UT Research Fellowships

UT offers several fellowships to fund your research, and also has other resources for every step from getting involved in research to presenting your results.

UT Research Fellowships

2014 Summer Internship at the McDonald Observatory

Astronomy and Physics undergrads ... looking for a unique summer experience? The Frank N. Bash Visitors Center at the McDonald Observatory will be offering one summer student position to work at the University's remote campus in the heart of the mountains of West Texas near the town Fort Davis. From June through August, the Visitors Center hosts nearly 20,000 visitors for an extensive array of public and educational outreach programs such as:

  • Guided Tours of some of the largest research telescopes in the world open to the public
  • Solar Viewings, presenting live views of the Sun in our multimedia theater
  • Star Parties, where many visitors get their first views of a truly dark sky
  • Scout Night programs hosting evening activities specially designed for scouts

As a summer student, the successful applicant will not only participate in these programs but also learn how to present them, as well. Presenting these programs is an excellent opportunity to develop public speaking skills in addition to being an opportunity to share your knowledge of astronomy and physics.

In addition to an hourly wage (based on your UT status), full room and board will be provided in the Astronomers Lodge (AL) where both researchers and technicians stay while working at the Observatory. Dinnertime at the AL is an excellent opportunity to make contacts with researchers, graduate students, and professors from UT as well as other universities and observatories around the world. Of course, you'll also enjoy some of the darkest night skies of any major observatory in the US and have access to the Visitors Center telescopes to use on your own time, if you'd like. The position runs from May 20th through August 16th, although the exact dates are somewhat flexible. Applications should be submitted no later than March 29th.

A successful applicant will have completed, at least, Ast 307 or its equivalent. The successful candidate will have an outgoing personality, a good speaking voice, as well as, preferably, some knowledge of amateur telescopes and equipment. The candidate must also have a valid class "C" driver’s license and provide a current three year driving record.

To apply, send a resume and/or letter of interest to the Visitors Center's Senior Program Coordinator, Frank Cianciolo, at frankc@astro.as.utexas.edu. For questions, etc., use the same address or call 432-426-4152.

Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)

If you're a freshman, FRI is the perfect way to get started in research. FRI is a three-semester program of courses and direct research experience. For astronomy research, FRI currently offers Exploring the Universe with White Dwarf Stars with Don Winget and Mike Montgomery.

Deadlines: Turn in early applications January - May; turn in summer applications May - July

Freshman Research Initiative Fellowships

These fellowships offer a summer stipend for College of Natural Science undergraduate researchers and FRI students and alumni to work in research groups for a minimum of 8 weeks over the summer. Students must be US Citizens or permanent resident aliens. Full-time fellowships require 35-40 hours per week for at least 8 weeks and come with a stipend of $2500. Half-time fellowships require either 18-20 hours per week for the full eight weeks, or 35-40 hours per week for 4 weeks, and come with a stipend of $1250.

Deadline: March

LSAMP Summer Research Academy

This program is designed for minority students in any discipline who are sophomores and juniors. Students are matched with a research mentor, carry out a research project, and receive a $2500 stipend.

Deadline: February

Schlumberger-SPC Undergraduate Research Fellowship

These fellowships are for physics majors with junior or senior standing who are interested in careers in industry. For more information, contact Dr. Sarah L. Simmons: [s.l.simmons@mail.utexas.edu].

Deadline: April

Undergraduate Research Fellowship

These fellowships provide support for specific research projects conducted by full-time UT undergraduates in any department. Awards are up to $1000.

Deadlines: Fall: September; Spring: January.

Natural Sciences Summer Research Abroad Scholarships

These scholarships provide up to $2000 for students who have arranged to spend 12 weeks over the summer doing research connected to a foreign university. For more information, contact Dr. Sarah L. Simmons: [s.l.simmons@mail.utexas.edu].

Astronomy Department Funding for Travel and Research Support

Departmental aid and awards to support UG research (publications; posters; travel to conferences, McDonald, and other observatories).

Other UT Undergraduate Research Resources

Regular info sessions on how to get started in undergraduate research.

Undergraduate research mailing list to keep you up-to-date on scholarships, fellowships, and research opportunities at UT.

EUREKA! database of research opportunities at UT.

SURGe is a student group that works on building an undergraduate research community at UT.

Undergraduate Research Forum is an event every spring for undergraduates to present posters and talks about their research. Among the awards given out is the College of Natural Sciences Award for Excellence in Astronomy Research for $500. Here's a gallery of astronomy undergrads presenting at the Undergraduate Research Forum.

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