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interested CANDIDATES, please take the following steps: 

  1. Read through this page and our Online Application Guidelines in full.
  2. Browse the Proposed Project List to understand the tentative list of opportunities. Note that project list identifies which projects will be conducted in-person or virtually.
  3. Learn about the different project locations on the Inside DEVELOP page. DEVELOP offers both in-person and virtual opportunities, depending on the project. The Proposed Project List will list the location of each project. Be sure to check whether a location is offering in-person or virtual projects.
  4. Questions? First read our FAQs. If you are not able to find the answer you're looking for, contact us at
  5. Apply! In the next DEVELOP application period.

Term Calendar

Term & Dates Application Window Recommendations Due Notification Timeline
Summer 2023 (Jun 5 - Aug 11, 2023) Jan 16 - Feb 24, 2023 [CLOSED] Mar 10, 2023 Apr-May 2023
DEVELOP is not offering opportunities in the Fall 2023 term. Interested candidates may apply to the Spring 2024 term (dates below).
Spring 2024 (Jan 22 - Mar 29, 2024) Aug 28 - Oct 6, 2023 Oct 20, 2023 Dec 2023 - Jan 2024

Summer 2024 (Jun 3 - Aug 9, 2024)

Jan 15 - Feb 23, 2024 Mar 8, 2024 Apr - May 2024









Participants & the participant experience

Who? There is no standard DEVELOP participant. As an interdisciplinary program, anyone with an interest in Earth science is welcome to apply. DEVELOP accepts participants with skills in a variety of fields, as well as from different phases of their career. This includes currently enrolled students, recent graduates, early career professionals and transitioning career professionals. Applicants with a strong interest in Earth sciences, remote sensing, environmental science, computer science, geographic information systems (GIS), technology and environmental policy are encouraged to apply. No previous experience is required in these areas — just an eagerness to learn. Review this page and the FAQ section for more information about eligibility.

What? If selected, you will conduct a literature review on the scope, methodologies and types of NASA remote-sensing data applicable to your project. You will also partner with organizations seeking enhanced decision-making tools. To help provide these tools, you will use GIS and remote-sensing data to conduct application projects. By project’s end, your team will create a presentation, technical report, and creative communications deliverables. The program aims to build the skills needed to explain project results to a variety of audiences. DEVELOP also offers personal development activities like personality typing, team building and networking with scientists and partner organizations.

How? Interdisciplinary teams, ranging in size from four to five participants, conduct each project. The team works under the guidance of a DEVELOP Fellow, science advisors and mentors, and the DEVELOP National Program Office.

Why? DEVELOP is a unique opportunity and each participant benefits differently. Generally, you can expect to enhance your personal and professional development. This includes improving skills in communication, presentation, research, collaboration, technical capabilities, and networking.

Participant eligibility

General Eligibility Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Strong interest in Earth science and remote sensing.
  • U.S. citizenship is required to apply to DEVELOP at NASA and NOAA locations.
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (either cumulative or most recent) from the current or most recent institution of higher learning. 
  • For in-person opportunities: Participants must have the ability to provide personal transportation to and from the DEVELOP location.
  • For virtual opportunities: Participants are required to be located and work from within the 50 U.S. states and/or Washington, DC for the duration of the 10-week term. Virtual participants are not authorized to work remotely from U.S. territories or outside the U.S..
  • All participants are required to be fully vaccinated by their hire date, unless legally eligible for a religious or health exemption.

Note: In addition to meeting the general eligibility requirements stated above, each applicant must meet the following requirements specific to their applicant classification (as outlined below).

participant classifications

Currently Enrolled Students: Students who are currently enrolled at a U.S. accredited community college, undergraduate or graduate college or university. Open to all majors. Must provide evidence of enrollment at an accredited U.S. school (acceptance letter or current unofficial transcripts).

Recent Graduates: Individuals who have graduated with an undergraduate or graduate degree from a U.S. accredited college or university within the past two years. Must provide evidence of successful graduation from a college or university (diploma or transcript showing graduation).

Early/Transitioning Career Professionals: Individuals who are pursuing further experience in the Earth sciences and remote sensing, transitioning to a new career field, and/or have at least two years of work experience in a professional environment (including transitioning/recently transitioned veterans from the U.S. Armed Forces). U.S. Veterans must provide evidence of service and release/discharge - DD Form 214.

Application guidelines overview

Important information regarding the application process:

  • Applications must be submitted within the set application window.
  • Applications can be started, saved as a draft, and then returned to for completion. 
  • For new participant applications, recommendation forms are filled out and submitted online. Recommenders will receive an email with the link and instructions to complete the form once the applicant has added and saved their recommenders’ information.
  • Applications that are submitted, but not complete (missing recommendation forms) may not be considered.
  • Applications are reviewed by the National Program Office and the locations to which the candidate applied.
  • Interviews may be conducted over video conference, phone, or in-person at the discretion of DEVELOP. 
  • After the selection process is complete, each applicant will receive notification regarding their status.

Do you have questions regarding an opportunity with DEVELOP? Please refer to the FAQ Section. For answers not available there, contact the National Program Office for additional information.

international applicants

International applicants interested in working with the DEVELOP Program are welcome to apply! International applicants must be currently located in the U.S. and registered at, or recently graduated from, an accredited U.S. school. If selected, participants will be required to work from within the 50 U.S. states and/or Washington D.C. for the duration of the 10-week term. Virtual participants are not authorized to work remotely from U.S. territories or international locations. 

Selected international applicants must satisfy the requirements regarding U.S. employment authorization documentation. International applicants on an F-1 or J-1 visa are authorized to participate in DEVELOP as a currently enrolled or recent graduate from a U.S. accredited institution under a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT). CPTs and OPTs are acquired from an International Student Services Office (ISSO) located at the applicant's school and are processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DEVELOP does not sponsor visa applications or file petitions with U.S. Immigration. Applicants who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to participate in the DEVELOP Program.

  • For more information regarding CPT and OPT work authorization documents, please visit the USCIS Foreign Academic Student website here
  • International applicants who are able to establish both identity and employment authorization presented as acceptable List A I-9 documents, are also eligible to participate in DEVELOP. For more information regarding acceptable I-9 employment authorization documents, please visit the USCIS Form I-9 Acceptable Documents website here.

International applicants can apply to both in-person and virtual opportunities at specific regional and virtual locations (note that U.S. citizenship is required to participate at NASA and NOAA locations). However, international applicants are eligible to apply to the following locations: 

  • Colorado - Fort Collins
  • Georgia - Athens
  • Idaho - Pocatello
  • Massachusetts - Boston
  • Pop-Up Project at University of Wyoming
  • Pop-Up Project at University of Virginia 
  • Pop-Up Project at Skidmore College
  • Environmental Justice Office


The DEVELOP application and selection processes are managed on behalf of NASA by contractors. DEVELOP participants are classified as contract employees. Applicants who accept an in-person opportunity must participate onsite at their selected location. Participants are responsible for their own housing, living expenses and transportation to and from the DEVELOP location. The program does not fund or reimburse travel and/or living expenses. If, before the start of the term, DEVELOP determines that onsite participation is no longer feasible due to evolving pandemic issues, the program will revert in-person opportunities to virtual participation.