Post Secondary Student Opportunities

The Green Bank Observatory teams up with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory to offer funded research opportunities for undergraduate students, graduate students and post-docs. We also support other opportunities like job-training apprenticeships, and co-ops as funding allows.

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates

We have held a summer student research program since the beginning of the Observatory in 1959!  Undergraduate students spend 10-12 weeks on site participating in an astronomy, engineering or computer science research project. The project may involve any aspect of astronomy, including original research, instrumentation, telescope design, astronomical site evaluation or astronomical software development.  The program runs from 10-12 weeks over the summer, from late May to mid-August. At the end of the summer, participants present their research results as a short talk and submit a written report. Often, these projects result in publications in scientific journals. Financial support is available for students to present their summer research at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, generally at the winter meeting following their appointment.

Besides their research, students take part in other activities, including a number of social events and excursions, as well as an extensive summer lecture series which covers aspects of radio astronomy and astronomical research. Students, may in their application materials also indicate a willingness to participate in PING, an opportunity to mentor rising ninth grade students who will be on site for 2 weeks.

We accept and review applications in conjunction with the NRAO summer student program. You can find more information about the GBO program here, and see this website for information on the overall NRAO program, and application.

Physics Inspiring the Next Generation: Exploring the Cosmos with Green Bank Observatory

The Physics Inspiring the Next Generation (PING): Investigating the Cosmos with Green Bank Observatory program engages traditionally underrepresented minorities in science and engineering astronomy, engineering or computer science research at the Green Bank Observatory.

Much like our Summer Student Program, PING Undergraduate Internships provide stipends to undergraduate students for an 10-12 week experience at the Green Bank Observatory. Selected students will conduct research with a scientist/mentor, participate in all research and social activities at the Observatory. The twist to PING is that selected undergraduates will take a two week pause in their research to serve as mentors for  rising 9th-graders at the PING Summer Camp. PING internships are designed to broaden students’ skill sets, opening the doors for future employment and academic opportunities.  Applications for PING internships are accepted through the NRAO Summer Student Program portal

Grote Reber Doctoral Fellowship Program

The Grote Reber Doctoral Fellowship Program enables Ph.D. students in the final years of their thesis to conduct research at one of the NRAO sites or at the GBO site under the supervision of an Observatory advisor. The program is jointly sponsored by the Observatories and by the student’s home university. The program supports thesis projects in radio astronomy, radio instrumentation, or computational techniques.