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Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Astronomy and Space Science

Illinois Space Grant

Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Astronomy and Space Science

Funded by an educational grant awarded by NASA to Northwestern University through the Illinois Space Grant Consortium, Northwestern offers a 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 an undergraduate program in university or college..

Support of up to $8,000 is available to cover ten weeks of summer research. The exact period is flexible, but it should be between approximately June 15 and September 15.

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.
Application Deadline: March 22, 2024

We strongly encourage those who are eligible to apply for a Northwestern-funded summer research grant as this will allow us to spread our funds to more students.

Students from other institutions are encouraged apply for supplemental funding from Northwestern’s Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP).

 ISG at NU is an equal opportunity educational fellowship grant. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

2023 cohort

Leka Davis, Seca Widyatmodjo, Madd Vivona, Charles Gibson, Claire Zwicker, Trevin Cox


2021 Cohort

Brooke Fujishima
Cole Geinosky
Nicolas Guerra
Konstantina Kritikos
Max Paik
David Stephens
Elizabeth Zadir

2020 Cohort

Daniel Brethauer
Yuxin Dong
Nicolas Guerra
Emma Kaufman
Peizhi Liu
Nicholas Marks
Caelan Purnama

2019 Cohort

1st Row – Jonathan Cao, Finlay Larson, Michael MacLean, Michael Kurkowski, Nicolas Rui

Not Pictured: Daniel Brethauer, Dylaan Cornish, Brooke Fujishima, Nicholas Marks

2018 Cohort

1st Row – Isaac Rivera, Maria Mutz, Mahlet Shiferaw
2nd Row – William Reinhardt, Eric Van Camp, Marisa Bisram

Not Pictured: Kyle Engelmann, Zach Shonfeld, Theo Ward

2017 Cohort

1st Row – Ally O’Donnell, Nathan Hung, Ben Harpt
2nd Row – Josemanuel Hernandez, Katie Barnhart, Newlin Weatherford
3rd Row – Kyle Engelmann, Eric Van Camp, Doug PinckneyNot Pictured: Dany Atallah, Mark Berger, Grant Messner

2016 Cohort

1st Row – Noelle McGee, Katie Barnhart, Harriet Colie
2nd Row – Kyle Condron, Cobi Rabinowitz, Newlin Weatherford


Not Pictured: Alex Gurvich

2015 Cohort

1st Row – Leah Perri, Amanda Newmark, Daniela Deleon, David Rice
2nd Row
– Jessie Duncan, Seth Krantzler, Eric Scott, CJ Hansen


2014 Cohort

1st Row – Leah Perri, Emily Ellinger
2nd Row
– Shyam Bharadwaj, Tyler Karia, Shannon Grogansn

2013 Cohort

1st Row – Erin Roth, Adriana Guzman
2nd Row – Shannon Grogans, Christopher (CJ) Hansen, Tyler Karian


2012 Cohort

1st Row – Caroline Darin, Andrew Srisuwananukorn
2nd Row – Jason Du, Julia Savoie, Bridget Bellavia

Not Pictured: Nico Salzetta

2011 Cohort

From left to right:
Daniel Douglas, Bryant Smith, Paul Geringer, Julia Savoie, Kuai-Kuai Jin, Susan Yu, Leah Isaman, Ryan Jasinski

Not Pictured: Mitchell Drew, Jim Schroeder, Andrew Srisuwananukorn

2010 Cohort

1st Row – Michael Tremmel, Leah Isaman, Samantha Hopkins, Isabel Abbott
2nd Row – Megan Hybinette, Aaron Juarez
3rd Row – Scott Phelan, Kyle Kremer, Bryant Smith

2009 Cohort

1st Row – Marc Royster, Marina Murashev, Ben Farr, Megan Hbinette
2nd Row – Kyle Kremer, Elizabeth Weingartner, Matt Dodelson (far right)
3rd Row – Emily Leiner, Mason Volk, Aaron Juarez, David Ackerman
4th Row – Michael Tarczon, Michael Medford, Brad Weinberger

2008 Cohort

1st Row – Michael Tremmel, Sophie Arlow, Cara Hageman, Ilana Spar
2nd Row – Robert Kennedy,  Josh Glaser,  Aaron Juarez
3rd Row – Nicholas Longenbaugh, Ryosuke Kita, David Ackerman,

2006 Cohort

1st Row – Emerson Speyerer, Elizabeth Tang, Temple He, Alex Godin, Dane Holte
2nd Row – Jeff Kaplan, Julia Fang, Steve Ehlert, David Freidin, Gaspard Clozel, Scott Hollander

2005 Cohort

Clockwise, from bottom left: Nick Spear, Daniel Iden, Walter Maksym, Mark Tibbit, Sarah Braden, Steven Wang, Joseph Eckart, Steven Ehlert, Alex Vaynman, Martha Malin, Jennifer Huang

2004 Cohort

Clockwise, from bottom left: Anna Hiszpanski, John Hewitt, Verene Lystad, Steven Ehlert, Nicholas Seltzer, Sara Kasun, Jonathan Echt, Emerson Speyerer, Josepth Eckart

2003 Cohort

Clockwise, from bottom left: Matvey Farber, Tiffany Titus, Alex Limpaecher, Emerson Speyerer, John Liu, Adam Hipp, Ann Peterson, Mike Henninger, Aaron Kime

2002 Cohort

1st Row – Aaron Kime, Matthew Turk, Nathaniel Greenbaum, Jane McCammant
2nd Row – Casey Law, John Hewitt, Emerson Speyerer

2001 Cohort

1st Row – Christopher Greer, Brian Brondel,
Thayne Currie, Matthew Steele
2nd Row – Emerson Speyerer, Rachel Goldsborough, Brett Wicox, John Huang, Megan Krejny