Join us this summer at the UMD UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC) for a rewarding opportunity you won't find elsewhere! As a UROC summer intern, you'll have 10 weeks from the start of June to early August to work hands-on with the UROC Team on a UAS-related project of your own design. You'll be a member of the UROC team, paid an hourly rate, and working alongside other team members on-site at our aircraft hangar located at St. Mary's County Regional Airport (2W6).

This internship program gives students a unique opportunity to define their own funded UAS-related project, experience managing that project from start to finish, and engineer/test the solutions that they develop.

Students will have many opportunities to learn about and participate in UAS operations and flight safety with the operations team at the UROC. Students will also participate in flight operations for their own projects.

Applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis. Projects must be approved by UROC for applicability, scope, and budget.



Interns must be:

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate technical degree program (not limited to engineering) from rising sophomore to rising senior. Students from any accredited university/community college are eligible.

  • Able to work full-time in Southern Maryland for 10 weeks starting on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

  • United States citizen or permanent resident.

  • Interested in UAS technology.


  • Identify a PhD faculty (or equivalent level subject matter expert) mentor who will work with you to identify a project that is related to UAS and remain as your advisor and primary source for project assistance throughout the internship. We expect active, albeit limited, engagement from your mentor.
  • Apply directly to, with the following four items:
    1. Resume
    2. An agreement from your mentor who has agreed to work with you (email or short note)
    3. A short description of your proposed project (no more than one page)
    4. Proposed budget
  • Projects must be approved by the UROC for applicability, scope, and budget.
  • Applicants are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis, so apply as early as possible. 



Project Guidance

All projects will be relatable to a flying UAS research project, and may include hardware, software, or both; and may include any portion of the UAS, including but not limited to vehicles, sensors, software, data links, ground control station, or human integration.

It is a requirement that all projects fly by the end of summer.

There are no hard restrictions on what type of projects may be proposed. However, keep in mind that you will only have 10 weeks to see the project through to completion. Typically this breaks down into 2 weeks of onboarding, planning, and ordering supplies, 4-6 weeks of building/preparing/development, and 2-4 weeks of flight testing and data gathering. Scope your project accordingly. If your project is overly ambitious or complex UROC staff may suggest modifications to allow it to fit in the time available.

Projects can be continued into the school year, with additional goals set beyond those for the summer. This is approved on a case-by-case basis.

Projects may be continuations of prior research you may have been involved in, either personal or academic, so long as it meets all other guidelines, and has a somewhat self-contained goal that can be attained over the summer.

Be creative! We love FEARLESS IDEAS!


All project budget allocations/transactions will be coordinated through UROC staff. The budget is limited to $1000 per student for materials or services purchased by the UROC. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of other resources they may have, such as existing research equipment (with the permission of the equipment owner), resources free to students (ex: student-licensed software), or their own personal equipment. 

Due to end of fiscal year restrictions, ordering of components for projects will be difficult during the last half of June, so preparing your budget ahead of time is critical to get the parts you need for your project.


The UROC has many existing UAS that can be employed for flying or testing intern projects, so budgeting to build an aircraft for the project is not normally required unless that is the goal of the project; for example, if the project goal is to build a new aircraft. Additionally, UROC will make available to interns resources such as general shop tools, 3D printers, and soldering equipment.

If your project has no special requirements of the drone itself, (i.e. novel VTOL airframe design, super high speed, etc.) but instead is mostly using the drone as a sensor platform, we HIGHLY reccomend you do not plan on trying to build a drone yourself as part of the internship. 

The UROC has existing, dedicated test-bed small multirotor aircraft that are available for Intern use. These are semi-3d printed frame test aircraft that can carry about 200g of payload (ex: raspberry pi, picam, and another large (100g) sensor) for a minimum 30 minutes. You will be able to easily modify these aircraft using the 3d-printing capabilities at UROC to carry your payloads. If your project will require the use of more than one of these at a time please make that clear in your application. 


Each intern's work will be established and supported by their mentor and supervised by UROC staff member. The faculty mentor should provide context and knowledge on the unique aspects of your project and provide ongoing academic guidance on the research. 

Mentors may come from different disciplines depending on the project. For example, a project about firefighting drones might use a professor from the Fire Protection Engineering department, and a project using drones for agriculture data gathering might use a professor from the biosciences or agriculture department. 


Interns are expected to be on-site at the UROC hangar 8am-5pm M-F. For students who do not live close enough to commute, the UROC will offer affordable local options. Details TBA.