IDEAS: Illinois Developing Equity in Astrophysics Summer school

Applications for IDEAS 2024 are due March 1, 2024

IDEAS is a paid summer research program aimed at pairing undergraduate students from underrepresented groups with faculty at University of Illinois doing research in Astrophysics. The program is housed in the Astronomy department in Urbana-Champaign. Students will be paired with both a faculty research mentor and graduate student mentor. As part of the Society for Equity in Astronomy here at UIUC, students will have access to the graduate student mentoring network beyond the end of this summer program. At the end of the summer program, undergraduate research students will share their results in a department-wide research showcase.

The goal of this program is to pair undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups in Astronomy (defined broadly, a non-exhaustive list would include students who are one or more of: Black, Hispanic, Native American, Women, LGBTQA+, first-generation college students, students from countries without long-established astronomy programs, students from institutions without astronomy research programs, non R1 institutions, or community colleges, and/or students with disabilities). There is no citizenship requirement for this application. We encourage all interested students to apply.

This summer program will run alongside several other STEM summer research programs on the UIUC campus, and students will have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops, activities, and a career expo as part of the Illinois Summer Research Program Alliance (ISRPA).

2023 IDEAS students and mentors visiting Yerkes observatory

Program details:

  • Dates: June 3-July 26, 2024 (8 weeks)
  • Stipend: $600/week plus housing provided. $500 toward travel to/from Champaign-Urbana

How to apply:

The application deadline will be March 1, 2024

The application will consist of:

  • Name, contact information, undergraduate enrollment information
  • An unofficial transcript from all undergraduate institutions attended
  • Brief application essays (details to be released with application)
  • Top 2 project choices (2024 projects)
  • Names and email for two references.

In order to apply, you must be a current undergraduate student studying Astronomy, Physics, or a STEM field, at the sophomore level or higher. There is no citizenship requirement. It is expected that students will travel to Champaign-Urbana for the duration of this program.

Please contact Prof. Decker French (deckerkf at illinois dot edu) if you have questions.