RSAA Summer Research Scholarships

2018 Summer Research Scholars 2018 Summer Research Scholars

Each summer RSAA offers a number of Summer Research Scholarships, which enable suitably qualified undergraduate students to spend 8 to 11 weeks at RSAA/Mount Stromlo working on a research project under the supervision of an RSAA astronomer or instrument scientist. The scholarships provide a first-hand view of the work at a research observatory and scholars have access to state-of-the-art optical, infrared, radio, computational and laboratory facilities. Areas of research include  instrumentation for astronomy and space, star formation, stellar evolution, galactic dynamics, observational cosmology, active galactic nuclei, interstellar-medium physics, computational astrophysics and planetary science.

These scholarships are intended for currently-enrolled undergraduate students completing the third or final year of a full-time course leading to an honours degree. Outstanding second-year students who are intending to complete an honours degree may also be considered.

Please note: The AITC Summer Student Program/Northrop Grumman Global Externship Program that is offered to undergraduate students studying engineering, science, computer science or mathematics will be run as part of the Summer Research Scholarships program in 2021/2022. For application procedure and deadline, please see below.

Program and application dates

The RSAA Summer Research Scholarship/Internship (including the AITC Summer Student Program/Northrop Grumman Global Externship Program) will be run over 9 weeks from 22nd November 2021 to 21st January 2022.

Important information for applicants applying for an astronomy project (for AITC applicants, please read the information on the AITC Summer Student Program page):

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 (international and domestic) in their 3rd or final year, and must be on campus in Canberra.

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. 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: RSAA 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.

If you have questions, please contact Dr Trevor Mendel for the RSAA Summer Research Scholarship and Associate Professor Tony Travouillon for the AITC Summer program, contact details below.

RSAA summer research program contacts


  • 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. For work out of normal business hours, arrangements have to be made with the supervisor (for example for lab work, testing etc.).
  • 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.

Available summer scholarship projects

You can find available summer scholarship projects on the potential projects page.