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 summer research positions in astrophysics with a faculty member of the Department of Astronomy and/or Physics. Application information is at the bottom of this page.

2020 Cohort of SURP students

SURP 2020 Group Photo

The 2020 SURP cohort and advisors. From top left to bottom right we have advisors Anna Voelker and Wayne Schlingman and participants Collin Christy, Robert Von Holle, Maria Pudoka, Melissa Mikalsen, Lily Loyer, Evan Fitzmaurice, Miqaela Weller, Jared Kolecki, Luca Schmitt, Yuanyuan Yang, Jessica Kulp, Hannah Hermann, Michael Winfield, Devin Bennett, Michaela Deming, Mitchell Halley, Michael Rothman, and Jacob Krebs. For a list of their projects click here.

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 (SURP) 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 2021.


The program runs from May through July during Summer 2021. Successful applicants should expect to work approximately 20-38 hours/week on research during the summer semester depending on the year's requirements. Participants who are graduating in 2022 typically also commit to the 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 2021 closed on February 14, 2021, at 11:59 PM. A complete application must include

  • Your contact information including your name, name.#, and phone number.
  • Demographic and academic information including pronouns, c.G.P.A., expected graduation semester, and relevant courses.
  • 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.
  • What do you expect to get out of this program? Be as open, broad, and honest as you wish. Your answer will not be used for selection to the program but will help us to set the program's goals.

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



Please contact Wayne Schlingman or David Zach, with any questions about the application or cannot turn the application in on qualtrics.


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.