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Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program hosted by CCAPP and the Department of Astronomy provides Ohio State undergraduates with full-time, paid positions conducting astrophysics research with a faculty member in the Astronomy and/or Physics departments. It is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience working at the front of line of science and, afterwards, to present final work at a symposium.

Previous Participants

Since 2007, more than 50 students have participated in the summer research program.  The full list of Program Alumni provides their projects, advisors, and where they are now.

Who May Apply?

This program is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled at The Ohio State University. The Summer Undergraduate Research Program is primarily intended for sophomores or juniors interested in graduate study in astrophysics, careers in science education, or data-driven technical fields. Participants are typically Astronomy & Astrophysics majors, physics majors, or majors in other, closely-related fields who have, or will have, completed Astronomy 2291 and 2292 before they are to begin summer research. These courses provide essential background information for most research projects. An exception will be made for engineering students interested in astronomical instrumentation but who may not have completed any astronomy coursework. We encourage applications from engineering students interested in projects in our instrumentation group.

There will be multiple positions available for Summer 2020.


The program runs from May to July during Summer 2020. Successful applicants must be willing to work full time on research for 12 weeks during the summer semester. (Note: participants should not have a part-time job or take classes during the 12 weeks of SURP).  Participants who are graduating in 2021 typically also commit to completion of an Undergraduate Thesis in Astronomy by enrolling in Astronomy 4999 during the following academic year.  This is one of the requirements for graduation with Research Distinction (for non-Honors students) or with Honors Research Distinction (for Honors students).  This achievement will be noted on a student's degree and permanent academic record.

Application Information

Applications for summer 2020 will be due February 10, 2020. A complete application must include

  • Your contact information including your name, name.#, and phone number.
  • An essay of up to 1-page, describing why you want to pursue research in astrophysics. If you have had relevant coursework or research experience you may include it in this essay.
  • 1 to 2 paragraphs describing your specific astrophysics interests. This may include but is not limited to those topic areas covered by researchers within astronomy and CCAPP. For examples of potential research areas, please click here. If you have any interest in astronomy outreach, education, accessibility, or science communication, please include this in your 1-2 paragraphs.

We will do our best to accommodate preferences, although we can make no guarantees. We plan to select and notify applicants by early March.


Please contact Anna Voelker, Outreach Coordinator, at voelker.30@osu.edu with any questions about the application.


This program has been generously supported by the Department of Astronomy, the Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, as well as grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA to individual faculty advisors.

To Apply

Click the button below to access the webform. If you are unable to send this electronically, you may send your application by mail or in person to:

Summer Undergraduate Research Program
Department of Astronomy
4055 McPherson Laboratory
140 West 18th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1173