Participating in scientific research can be a highly valuable and rewarding part of your undergraduate education here at CU. Many students develop their interests, skills and contacts by working on one or more projects during their time at university. Research programs range from volunteer to paid to paid+housing/living expense allowance.

Working in a research program can also be a significant help in ensuring success in your post-graduation plans. Research experience is highly recommended for those who are considering post-graduate academic programs, and can help you decide whether this is the right path for you. For any career path, a research advisor can provide letters of reference and valuable contacts. Being able to describe your research accomplishments can make your resume a standout when applying for nearly any type of job after graduation.

For any research position, students are advised to start looking early! Many programs are very competitive and some have very early deadlines or specific skill requirements (e.g. coding). Many will also require recommendation letters which means you will need to find writers and give them plenty of advance notice. Make sure you read through the Are you Ready for Research?​ page to ensure you're prepared to start applying for research opportunities. 

**Note: All programs and web addresses are current as of writing (and we’ll try to keep this up-to-date) but as web addresses and programs come-and-go some links may no longer work. Please notify the APS department if you find anything out of date or have new opportunities to suggest.**
Many thanks to the Summer Science Program for many of the resource links below


Arecibo Observatory Summer Research for Undergraduates

Students and Teachers selected for the program will work with staff scientists on projects related to ongoing research or instrumentation development. Students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary character of this unique research facility through lectures by the staff and visiting scientists, seminar series, tours of the observatory facilities and frequent informal discussions with staff and scientists. Students are also expected to have the opportunity to conduct hands-on observing with the 305-m telescope. The REU program at the Arecibo Observatory is a 10 week program from May 30th – August 5th 2022. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students must present evidence of vaccination, including the booster shot, and must present a negative molecular test with no more than 48 hours of expedited before arriving to the site. Deadline of applications: April 10th, 2022

The Astronomy Department at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin

The Astronomy Department of The University of Texas (UT) at Austin plans to host an in-person Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program entitled Frontier Research and Training in Astronomy for the 21st Century for eight students in summer 2022 for ten (10) weeks from Tuesday May 31, 2022 to Wednesday August 10, 2022.  We invite all eligible students to apply, starting early December 2021. 

CU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

UROP affords undergraduates a unique educational experience of collaborating with a faculty mentor on the design and implementation of a project. At the same time, faculty have the opportunity to work closely with students and receive valuable assistance with their own research or professional activity. UROP adds a new dimension to the undergraduate experience. It also encourages students to conduct research and pursue academic interests outside of their regular courses by employing them to work on special projects. Projects are expected to contribute to the student's academic development.

CU/LASP Research Experience for Undergraduates [2022 APPLICATION NOW CLOSED]

The University of Colorado invites undergraduates to apply for a paid summer research experience for highly motivated students interested in solar and space physics. Students will come to Boulder, Colorado for 10 weeks to work on a research project with a mentor. The topic areas span the field of solar and space physics, from instrument hardware to data analysis to modeling of the Sun, the Sun-Earth system, the near-Earth environment, or the heliosphere.

AAS REUs (Research Experiences for Undergradutes) 

If you’re looking for a summer REU in planetary science, our professional organization has just put together a clearinghouse for all REU’s involving planetary science. 

AAS Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy

Great resources for undergraduates looking for REUs, Internships, Scholarships, Travel Grants & Bridge programs. 

Astronomy REUs (Nationwide)

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and supports active research participation by undergraduate students in astronomical research.  REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects specifically designed for the REU program. Students may not apply to NSF to participate. Students apply directly to REU Site.

CU Career Services Resources for Internships

Career Services defines an internship as a hands-on, career-related experience that supplements classroom academic experience to enhance the student’s education. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and students may or may not receive credit for the experience.

NASA Develop

The NASA DEVELOP National Program fosters an interdisciplinary research environment where applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors. DEVELOP is unique in that young professionals lead research projects that focus on utilizing NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues.

Upcoming Deadlines

Spring 2022 Term:
Term Dates: January 24 – April 1
Fall 2022 Term:
  • Application Window: May 16 - June 24
  • Recommendations Due: July 8
  • Applicant Notifications: August
  • Term Dates: September 12 - November 18
Summer 2022 Term:
  • Application Window: January 17 - February 25
  • Recommendations Due: March 11
  • Applicant Notifications: April - May
  • Term Dates: June 6 - August 12
Spring 2023 Term:
  • Application Window: August 29 - October 7
  • Recommendations Due: October 21
  • Applicant Notifications: December - January
  • Term Dates: January 23 - March 31


Space Astronomy Summer Program (SASP)
Each summer, the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) brings a dozen highly motivated college students to Baltimore, Maryland, for a Space Astronomy Summer Program (SASP). STScI is the scientific operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the future James Webb Space Telescope. The SAS Program runs from mid-June to mid-August, and is designed for upper division undergraduates with a strong interest in space astronomy. Students work individually with STScI researchers and staff on research projects that might include data reduction and interpretation, software development, scientific writing, preparing data for public releases. The program affords students the opportunity to attend lectures on a variety of exciting topics related to space astronomy, the Hubble, and James Webb Space Telescopes.

Our competitive program is primarily open to upper-division undergraduates with a strong interest in space-based astronomy, engineering, or public outreach (other candidates may be considered on an individual basis). In addition to hands-on projects, students are matched with a mentor and attend a variety of lectures. Students receive a stipend, housing assistance, and travel reimbursement. [Housing and travel reimbursements do not apply for the 2022 Virtual SASP.]

University Space Research Association

The Education Programs Office (EPO) offers multiple internship programs to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who are interested in exploring the career possibilities at NASA. EPO programs encourage academic achievement and provide valuable on-the-job training and exposure to a variety of career fields directly related to NASA’s technical workforce.

Amgen Scholars

Amgen Scholars is hosted at thirteen premier educational institutions within the United States. Each host institution has its own application process. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the United States is required, and you can apply to participate at as many host institutions as you are interested in. Each summer hundreds of undergraduates step into some of the world’s premier research universities and institutions to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program. Students conduct hands-on research in the lab alongside top faculty, participate in seminars and networking events, and take part in symposia with their peers and leading scientists.

American Astronomical Society Resources for Internships & Scholarships