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Northwestern University
Education  |  Resources  |  Summer Research Program for College Students


We are now accepting applications for the Summer of 2013, but at this time no NASA funding has been committed for the Summer of 2013

In anticipation of continued funding of an educational grant awarded by NASA to Northwestern University through the Illinois Space Grant Consortium, we are now accepting applications for our College Summer Research Program for outstanding undergraduates. The program provides an opportunity for college students to work with a professor in one of several areas of space sciences and astrophysics. It is open to students who are currently in college and who are U.S. Citizens (mandatory).



Application Instructions

No application form is required; instead the applicant should submit contact information including telephone, e-mail and a postal address, a transcript, a 1-2 page letter describing his/her interests and science-related experience outside the formal college program, and have two letters of recommendation sent to:

    Prof. M.P. Ulmer
    College Summer Program
    Department of Physics and Astronomy
Fax: 847-491-3135
    Northwestern University E-mail inquiries to: Janet Howe
    2131 Tech Drive Web site:
    Evanston, IL 60208-2900 http://ciera.northwestern.edu


The application deadline for the Summer of 2013 is Friday, February 22nd, 2013.

Summer stipends for selected students are anticipated to be $5,000 for college students. This is for a minimum of ten weeks of work. The exact period is flexible, but it should be between approximately June 15 and September 15. Travel expenses to and from Evanston are also anticipated to be covered, but housing costs are not covered.


* Due to a NASA policy decision regarding funding for K-12 programs, we regret to inform you that the High School portion of our Summer Research Program has been discontinued. In the case that funds from a non-NASA source become available we will post that information on this website.

All our projects here at Northwestern can provide the students with extensive computer experience with a variety of computing facilities on campus and/ or via electronic access to several off-campus supercomputer centers. We also have projects that will provide laboratory experience.

Some of the areas of current research are:

  • Theoretical work on the physics of pulsars and black holes in the centers of galaxies
  • Modeling of extrasolar planetary systems
  • Supercomputer simulations of sources of gravitational waves
  • Radio maps of the Galactic Center and star formation regions
  • Optical observations related to the study of the cosmic microwave background and the intergalactic gas
  • Gamma-ray observations of high energy phenomena near black holes and neutron stars
  • Laboratory work to develop mirrors which can reflect X-rays
  • Observations of interstellar magnetic fields
  • Development of astronomical instruments for infrared and submillimeter wavelengths.



2001 Summer Research Program Participants
2002 Summer Research Program Participants
2003 Summer Research Program Participants
2004 Summer Research Program Participants
2005 Summer Research Program Participants
2006 Summer Research Program Participants
2007 Summer Research Program Participants
2008 Summer Research Program Participants
2009 Summer Research Program Participants
2010 Summer Research Program Participants
2011 Summer Research Program Participants
2012 Summer Research Program Participants