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

2023 REU wholegroup
2023 UT Astronomy NSF REU Scholars & Mentors


Update for Summer 2024: We are pleased to announce that the UT Austin Astronomy NSF REU ProgramFrontier Research and Training in Astronomy for the 21st Century” (PI: Dr. Shardha Jogee) will run in Summer 2024 for ten weeks from Saturday May 25/2024 to Saturday August 3/2024. This is the sixth summer of our NSF REU program, and we look forward to welcoming a diverse, motivated, high-achieving group of eight scholars. The application page will open on January 5/2024 and applications are due by 10 am CT on February 12/2024.

Eligibility criteria are outlined on the "How to Apply" page.  

Please see our FAQ page for common questions. 

We especially encourage applications from students who are from institutions with limited research opportunities or/and are from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in STEM (e.g., first-generation college students, Pell grant recipients, students with disabilities, U.S. veterans, gender minorities, and racial/ethnic minorities, including African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders). The program involves a synergistic collaboration between the UT Austin Astronomy DepartmentMcDonald Observatory, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and the College of Natural Sciences.


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.

  • Research Supervision and Broad Mentorship: REU students enjoy research supervision from internationally recognized faculty, research scientists, and postdocs. The REU director also meets students regularly for broad mentorship and professional developments activities. Additionally, graduate students provide informal mentorship.

  • Professional Development: We provide a wide variety of professional development and mentoring activities These typically include python coding, guidance to navigate the science landscape, science communication (posters, talks and papers), LaTeX workshops to write research notes and conference papers, an overview of STEM careers, an overview of how to apply for graduate programs, empowerment activities, and an end-of-program research symposium.   

  • An observational astronomy module in the Department on the UT Austin campus, followed by a fully funded observing trip to McDonald Observatory (if pandemic health and safety protocols allow a visit to the observatory).

  • Access  to the Texas Advanced Computing Center for modern computing techniques that drive Big Data analytics and numerical simulations

  • Financial and Logistical Support: Our REU program provides very generous financial and logistical support. We cover the cost of round-trip travel from the student's home institution or residence in the USA to the UT Austin campus, on-campus housing, background checks, gym fees, poster printing, as well as a round trip to McDonald observatory (if pandemic health and safety protocols allow a visit to the observatory). We also provide an allowance of $800 per week (which includes the NSF stipend of $700 and an additional supplement) for ten weeks. This allowance is used to cover meals and other expenses. In addition, we also provide funds for REU students to attend a future professional meeting (e.g., the AAS meeting) to present their research results from our REU program. 
  • Post-REU mentorship and funding to attend a future professional meeting (e.g., the AAS meeting) 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).

CONTACT INFORMATION: If you have any questions, please contact the Astronomy Department and NSF REU coordinator Jennifer Pratt through utastro_reu@utlists.utexas.edu or 512-471-3000, or the Principal Investigator, Professor Shardha Jogee (sj@astro.as.utexas.edu).