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UT Austin Astronomy Department REU Program: Frontier Research and Training in Astronomy for the 21st Century

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UPDATE FOR SUMMER 2021: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we postponed the UT Austin Summer 2020 REU-ASSURE program to Summer 2021 and we offered the Summer 2020 cohort the option to participate in Summer 2021. Therefore, we are unfortunately not taking any new applications for Summer 2021. We invite all eligible students who have expressed interest in our program to apply next year for Summer 2022. 

The Astronomy Department of The University of Texas (UT) at Austin will host a Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program entitled "Frontier Research and Training in Astronomy for the 21st Century" for eight students for ten weeks from June to  August 2021 (exact dates are to be determined). The program (Principal Investigator and Director: Dr. Shardha Jogee) is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) REU program and the Department of Defense (Dod) ASSURE program, and involves a synergistic collaboration between the UT Austin Astronomy Department, McDonald Observatory, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and the Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science.

PROGRAM DETAILS: The UT Austin Astronomy Department is one of the top-ranked departments in the nation and we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment in the astronomy community at large. Our REU program aims to engage the full pool of excellence in our diverse nation and to equip students with modern skills needed to succeed in the STEM landscape of the 21st century. Students in our REU program will enjoy the following:

  • A supportive and cutting-edge astronomy research environment, where they will have the opportunity to conduct research in frontier areas of astronomy, including star formation, planetary systems science (the Solar System, exoplanets), stellar astrophysics, black holes, galaxy evolution, dark matter, dark energy, cosmology, and instrumentation.
  • One-on-one supervision by internationally recognized faculty and members of their research group, and a diverse, committed, and trained pool of  mentors.
  • An observational astronomy module in the Department on the UT Austin campus, followed by a fully funded six-day observing trip to McDonald Observatory.
  • Access  to the Texas Advanced Computing Center for modern computing techniques that drive Big Data analytics and numerical simulations.
  • Financial and Logistical Support: A stipend of $600 per week (as of summer 2020), meal allowances, paid housing on campus, travel support to/from the UT Austin campus, and access to university resources (e.g., recreational, library, and health facilities).
  • Professional Development:  workshops (e.g., on communication, application to graduate programs), empowerment activities, a research poster symposium, and interactions with students from other summer programs on the UT campus.
  • Post-REU mentorship  and funding to attend a future professional meeting (e.g., the AAS meetng) to present their results.
  • The vibrant and diverse city of Austin, which is home to eclectic and cosmopolitan music, art, culture, and food, and outdoor activities (e.g., hiking, cycling, rock climbing, and kayaking on Lady Bird Lake).

ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION GUIDELINES: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident who is currently enrolled as an UG student (outside of UT Austin), and will not have graduated by the end of August in the year of the REU program. We greatly value diversity among our participants: women, members of under-represented minority groups (African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders, as well as first-generation college students, students with disabilities, U.S. veterans) and members of intersectional groups. Applications received by February 10, 2020 will receive full consideration. 

CONTACT INFORMATION: If you have any questions, please contact the Astronomy Department REU Coordinator, James Medina (utastro_reu@utlists.utexas.edu; 512-471-3409 or 512-471-3000), or the Principal Investigator, Professor Shardha Jogee (sj@astro.as.utexas.edu).