NRAO is accepting applications for the 2010 NRAO Summer Student Research Assistantships program. Each summer student conducts research under the supervision of an NRAO staff member at one of the NRAO sites, on a project in the supervisor’s area of expertise. The project may involve any aspect of astronomy, including original research, instrumentation, telescope design, or astronomical software development. Examples of past summer student research projects are available on the Summer Student website.
Supervisors choose their own student candidates from the received applications, and the site to which a summer student is assigned depends on the location of the NRAO supervisor who chose them. Students are encouraged to review the NRAO staff web pages to learn more about the types of research being conducted at the NRAO. On their application, students may request to work with a specific staff member, to work on a specific scientific topic, or to work at a specific site.
The program runs 10-12 weeks each summer, from early June through early August. At the end of the summer, participants present their research results in a student seminar and submit a written report. These projects often result in publications in scientific journals. Financial support is available for students to present their summer research at an American Astronomical Society meeting, generally at the winter meeting following their appointment.
Besides their research, students take part in other activities, including multiple social events and excursions, and an extensive lecture series that covers various aspects of radio astronomy and astronomical research. Students also collaborate on their own observational projects using the VLA, VLBA, and/or GBT.
There are three types of Summer Student programs available at the NRAO.
The NRAO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is for undergraduates who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions, and is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.
The NRAO Undergraduate Summer Student Research Assistantship program is for undergraduate students or graduating college seniors who are U.S. citizens, are from an accredited U.S. Undergraduate Program, or otherwise eligible to work in the U.S. This program primarily supports students or research projects that do not meet the REU guidelines, such as graduating college seniors, some foreign undergraduate students, or projects involving pure engineering or computer programming.
The NRAO Graduate Summer Student Research Assistantship program is for graduate students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions, enrolled in an accredited U.S. Graduate Program, or otherwise eligible to work in the U.S.
The stipends for the 2010 Summer Student Program will be $592 per week for undergraduates and graduating seniors, and $634 per week for graduate students. These stipends include an allowance for housing, since housing is not provided.
Students who are interested in Astronomy and have a background in Astronomy, Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, and/or Math are preferred. The same online application form and application process is used for all three programs. Required application materials include an on-line application form (including a statement of interest), official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. The deadline for receipt of application materials is Monday, 1 February, 2010.