SAO REU Summer Intern Program: Overview

Important note: the Astronomy REU program at SAO has been informed that we have been funded by NSF for 2019 and 2020. Accordingly, we anticipate making offers on March 1 to 11 undergraduates for the summer of 2020.

We will begin accepting applications for the 2020 summer program starting December 1, 2019. For more information, please DOWNLOAD OUR FLYER from the 2019 program.

The SAO Summer Intern Program is an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) internship where students take on an astrophysics research project with an SAO or Harvard scientist. In 2020 the program will run for 10 weeks, from June 7 - August 15. Students are expected to work at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics for the full duration of the program. We house our interns in Harvard's graduate student dormitory facilities.

The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution.

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?
  • Lab Astrophysics. What chemistry takes place in space? Do ices matter? How did the Earth get its water?
  • Extreme 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 facilities, including space-based telescopes like NASA's Kepler, 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 can offer a wide range of projects to our interns. Check here periodically for further updates.


Clay Fellow Warren Brown