2015 PEER Internship Program Details

With funding from Heising-Simons Foundation, PEER is pleased to announce opportunities for two UC Berkeley undergraduate students to participate in the Heising-Simons Natural Disaster Risk Reduction UC Berkeley – GeoHazards International Internship for ten weeks during the summer of 2015.


Two internship positions will be available to UC Berkeley undergraduates for the summer of 2015. One earth science and one civil engineering intern will conduct research in support of current earthquake mitigation and awareness projects underway in north-eastern India through collaboration between UC Berkeley and GeoHazards International (GHI).

GHI works in the world's most vulnerable communities to reduce loss of life and suffering caused by earthquakes and tsunamis through preparedness and mitigation. GHI works in the city of Aizawl, the capital of the northeast Indian state, Mizoram.  Aizawl’s recent rapid population growth has led to poor quality and unplanned construction that puts residents at risk from the major earthquakes that threaten the region. The city’s location on a mountain ridge presents additional risk, because the steep slopes are prone to landslides and seismic energy is amplified on topographic ridges.  GHI currently is working with a multidisciplinary team of US, Indian and local engineers, earth scientists and planners to reduce the city’s overwhelming level of earthquake and landslide risk.

The stipend for this internship will be $8,000. Travel, lodging and meals of the two-week field trip will be paid by GHI. Interns will conduct their research projects under the mentorship of a GHI staff member, and a UC Berkeley faculty member and a graduate student. While the specific research projects for the interns are still being developed, some possible research topics could include the following:

  • - Landslide mapping studies of the local area to identify specific areas of high landslide susceptibility zones and potential remediation measures;
  • - Investigations of specific landslides affecting people and infrastructure;
  • - Seismic hazard characterization and estimation of the maximum shaking possible from the nearby faults;
  • - Evaluation of lifeline systems like the water storage and delivery infrastructure, followed by network analysis to determine fragilities of various components and identification of the key system vulnerabilities;
  • - Conducting geotechnical or structural studies that develop possible solutions to protect vulnerable community buildings and infrastructure such as multi-family housing, water storage tanks, schools, and bridges; and
  • - Studies of the potential effects of specific land use policies and regulations intended to reduce the local population’s risk.

Interested UC Berkeley undergraduate students should apply for this internship through the application for the 2015 PEER Internship Program at the bottom of this page. ONLY UC Berkeley undergraduates in Civil Engineering or Earth & Planetary Science are eligible for these internship projects. The selection team will evaluate the applicants based on their interest in reducing risks to communities from natural hazard events, past educational performance, writing skills, and completion of necessary coursework relevant to the summer research topic. Applications by individuals from groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are encouraged, although all qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin.

For more information, download the Heising-Simons Natural Disaster Risk Reduction UCB–GHI Internship Flyer (PDF)


The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) is a multi-institutional research and education center with headquarters at the University of California, Berkeley. Investigators from over 20 universities, several consulting companies, plus researchers at various State and Federal government agencies contribute to research programs focused on performance-based earthquake engineering in disciplines including structural and geotechnical engineering, geology/seismology, lifelines, transportation, risk management, and public policy.

The PEER mission is to develop, validate, and disseminate performance-based seismic design technologies for buildings and infrastructure to meet the diverse economic and safety needs of owners and society. PEER's research defines appropriate performance targets, and develops engineering tools and criteria that can be used by practicing professionals to achieve those targets, such as safety, cost, and post-earthquake functionality.


BEFORE COMPLETING THE APPLICATION BELOW, please be sure to assemble all necessary information because you cannot save your application entries to finish at a later date and must complete the application form in one attempt. Download a blank copy of the application form to view the exact questions asked in the web-based application form.

Items necessary to submit your application:
  • - Contact Information (Name, Email, Phone Number, Current Address)
  • - Citizenship
  • - Current and Former University Information: name, location, start date, end date, major field of study, cumulative GPA, major GPA, expected graduation date, expected degree
  • - Unofficial Transcripts for your current university (Please use the following naming convention for your file: Lastname_Firstname_transcript.pdf ) Project Selection (ranking of top 3 projects)
  • - Short Essay #1: Describe your ranking selections above. Are there any educational or logistical reasons why you chose those projects? (max 200 words)
  • - Short Essay #2: Describe how your education and work experience to date have prepared you to complete research related to earthquake engineering and earthquake resilient communities. Also discuss the strengths that you will bring to your research project if selected. (max 300 words)
  • - Short Essay #3: Provide a statement of purpose that describes your academic and career goals. How would this internship research experience help you achieve these goals? (max 300 words)
  • - Resume (Please use the following naming convention for your file: Lastname_Firstname_resume.pdf )
  • - Contact information for two references: one faculty member or academic advisor, and one supervisor or someone for whom you have recently worked.
  • - Demographic information (optional)

Complete and Submit the 2015 PEER Internship Application Form

Application review for Heising-Simons UCB-GHI Internship begins:
Monday, February 23, 2015 at 8:00 am Pacific Time.

The application form will remain open until all positions are filled, however applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before the application review begins.


Visit the PEER Internship Program web page for more general information and links to other 2015 internship opportunities.