2016 Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer Interns iREx – Application closed

The applications are now closed. Thanks for your interest.

The institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), recently created at Université de Montréal, brings together professors, researchers and students specialized in the detection and characterization of exoplanets and low-mass objects, young stars and protoplanetary disks. They are engaged in a variety of observational, theoretical and instrumental projects. More details on the scientific program of iREx are available here.

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The institute is offering excellence grants at all levels (BSc, MSc, PhD and postdoctoral). At this time, iREx is calling for applications to Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer Interns. The summer internships last 4 months (May-August). They are a unique occasion for students at the BSc level to join iREx’s dynamic team and get involved in cutting-edge research in astrophysics. Interns will be able to participate actively to breakthrough scientific programs related to exoplanets and related thematic issues.  The researchers who are available to supervise interns this summer are the following professors: Nick Cowan (NC), Andrew Cumming (AC), René Doyon (RD), David Lafrenière (DL), Pierre Bastien (PB), and the researchers Étienne Artigau (EA), Loic Albert (LA) and Julien Rameau (JR). Internships in the following topics are offered:

  1. The NIRISS Optical Simulator (NOS) – Acquisition and analysis of infrared images obtained in the laboratory (LA and JR);
  2. Space Telescopes in Service of Exoplanets: constructing and testing high-fidelity detector models to enable atmospheric characterization (NC)
  3. A search for distant planets in archival SPITZER images (EA and JR);
  4. Data analysis related to brown dwarfs and exoplanets companions of young stars (EA, DL, JR);
  5. Algorithms development to search for young stars (DL, RD, JR);
  6. Age determination of the candidate target stars of the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) (RD);
  7. Data simulations for the future James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), related to the study of exoplanets using transit spectroscopy and direct imaging (LA, EA, RD, DL);
  8. Development in the laboratory of an optical simulator for NIRISS, one of the instruments of JWST, related to the study of exoplanets using transit spectroscopy. (LA, EA, RD);
  9. Numerical simulations for the performance of SPIRou, a  infrared spectropolarimeter dedicated to the research of terrestrial exoplanets via high-precision radial velocity (EA, RD);
  10. Observations and analysis of data obtained with POMM, the new high-precision polarimeter at Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic (OMM), for the plausible targets of GPI survey (PB).

An artist’s impression of a massive asteroid belt in orbit around a star. The new work with SDSS data shows that similar rubble around many white dwarfs contaminates these stars with rocky material and water. Credit: NASA-JPL / Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC). The interns could also participate to one or more observing missions at OMM during the summer. The 3,000$ Trottier Excellence Grant for Summer interns can be combined with NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) for a total amount of 7,500$. For non-bursary students, professors will complete iREx’s Trottier Excellence Grant to provide a total amount of 6,000$ for the internship. All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program in physics or astrophysics in a Canadian university are eligible to apply. The internship will take place at Université de Montréal or McGill University. Four Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer interns will be attributed in 2016.

Interested candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, an academic transcript and a short statement of interest (a few paragraphs at most) in which they explain their motivation to obtain the internship, and their preferred thematic. The applications must be submitted by email at irex@astro.umontreal.ca before January 12th, 2016. The successful candidates will be contacted by the end of January.