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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.

Applications for the 2024 cohort are now being accepted and are due on Tuesday, January 16, 2024!!

2022 Cohort of SURP students

2022 Cohort of SURP students

The 2022 SURP cohort. 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 2024

General Requirements

The program runs from May through July during Summer 2024. The following is expected of successful applicants

  • Working approximately 20-38 hours/week on research during the summer semester depending on the year's requirements. There will be some component of required in-person activities to be announced.
  • Participating in weekly check-ins
  • Participating in all sessions of the Python Bootcamp at the beginning of the program and 80% of the professional development seminars provided and Astro Coffee
  • Presenting at the SURP Symposium
  • A mid-program and ending summary of your work and efforts (writing skills are a key component of SURP)
  • Application materials for grad schools or prospective jobs as facilitated by SURP
  • If any of these requirements cause hardship or should be addressed with specific circumstances, upon selection you can work out any problems with the SURP organizers.

Participants who are graduating in 2025 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 2024 close on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at 11:59 PM. Applications are only open to OSU students enrolled in current spring semester and the following autumn semester. A complete application includes:

  • Your contact information includes your name, name.#, and phone number.
  • Expected graduation semester and relevant courses.
  • An essay of approximately 1-page, describing why you want to pursue research in astrophysics. Relevant coursework or research experience may be included 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 match advisors and set goals.

We will do our best to accommodate your preferences, although we can make no guarantees. We plan to select and notify applicants by early March at the latest.

The application is currently open using the button below.


Please contact Wayne Schlingman or David Zach, with any questions about the application or if you need to turn in your application by a method other than 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 and postdoctoral advisors.