enrollment to the Education Program Office to verify continued eligibility.
  • If you have received your master's degree and have not yet been accepted into another graduate program (master's or PhD), you may be eligible for the post master's category.

Post master's category

The post master's category of the GRA program offers graduate students the opportunity to participate in the GRA program after receiving a master's degree.

This category applies to those students who have been awarded a master's degree within the past three years but have not yet been accepted into another master's program or a PhD program. Post master's students may remain in this category for up to two years.

To remain in the GRA program after the one-year maximum in the post master's category, students must be accepted and enrolled in another graduate program (master's or PhD).

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