Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), a division of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), anticipates being able to offer six research assistant positions for the summer of 2013 through the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program. The KPNO REU program provides an exceptional opportunity for undergraduates considering a career in science to engage in substantive research activities with NOAO scientists working in the forefront of contemporary astrophysics. Each REU student is hired as a full-time research assistant to work on specific aspects of major ongoing research projects at NOAO which include the origin, nature, and evolution of stars, galaxies and stellar systems, observational cosmology, analysis of Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope images,and Kepler Mission light curves. As part of their research activities, REU students gain first-hand experience with KPNO’s state-of-the-art telescopes and develop expertise in astronomical data reduction and analysis.

Participants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The positions are full-time for 10 to 12 weeks between June and August, with a preferred starting date in early June. A salary of $775.00 per week and funds to cover travel to and from Tucson, Arizona, are provided. Summer housing is the responsibility of the student. Completed applications including applicant information, official transcripts, and at least two (2) letters of recommendation needed to be submitted no later than Thursday, January 31, 2014.

There are also REU programs at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and at the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, NM. The National Science Foundation maintains a complete list of REU programs from around the country and in a wide variety of content areas, including astronomy.