SAO/NSF Solar REU Program
This summer, scientists from the Solar and Stellar X-Ray Group (SSXG) and the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Group (SSP) at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) will host undergraduate students from around the US. For 10 weeks these students will participate in cutting-edge astronomical research about the Sun and the heliosphere, and learn the skills necessary for a successful scientific career. Projects range from data analysis to computer modeling to instrument building. Special seminars will be held to increase students' public speaking and computer programming skills. Students will learn from experience about scientific research and how to apply their academic work to real-world problems. Of course, some time will be devoted to exploring Cambridge, MA and the surrounding area.
- Provide a high-quality research experience for students.
- Foster participation by women and underrepresented minorities in scientific research.
- Accomplish state-of-the-art solar research.
- Develop independence, creativity, and interest for possible physics and astronomy graduate study.
- Demonstrate how academic knowledge acquired in classes applies to real-world research problems.
- Strengthen practical skills in data analysis, computer programming, theory, numerical modeling, laboratory techniques, and communication.
- Develop competence and confidence in presenting scientific results in a public forum.
Program Dates: June 3 - August 9, 2024
Housing is provided to the students free of charge in a dormitory room nearby the CfA. Travel from the student's university or home city to Cambridge is also provided. The stipend for the summer is $8000 with an additional meal allowance. The student must be available for the entire 10 weeks of the program. Virtual internship options can be arranged if the student is unable to travel to Cambridge due to family or other reasons. Travel allowances are also provided to students to present their summer research at the Fall AGU meeting or the Winter AAS meeting.
The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) is an umbrella organization for the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and the Harvard College Observatory (HCO). The CfA is arguably the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world. A broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, earth and space sciences is carried out by a highly diversified staff. The CfA is the center of pioneering efforts in the development of orbiting observatories, large ground-based telescopes, the application of computers to astrophysical problems, and the integration of laboratory measurements, theoretical astrophysics, and observations across the electromagnetic spectrum.
Located a short walk away from the main Harvard campus and the famous Harvard Square, CfA is close to restaurants, shopping, and museums. The abundance of public transportation makes travel around the Cambridge and Boston areas a snap.
Intern and mentor funding provided primarily by the National Science Foundation with supplemental funding from NASA and the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024 program. Please check back in December 2024 to apply for the 2025 program.
Due Date: Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST. Recommendation letters for applications started within one week of the application deadline will be due on Thursday, February 22, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.
The first round of offer letters will be emailed on Friday, March 1, 2024. Offer letters may continue to be sent out in the subsequent weeks if not all positions are filled after the first round. You are still considered eligible for selection until you have received a letter from us stating otherwise.
To participate in the program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Must be a part-time or full-time undergraduate enrolled in a degree-granting program (associate's or bachelor's) at an accredited college or university either currently or starting in the fall term of 2024
- Must not have graduated before the end of the REU program (August 9, 2024) unless starting a new undergraduate-level degree-granting program (associate's or bachelor's) in the fall term of 2024
- Must not have been enrolled in a graduate-level degree-granting program (certificate, master's, or doctorate) at any point prior to the start of the program
- Must be 18 years of age or older by the start of the program (June 3, 2024)
- Must be a US citizen, US national, or US permanent resident (green card holder)
- Must not be enrolled at Harvard University either currently or starting in the fall term of 2024
Every applicant must submit:
- Top two choices for summer projects (a list of projects for the 2024 program can be found here)
- A copy of their academic transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application process, and official transcripts will be required upon admission to the program.
- Two letters of recommendation.
- Two one-paragraph essays: one discussing a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it, and another detailing the unique talents and characteristics that you will bring to the program. Tell us about yourself!
Your application will not be considered without the above elements. The CfA's web application system will request the letters of recommendation once you have entered the names of your recommenders. They will be able to upload a pdf file.
Official transcripts can be sent to:
Solar REU Program
ATTN: Sandy Daly
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
60 Garden Street, MS 58
Cambridge, MA 02138
Dr. Chad Madsen - Principal Investigator - firstname.lastname@example.org