Maunakea Graduate School | April 2-13 2019

Submit applications here by December 15th 2018.

© Stéphane Courteau

The Maunakea Graduate School in Astronomy (MKGS) is proud to announce its 2019 competition. The MKGS presents an opportunity for six students pursuing graduate studies in astrophysics at a Canadian university to explore modern techniques in observational astronomy. With queue mode operations now prevalent at modern observatories, opportunities for our next generation of astronomers to learn first hand about observatory operations have all but disappeared. Hence the emphasis of the MKGS on astronomical instrumentation and observational methods to better educate our students and allow them to hone their skills as astronomers.

The program consists of understanding instruments used in astronomy, learning about observatory operations, conceiving and leading a scientific program at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and Gemini North Observatory, appreciating the impact of astronomical facilities, and experiencing Hawaiian culture. Resident astronomers, staff members and engineers give several presentations, complemented by technical demonstrations and detailed tours of Maunakea Observatories (e.g. CFHT, Gemini, JCMT, Keck, Subaru). Thanks to generous Director’s Discretionary Time (DDT), participants can compete for ~2 hours of observing time on CFHT and another ~2 hours on Gemini North. Participants conceive and write up their projects (based on available instruments); they also review and rank their own proposals. The CFHT and Gemini North observatories, which both enjoy Canada’s membership, have hosted and co-sponsored the MKGS since its creation in 2010 by Stéphane Courteau from Queen’s University.

The 2019 MKGS will take place from April 2-13, 2019. Local transportation, lodging, and access to facilities are provided by the MKGS. Participants must cover their own per diem expenses and provide their own transportation to Kona, Hawaii. Applicants are encouraged to seek funding from their department or supervisors to cover these costs.

We invite qualified students to apply for the MKGS. Candidates must be enrolled in a graduate program in Astronomy and Astrophysics (or related field) at a Canadian universityand demonstrate a genuine interest for astronomical methods and instrumentation. The MKGS application consists of a statement of interest (one page), a CV and transcript (BSc+MSc/PhD as applicable), and a letter of reference by the supervisor, including a confirmation that airfare and per diem will be provided. Candidates will need a valid passport (foreign students may also need a visa for travel to the United States), health coverage, and will be required to sign a safety release by the Maunakea Observatories. Candidates will be selected on the basis of demonstrated interest and expected impact. Students who do not have extensive observing experience may be favoured over those who have already worked in instrumentation and/or have led observing programs.

The deadline for application is December 15, 2018.  Skype interviews for short-listed candidates will be conducted in mid-January 2019 and a final selection will be made shortly thereafter.

Please submit your application here.

Upon submission of the candidate’s application, supervisors will be automatically queried for their letter of reference.

A summary of the 2018 MKGS can be found here.

The MKGS is generously sponsored by the CFHT, Gemini, and the Institute for Research on Exoplanets.

The Institute for Research on Exoplanets promotes employment diversity, inclusion and equity. We encourage applications from women, visible and ethnic minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.