to the applications page.
For more information, please
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from the 2019 program.
The SAO Summer Intern Program is an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)
where students take on an astrophysics research project with an SAO or Harvard
scientist. In 2021 we expect to run the program for 10 weeks, from June 6 - August 14.
Students are expected to work at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics for the full duration of the program.
Typically we house our interns in Harvard's graduate student dormitory facilities, but
given the realities of the pandemic, that is by no means certain this summer; we may
end up hosting a remote internship in 2021, as we did in 2020.
The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution.
Important note: we are currently awaiting a decision on our funding for the 2021 session.
All plans for the internship in 2021 are contingent upon approval of our funding request by NSF.
Potential areas of research include (with a few example study subjects that reflect
ongoing research at the CfA):
- Galaxies. How do
they form, what powers them, how will they evolve over cosmic time?
- Our Solar
System. What are near-Earth asteroids? What kinds of objects populate the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt?
- Stars and Planets. Are stellar models accurate? Where are new planets to be found?
Astrophysics. What chemistry takes place in space? Do ices matter? How did the Earth get its
Astrophysics. What connects supermassive black holes to their host galaxies? What
can we learn from X-ray emitting binary stars?
...and can involve data from a host of
space-based telescopes like NASA's
Spitzer, and Chandra missions (among others), and the many ground-based
observatories often used by SAO scientists, such as:
Undergraduate students interested in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, or
related physical sciences are encouraged to apply. We provide a wide range
of projects to our interns. That said, we have noticed in recent years that
many of our projects involve programming tasks, and Python tends to figure
prominently in them. You may find it helpful to bring some Python proficiency
to your internship -- but this is by no means required; we have hosted many
successful interns with NO prior programming experience. In a similar vein, you may
find it useful to have taken at least an introductory Astronomy course, for
scientific context. Again, that is NOT required.
Check here periodically for further updates.