Science intern presenting to a senior scientist with a white board filled with scientific equations behind her.

Research & Development (R&D) Internships​

Join 3M’s Talent Community​ ​
Research & Development (R&D) Program Description

As an R&D intern, you’ll work with senior scientists and laboratory management to develop advanced technologies and products in one of 3M’s corporate research labs or business group labs.

Data Science Areas of Focus:

As a Data Science R&D Intern, you will be working with teams to help advance 3M products into new areas where they are more relevant to our customers and markets we serve. Data Science R&D Interns work on projects such connected safety products, digital dentistry, automotive electrification and connected roads.

Core Discipline Areas of Focus: 

As an R&D Intern working in our core discipline areas, you’ll be working with senior researchers on a project that is more focused in technologies and products that 3M is best known for. These include technologies and products that are based on 3M traditional core technologies such as adhesives, abrasives, optical materials, fluorochemicals and advanced polymers.  Or you could be working in any number of 3M’s proprietary process technologies including non-wovens, microreplication, extrusion processing and precision coatings.

Data Science Requirements

Core Discipline Requirements

Program Details​

  • What sets this program apart from the others?​

    The R&D internship program allows innovative individuals the opportunity to work with senior scientists on projects that have real-world applicability. Each intern will have access to 3M’s technological platforms, state-of-the-art scientific capabilities and access to a world-renowned scientific community.​

  • How long is the program?​

    An R&D internship is typically 12 weeks in length, starting in May and running through August.

  • Where will you be located?​

    The majority of R&D internships are located at 3M’s global headquarters in Maplewood, MN. Other assignments could be located in Austin, Texas, and other locations.​

  • What kinds of roles are candidates hired into?​

    As an R&D intern, you will have roles in technology development, product development, technical service and product engineering. Areas of R&D could include: ​

    • Biology​
    • Data science/machine learning​
    • Electrical engineering​
    • Materials science​
    • Mechanical engineering​
    • Organic chemistry​
    • Polymer science​
    • Process research​
    • Environmental health and safety​
  • What activities are provided during the program?​

    Interns can participate in professional development events, as well as social events throughout their assignment. The events are designed to expose interns to the broader 3M company and culture, and help build a network.​

  • How can you begin the recruitment and application process?​

    Recruiting for open positions happens in the fall. Search key words “R&D internship” here.​

    You can also learn more about 3M at national conferences, such as National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society, Grace Hopper, Women in Machine Learning, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers and many others. ​

  • Additional Information

    Experience in programming, machine learning, deep learning, data science, computer vision, artificial intelligence, statistics and/or applied mathematics is desired.​

    ​Subsidized housing and transportation is offered.​

  • Female science intern wearing a white lab coat and protective eyewear viewing data on a hand held tablet.
  • 3M RISE Symposium

    Science and Engineering Doctoral Graduate Student Opportunity

    3M RISE is primarily intended to introduce emerging underrepresented science and engineering graduate talent to the wide range of rewarding careers in research and development at one of the world’s most recognized innovation companies. Underrepresented groups* in the STEM field encompass several dimensions of identity, including women, Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and Native American or Alaska Native racial and ethnic groups, persons with disabilities, veterans, and/or belong to the LGBTQ+ communities.

*Underrepresented groups is defined for the context of this symposium and does not align with 3M’s and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) definition.


  • Carolyn Nye, R&D Intern.

    "This summer, I am using my electrical engineering background on a project in the Corporate Research Systems Lab that incorporates both hardware and software. As part of a larger sensor fusion research project, I am using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to examine data from sensors and leverage additional features of the sensor." Carolyn Nye, R&D intern​

Future Opportunities​

  • Matthew Messina, Product Development Engineer and former R&D Intern.

    "During my internship at 3M there was always something new to learn about the company, the culture and the surrounding areas. I was confident that by starting my career at 3M I would find a healthy culture, a supportive team, an interesting job with an appropriate work-life balance and opportunities to continue to grow." Matthew Messina, product development engineer and former R&D intern​


  • Brieana Gregg, R&D Intern.

    "The projects that are assigned to you don’t feel like busy work. This isn’t the type of internship where you just run to get coffees for your team or work on an insignificant project. It makes me more motivated and excited to come to an internship where I know the research I’m doing will help to drive a new and innovative product to the market." Brieana Gregg, R&D intern​

Learn how your skills might be a fit at 3M.