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



Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium 2017

Students presented their research at the 11th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on August 4, 2017. The photo shows participants from 2017 and their research advisors. Left to right are Adam Leroy, William Emmanuel, Erica Behrens, Zhiyuan Guo, Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, Paul Martini, Grace Calhoun, Connor Basinger, Aishwarya Srivastava, Don Terndrup, and Annika Peter. 


The program runs from May 14 to August 3 during Summer 2018. Successful applicants must be willing to work full time on research for 12 weeks during 2017, starting on May 14 (Note: participants should not have a part-time job or take classes during the 12 weeks of SURP).  Participants must 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 juniors interested in graduate study in astrophysics, although exceptional sophomores will also be considered. 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 2018. This program is only open to undergraduates at The Ohio State University.

Application Information

Applications for summer 2018 will be due February 28, 2018. 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 after Spring Break. 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.