Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Astrophysics


The Department of Astronomy and the Center for Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (CCAPP) sponsor a summer research program for Ohio State undergraduates. This program offers full-time, paid summer research positions in astrophysics with a faculty member of the Department of Astronomy and/or Physics.

Previous Participants

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



SURP participants summer 2018

The photo shows participants from 2018 and their research advisors after students presented their research at the 12th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on August 3, 2018. Left to right are Barbara Ryden, Dominic Flournoy, Richard Pogge, Radek Poleski, Zoey Samples, Ness Mayker, Krisann Stephany, and Joel Zinn.


The program runs from May 8 to July 26 during Summer 2019. Successful applicants must be willing to work full time on research for 12 weeks during summer, starting on May 8 (Note: participants should not have a part-time job or take classes during the 12 weeks of SURP).  Participants who are graduating in 2020 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.

Who May Apply?

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program is primarily intended for sophomores or juniors interested in graduate study in astrophysics, or careers in science education or data-driven technical fields. Participants are typically astronomy and 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 is 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 approximately five positions available for Summer 2019. This program is only open to undergraduates at The Ohio State University.

Application Information

Applications for summer 2019 will be due February 11, 2019. A complete application must include

  • A cover letter with your contact information
  • A copy of your OSU Advising Report
  • A 500-word essay on why you want to pursue research in astrophysics.

Your essay may also mention if you would like to pursue research in specific areas. We will do our best to accommodate preferences, although we can make no guarantees. We plan to select and notify applicants by March 1. Please send your application to:

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


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.