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Summer Research Programmes

A summer placement undertaking astronomical research may be of interest, particularly for those considering a PhD in Astrophysics. The Institute of Astronomy has only a very modest summer student programme and the few positions available are deliberately targeted at students who are not familiar with the Institute.

It is in your own interests to broaden your experience of research beyond the Institute and obtaining a position elsewhere can be rewarding and benefit future applications for PhD places. Unfortunately, there is no central clearing system for summer positions, and it is a case of making enquiries to individual departments/observatories. Many departments in the UK do have positions and those with larger astronomy groups, e.g., Durham, Edinburgh, Oxford, Manchester, are particularly worth investigating. Further afield, several observatories and European groups offer places, e.g., Anglo-Australian Observatory, Australia; Leiden Observatory, Netherlands; MPIA, Germany; IST, Austria; and Lund Observatory, Sweden.

Some departments/observatories offer funded placements but within the UK it may well be worth making an application for a RAS bursary in collaboration with your target institution/supervisor but you will need to be organised and contact departments in January.