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Intern - Wargaming, R&D Undergrad Year Round

What Your Job Will Be Like

Intern - Wargaming, R&D Undergrad Year Round. 

As a wargaming intern working in Sandia’s Systems Research & Analysis Department, you will work on the forefront of interdisciplinary research that brings scientific rigor to the art of wargaming for examining critical national security policy decisions. You will work with a team of researchers and game developers as part of Sandia’s Program for Experimental Gaming and Analysis for Strategic Interaction Scenarios (PEGASIS), creating online games in support of our mission toward developing the field of experimental wargaming.

In this position, you will serve as a game programmer in our latest experimental wargame to better understand cyber conflict escalation and cyber deterrence. You will work closely with our game development team in creating the core gameplay systems for our latest release. Tasks in this role include: creating or extending features of our game within the Unity game engine, running player tests with the latest game builds, and collaborating with team members on how to address the research challenges within the wargame design.

An additional goal is to create a pipeline of highly qualified interns potentially interested in a career with Sandia upon graduation. The ideal candidate will have a strong desire for a summer internship that may potentially lead to a full time position.

On any given day, you may be called on to:
  • Write and test new game features in Unity
  • Participate in code reviews with the game development
  • Perform quality assurance (QA) testing
  • Interface with research team to identify needs and propose technical solution
  • Present results as appropriate, at open conferences or internal meetings

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

Sandia demonstrates its commitment to public safety in the national interest by requiring that all new hires be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious accommodation before commencing employment. The requirement also applies to those who are telecommuting and working virtually.

Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700.

Posting Duration

This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time.

Qualifications We Require

You bring the confidence and skills to be eligible for the job by meeting these minimum requirements:
  • Currently attending and enrolled full time (or scheduled to graduate in the spring) in an accredited undergraduate program
  • Pursuing a science, engineering, or math major
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Ability to work up to 40 hours per week during the summer
  • U.S. citizenship
Note: If you have not yet started your undergraduate program, please apply to a high school intern position.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Programming experience building applications with at least one the following languages: C++/C#/Java.
  • Experience working in a remote team on a large software project.
  • Game development experience using a game engine (for instance like Unity or the Unreal Engine).
  • Experience with building applications that utilize popular commercial cloud web services (e.g, AWS, Azure).
  • Experience with real-time game networking (e.g., Nakama, Photon, Unity Netcode, Gamesparks).
  • Passion for advancing videogames beyond entertainment to examine critical national security issues
  • Interest in clearly communicating complex cyber topics to people with limited cyber expertise
  • Interest and/or experience in writing journal and conference articles and presenting at conferences/meetings.
  • Willingness to participate in debate and discussion about key project questions or issues
  • A proven ability to frame and tackle complex and/or ill-defined multidisciplinary problems
  • Interest in a career at Sandia National Laboratories

About Our Team

The 8710 Systems Research & Analysis team consists of four System Analysis and Engineering Departments in the Sandia/California Computation and Analysis for National Security Center. We provide national leaders with reliable, unbiased and comprehensive information on viable engineering and strategy options, and on the effectiveness, risks, benefits, and potential unintended consequences of those options. We are a multidisciplinary group with a strong science and engineering emphasis, skilled at applying a broad systems perspective to national and global security challenges. Work in 8710 is focused on a broad range of topics in national security including nuclear weapons, homeland security, and transportation energy. Homeland security work includes analyses, simulations, and prototype technology deployments which address defense against biological, nuclear, chemical, and radiological terrorism; and emerging cybersecurity threats. Nuclear weapons work includes stockpile studies, surety systems analysis, cost estimation, and future stockpile planning. Projects range from months to years in duration, with teams forming in dynamic collaborations across the Group and with organizations throughout the laboratory to draw upon world-class technical expertise.

About Sandia

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:
  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
  • Extraordinary co-workers
  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
  • Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)
  • Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*
  • World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at:
  • *These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.
Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.
Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.