2017 Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer Interns iREx

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 programs of iREx are available here.


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 professorsPierre Bastien (PB), Bjoern Benneke (BB), Nick Cowan (NC), Andrew Cumming (AC), René Doyon (RD), and David Lafrenière (DL), and the researchers  Jason Rowe (JR), Loïc Albert (LA),  Lison Malo (LM), Julien Rameau (JuR) and Lauren Weiss (LW). Internships in the following topics are offered:

  1. Development of algorithms related to the search of young stars (RD);
  2. Simulations of the future James Webb Space Telescope data related to the study of exoplanets using transit spectroscopy and direct imaging (RD, DL);
  3. Development of precision photometry techniques to observe the transit of exoplanets (DL);
  4. Photometric follow-up of the stellar activity of transiting exoplanets hosts (DL);
  5. Study of exoplanetary atmospheres using very high-resolution transit spectroscopy (DL);
  6. Exploration of exoplanetary atmospheres with space telescopes (NC);
  7. Theoretical studies of the role of magnetic fields in hot jupiters atmospheric flows (AC);
  8. Theoretical studies of the early stages of gas giant formation, including composition gradients (AC);
  9. Detection and characterization of giant exoplanets atmospheres using direct imaging from space and from the ground (JuR, RD, DL);
  10. Analyse of CFHT images of the Taurus molecular cloud survey to find young, low-mass objects >5 Mjup. (LA, RD);
  11. Search for signals of exoplanetary atmospheres in archival high-resolution stellar spectra (LW, JR);
  12. Determination of the magnetic fields of low-mass star candidates for the search of exoplanets (LM, RD);
  13. Models of the polarization of exoplanet transits (PB);
  14. Characterization of an intriguing hot Jupiter atmosphere using high-resolution spectroscopy from the 10-meter Keck telescopes (BB);
  15. Detection and confirmation of new exoplanets for future JWST characterization using the Kepler and Spitzer Space Telescopes (BB).

storymaker-slide-show-exoplanet-art-1109181-514x268The interns could also participate to one or more observing missions at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic 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. Five Trottier Excellence Grants for Summer interns will be attributed in 2017.

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 December 15th, 2016. The successful candidates will be contacted at the end of January.