AITC Summer Student Program / Northrop Grumman Global Externship Program


The Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC), at the Mount Stromlo Observatory, is pleased to partner with the Northrop Grumman Externship Program to offer summer internship positions for undergraduate students studying engineering, science, computer science or mathematics. Interns will complete a defined research project and participate in activities that develop technical skills and help prepare them for professional employment. They will be supervised and mentored by AITC scientists and engineers and will be required to work as a team in completing set tasks.

2021/2022 AITC Summer Student Program

This year's AITC Summer Student Program will be run as part of the Australian National University's Summer Research Scholarship/Student program, commencing Monday, 22nd November 2021 and finishing Friday, 21st January 2022.

Important information for applicants:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns, the Summer program will only run as a Summer Research Internship. Applicants must be current ANU undergraduate students in their 3rd or final year and must be Australian citizens.

Benefits: Summer Research Interns will receive a stipend scholarship (tax-free) over the full length of the program of AUD$350 per week.

Applications are now open. Please use the online application form to apply. Select "Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics" in the form in order to be considered for the AITC Summer Student Program. Students also need to find two referees (one can be the nominated project supervisor), who are willing to give a short reference. Please download the referee form template here and pass it on to your referees.

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students: The AITC has dedicated places for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students. Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application deadline for RSAA/AITC is 17 September 2021.


The Program

Students will complete a defined project under the supervision of an AITC staff member. In addition to completing a specified project, all students will participate in activities that develop their professional skills and expand their understanding of the Australian Space Industry, including:

  • Tour of the AITC and EOS Space Systems
  • Access to technical experts from Northrop Grumman in Australia and the US
  • Expert speaker program in astronomy, instrumentation and space engineering
  • Development of report writing skills
  • Development of presentation skills
  • Tour of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex and a Tour of Siding Spring and Parkes Observatories (TBC - tours will only take place if fire danger ratings and COVID-19 restrictions permit it).


  • Project plan (within one week of start date). This must be approved by the project supervisor and will define the project milestones.
  • Literature review. All references and sources must be cited.
  • Progress reports
  • Written project report
  • Abstract for a conference paper and abstract for public talk
  • Public presentation of project and results at the end of the internship

Available Projects

A list of available project is list on the potential projects page


  • Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, students applying for the summer program must be current ANU students who are on campus.
  • As application procedures have changed, participation in the internship will not appear on the ANU transcript anymore. However, all participants will receive a statement of participation at the end of the program.
  • The primary working location will be the Mount Stromlo Observatory.  
  • Transport to and from Mount Stromlo Observatory is the responsibility of the student. A free shuttle bus is available to students between the ANU main campus in the morning (leaving campus at around 8:20 a.m. and arriving at 9:00 a.m. at Mount Stromlo) and the evening (departing Mount Stromlo at 5:00 p.m.).
  • Students must be available for the full duration of the program (with the exception of the Christmas break). This is a non-negotiable requirement. The internship runs Monday-Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm. For work out of normal business hours, arrangements have to be made with the supervisor (for example for lab work, testing etc.).
  • The program offers approximately 280 hours of supervised work. Requests for program extensions beyond the normal program duration must be submitted to the AITC Summer Program Convenor before, and no later than, the week prior to the Christmas break. Extension requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to the availability of supervisors, the availability of a project, and the performance of the student.
  • IMPORTANT: The ANU Summer Research Scholarship/Internship cannot be extended beyond the normal duration of the scholarship program. Students interested in applying for a program extension must therefore plan to support themselves, and find alternative accommodation, beyond the normal duration of the scholarship program.


Please direct any enquiries to and Associate Professor Tony Travouillon (, AITC Summer Student Program Convenor.

This program would not be possible without the support of a number of organisations and individuals. The AITC would like to thank ANU, Northrop Grumman, EOS Space Systems, the Space Environment Research Centre and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.