The Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), affiliated with the Department of Physics of the Université de Montréal (UdeM), is calling for applications from undergraduate students to the 2021 Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer Interns.
The summer internships last 4 months (May to August 2021). They constitute a unique opportunity for students at the undergraduate level to join iREx’s dynamic team and to get involved in cutting-edge research in astrophysics. Interns will be able to actively participate in breakthrough scientific programs linked to exoplanets and related topics. The researchers who are available to supervise interns this summer are Professors Björn Benneke, Nicolas Cowan, Andrew Cumming, René Doyon, Jonathan Gagné, David Lafrenière, Eve Lee, and Jason Rowe, and the researchers Loïc Albert and Étienne Artigau. Students with a strong preference for a specific supervisor and his research interests are encouraged to mention this in their application.
Projects are available in various themes related to the detection and characterisation of exoplanets, working with data obtained various space (K2, TESS, JWST) and ground-based (OMM, CFHT, Gemini, la Silla) observatories using various techniques (velocimetry, transit, eclipse and transit spectroscopy, direct imaging). Projects are also available on other astrophysical topics related to exoplanet science, such as the search for low-mass companions and isolated objects, the identification of young stars that are plausible exoplanet hosts, or the study of stellar activity that can hinder the detection of exoplanets. Finally, projects are available to work on the development of instruments for various observatories and on the conception of future space missions for astronomy. More details on the scientific programs of iREx are available on the institute’s website.
All selected interns will have the possibility to participate to one or more observing programs at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic during the summer. Also, one intern may be offered the possibility to work at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope over the course of a few weeks, on the Big Island of Hawaii in the United States (depending on the state of the global pandemic at the time).
The $3 000 Trottier Excellence Grant for Summer Interns can be combined with an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) for a total amount of $7 500. For non-NSERC-bursary students, professors will complement iREx’s Trottier Excellence Grant to provide a total amount of $6 000. The internship will take place at the Université de Montréal (Professors Björn Benneke, René Doyon and David Lafrenière and researchers Loïc Albert and Étienne Artigau), McGill University (professor Andrew Cumming and Eve Lee) or Bishop’s University (professor Jason Rowe). Four (4) Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer interns will be attributed in 2021.
All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program in physics, astrophysics or a related field at a Canadian university are eligible to apply. Interested candidates should fill this online form, uploading their application file therein, including a short statement of interest (max. 1 page) in which they explain their motivation to obtain the internship as well as their research interests, a curriculum vitae, and their most recent academic transcripts*, by January 15th 2021. The successful candidates will be contacted at the end of January 2021.
The Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx) brings together more than 50 researchers (professors, postdocs and students) that have a leadership role in various international projects (notably the James Webb Space Telescope) and are engaged in a variety of observational, theoretical and instrumental projects.
iREx promotes diversity in its workforce through its Equal access to employment program. It encourages members of visible and ethnic minorities as well as women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to apply.
*Note about transcripts: if you are currently in your first university semester, please include your CEGEP (or grade 12, if from outside of Quebec) transcript, on which your Cote R (or global average) is indicated. We prefer official transcripts, but non-official ones are also accepted.
**Note about the global pandemic situation: Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2021 summer internships may be offered in a remote setting, an in person setting, or a combination of both. The iREx is committed to respecting the health measures imposed by government agencies and will endeavour to take into account the situation of our selected candidates.