Institute of Astronomy


The Institute of Astronomy offers a number of PhD and Masters opportunities each year. Details of these can be found on the admissions pages.

Current and previous employment opportunities at the Institute can be found below.

Open Vacancies

Summer Internships

Published on 21/12/2022 
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
The National Living Wage
Starting Date: 
Summer 2023
8 weeks

The Institute of Astronomy’s summer internship programme aims to provide undergraduate interns with research experience over the summer by working on projects supervised by a member of the Institute. It is expected that the internships will be carried out in person at the Institute, however if the pandemic situation prevents this, the internships will be conducted online and remotely. The internships are targeted at students who will have completed three years of study in their four-year integrated masters (England, Northern Ireland, Wales) or four years of study in their five-year integrated masters (Scotland). Students from any UK university are welcome to apply. The Institute of Astronomy and the Cavendish Laboratory recognise with deep gratitude the support of Mr David and Mrs Bridget Jacob and their establishment of The David and Bridget Jacob Internship Programme.

This year the David and Bridget Jacob internship will also be held at the Institute of Astronomy, for which applicants should be from a university within the UK other than the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford in addition to the aforementioned career stage guidance.

Students interested in undertaking projects in any of the research areas covered at the Institute of Astronomy who meet the criteria above are encouraged to apply by Sunday, 26 February 2023 (see for a description of research carried out at the Institute and for examples of past projects). Selection will be based on academic merit, and on knowledge and experience relevant to the projects. A decision can be expected by the end of March 2023. Successful candidates will be paid the National Living Wage for the eight-week duration of the projects.

The University of Cambridge and the Institute of Astronomy are committed to equality of opportunity, widening participation and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. We particularly welcome applications to this program from groups that are underrepresented at Cambridge, or in astronomy as a whole. The summer program at the IoA provides an excellent opportunity for such students to gain practical insight into STEM research and the knowledge and confidence to progress to postgraduate studies. To read more about the Equality and Diversity policies at the University please see Equality & Diversity at the University of Cambridge. For information on Equality and Diversity at the Institute of Astronomy, see here

As part of our commitment to equal opportunities, we will be able to offer a small amount of additional funding to contribute to travel or accommodation costs, if needed to enable your participation (if successfully selected). Details of this discretionary funding will be provided at a later stage in the process.

Selection will be based on academic merit, and on knowledge and experience relevant to the internship. Where two candidates are of equal merit then consideration will be given to any widening participation criteria that the candidate/s meet, for example, if one candidate has characteristics that are underrepresented at the University.

Please note, you will be required to prove you hold the right to work in the UK via a relevant immigration status in order to be eligible for this internship. Also note that in the event that the internships are held remotely, you would still need to be resident in the UK during the internship.

Application Information: Applications should include:

Mandatory information

i) a statement of interest, including an indication of the desired project area(s), maximum length one page, and

ii) a CV, maximum length two pages, sent to by the deadline.

iii) You should also ask an academic referee to send a reference letter to the same address by the deadline.

Optional information

As part of our widening participation agenda, if appropriate to their situation, we encourage students to give brief details of how personal circumstances may have affected their academic career to date, through, for example, caring commitments, illness, enforced career breaks or economic hardship. This can be included in the statement of interest and would not count towards the page limit.

Selection for the internship will be based on merit of education and experience. Additional information related to equality and diversity (in this section of an application) will only be consulted if there are two or more candidates of equal merit to take into consideration whether one is from a group that is disproportionately under-represented or otherwise disadvantaged within the workforce.


Application Deadline Date: 
26 February 2023
Application Deadline Information: 
Applications to be received by midnight (GMT). 

Royal Society Newton International Fellowships

Published on 17/01/2018 
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
£34,308 - £42,155
Starting Date: 
Between 01 October 2023 and 29 February 2024
3 Years

The Institute of Astronomy is pleased to invite expressions of interest from suitably qualified researchers who wish to apply for a Newton International Fellowship to be held at the Institute. 

The Newton International Fellowship programme provides support for outstanding early career researchers to make a first step towards developing an independent research career through gaining experience across international borders. The fellowships will enable researchers to access expertise, gain new perspectives and build long-lasting collaborative relationships. The fellowship provides three years funding to attract international early career researchers to establish and conduct their research in a UK host organisation.

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • have a PhD, or will have a PhD by the time the funding starts
  • have no more than seven years of active full time postdoctoral experience at the time of application (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry on research)
  • be working outside the UK
  • not hold UK citizenship

Applicants are permitted to apply for up to £350,000 to cover their own salary, on -costs and related overheads for the three years of the fellowship, as well as research expenses funding.

For further details, please see: Newton International Fellowships | Royal Society

  • In the first instance applicants should make contact with a member of the Institute's Academic Staff who has related research interests to discuss the possibility of hosting the fellowship within the Institute. 

  • We ask that applicants secure support from a member of our academic staff, and then inform our administration of their intent to apply (by e-mailing by 3rd March 2023 at the latest.

  • Applications must be submitted by the applicant by 21st March to allow time for internal approval before the Royal Society deadline on 28th March. 

Application Deadline Date: 
3 March 2023

Closed Vacancies

There are currently no listings of previously closed vacancies at the Institute of Astronomy.