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

2021 NSF REU Scholars Mentors
2021 UT Astronomy NSF REU Scholars & Mentors

 

The Astronomy Department of The University of Texas (UT) at Austin plans to host an in-person Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program entitled Frontier Research and Training in Astronomy for the 21st Century for eight students  in summer 2022 for ten weeks from June to  August 2022 (exact dates are to be determined).  We invite all eligible students to apply, starting early December 2021. The program is funded (Principal Investigator: Dr. Shardha Jogee) 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 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: the program provides very generous financial and logistical support.We cover the cost of round-trip travel from the home institution to the UT Austin campus, campus housing, background checks, gym fees, poster printing, and a round trip to McDonald observatory. We also cover funds for students with research results from the program to attend a future professional meeting (e.g., the AAS meetng) to present their results. In addition, we provide an allowance of $700 per week for 10 weeks to cover meals and your other incidental expenses.  Note that the University has indicated that as of summer 2022, they will likely require all summer students staying in campus housing to also purchase a campus meal plan.  We are awaiting a final decision and details on this matter.  If a meal plan has to be purchased, we will deduct the meal plan from the weekly allowance. 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.
  • 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, 2022 will receive full consideration. 

CONTACT INFORMATION: If you have any questions, please contact the Astronomy Department interim REU Coordinator, Kelly Quinney (utastro_reu@utlists.utexas.edu; 512-471-7304 or 512-471-3000), or the Principal Investigator, Professor Shardha Jogee (sj@astro.as.utexas.edu).