Opportunities During PhDs

[Last updated: 5th January 2020]

Many students don’t realise that it’s possible to spend a part of your Astro PhD elsewhere (with funding too!). It really is an invaluable opportunity to network and gain experience that you might not be able to get at your home institution. Listed below are a few of the opportunities I’ve found.

ESO – Spend 1-2 years at ESO, either in Germany or Chile, as a part of your PhD.

ESA – The ESA Network/Partnering Initiative Programme is offering a possibility to do a PhD, or part of it, within a space related subject in cooperation with ESA.

ING – The Isaac Newton Group Support and Research Studentship Programme offers astronomy and astrophysics PhD, MSc and undergraduate students the unique opportunity to spend one year at ING as INT support astronomers, and to be involved in ING projects related to instrumental, optical, or software development, improvement and/or characterisation.

CfA – The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Predoctoral Program offers graduate students the opportunity to carry out all or part of their thesis research at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

FDL – If you’re into machine learning, look no further than the Frontier Development Lab. Spend 8 weeks working in Oxford (ESA) or the US (NASA) with experts from all over the world.

CCA – The Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) at the Flatiron Institute (New York) allows PhD students from institutions around the world to collaborate with CCA scientists for 5 months.

JSPS – The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science offers three opportunities for PhD students (and postdocs) to spend time in Japan. There’s a summer programme available for those from UK, France, Germany, Canada and Sweden. There is also the short-term programme, which funds citizens from the US, Canada, EU, Switzerland, Norway and Russia for 1-12 months. Finally, there’s the strategic programme, for US or Swiss citizens.

Greenberg Fellowship – The Greenberg foundation offers a PhD student from a developing country the possibility of staying 9 months in the Sackler laboratory.

OCA – The Henri Poincaré Junior Program of Côte d’Azur Observatory offers internships for PhD students for two months or more. There is a condition that you must be from a country where astrophysical and Earth sciences are in development.

Eiffel Excellence Scholarship Program – up to 12 months funding to study in France as a part of a joint Doctoral Programme.

Great Wall Program – One year funding to study in China. For those from developing countries.