Scientific Intern

Vista, CA

Leidos has an exciting opportunity for a scientific intern at our Vista, California location! The Ports and Borders division build large x-ray scanners and radiation detection equipment used to intercept threats and illegal materials entering the United States. We are seeking a scientific intern to help with simulation and testing of radiation detection equipment being developed for our mobile x-ray scanners. 

Ports and Borders has a lively summer internship program. Mentorship and scientific training relevant to job duties are provided. We organize a seminar series, focusing on career planning and job skills, and there are other activities for the interns. There are many opportunities for the interns to interact and form friendships. You will gain real-world experience while earning an attractive wage. Top performing interns are brought back for successive summers and are frequently hired by Leidos after completion of schooling.

Come explore what life is like for scientists working outside of academia!

Primary Responsibilities

Assist in testing and characterization of radiation detection equipment. Assist with scientific simulations to guide the development of new products. Communicating results to supervisor and in group meetings.

Basic Qualifications

  • Background in a physical science discipline (Physics, physical chemistry, nuclear engineering, etc.)
  • Familiarity with basic radiation detection equipment.
  • Basic computer skills (Windows, Word, Excel, Powerpoint) Ability to communicate technical information.
  • Eagerness to learn new things.
  • Candidates must be enrolled in a degree program or equivalent experience and less than two years prior relevant experience.
  • Your GPA needs to be included on your application and resume.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow directions and excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to present in a team setting.
  • Applicant should have access to transportation; work may take place at 2 locations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proficiency with MS Office
  • Previous hands-on experience with radiation detectors.
  • Familiarity with radioactive sources and handling procedures.
  • Previous experience with Linux and large-scale computing (AWS)
  • Understanding of Monte-Carlo simulations and previous experience with Geant4.

Pay Range:

Pay Range $44,200.00 - $68,000.00 - $91,800.00

The Leidos pay range for this job level is a general guideline only and not a guarantee of compensation or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity, alignment with market data, applicable bargaining agreement (if any), or other law.

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 45,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $14.4 billion for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2022. 

Pay and Benefits

Pay and benefits are fundamental to any career decision. That's why we craft compensation packages that reflect the importance of the work we do for our customers. Employment benefits include competitive compensation, Health and Wellness programs, Income Protection, Paid Leave and Retirement. More details are available here.

Securing Your Data

Beware of fake employment opportunities using Leidos’ name. Leidos will never ask you to provide payment-related information during any part of the employment application process (i.e., ask you for money), nor will Leidos ever advance money as part of the hiring process (i.e., send you a check or money order before doing any work). Further, Leidos will only communicate with you through emails that are generated by the automated system – never from free commercial services (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) or via WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. If you received an email purporting to be from Leidos that asks for payment-related information or any other personal information (e.g., about you or your previous employer), and you are concerned about its legitimacy, please make us aware immediately by emailing us at

If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact your local law enforcement and report the incident to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Commitment to Diversity

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin, citizenship, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy, family structure, marital status, ancestry, domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, or any other basis prohibited by law. Leidos will also consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with relevant laws.

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