Frequently asked questions?

What does ASPIRE stand for?

Astrophysics Summer Program for International Research Experience

When is the next round of ASPIRE

The next round of ASPIRE will begin accepting applications on April 22nd 2022 and the program will start in June of 2022.

When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications for the current round will be May 13th 2022.

How do I apply?

Visit the application page here

When is it, and for how long?

The program will run between June and August (8 weeks). The dates are provisionally 20th June - 12th August 2022, but these dates are flexible on a project by project basis.

What is it?

This programme is designed to offer students from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to undertake a research project at a world leading university.

Where does ASPIRE take place?

The program formally takes place at the Anton Pannekoek Institute (API) for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year's programme will be exceptionally conducted completely remotely.

Do I need to attend the whole 8 weeks?

Students should plan to be available and spend a significant amount of time each week (~30h) on the research project between the middle of June and beginning of August. However, you are welcome to apply should you have restricted availability. Since this year's programme will be exceptionally conducted completely remotely, we can be somewhat flexible with the beginning and start date of the project if necessary. Indicate any restrictions to your availability on the application form. If your availability changes after you submit your application, please let us know at aspire4api@gmail.com.

What projects are available?

See the full list here.

What would I be expected to do during the project?

Each project will have a scientific aim which you’ll discuss with your project supervisor. More generally you’ll be expected to participate in the research group (and hopefully learn a few things along the way). We will do our best to integrate you in the research groups in this year's remote programme. In particular you can expect to attend online group meetings and research talks given at the institute (depending of course on your timezone).

Do you accept more than one student for a given project?

No. Each project is for one student only.

What do I get from this?

You’ll be able to do research at a world leading university and along side top academics in astronomy. You’ll be doing research at the very edge of our understanding of the Universe and will get a greater understanding of what it is like to do research. During the project you’ll learn valuable research and astrophysics skills, as well as gain a mentor in the way.

Am I eligible to apply?

Any student who is not currently enrolled in a PhD program and has already started an MSc in a physics or astronomy degree (or related fields) and who has a passion for doing scientific research can apply.

I have just finished my MSc, can I apply?

Yes, as long as you have not started a PhD by the time the program starts.

I'm from country X , can I apply?

Yes. Anyone with any nationality can apply to work for a project at the API.

I am not European, can I apply?

Yes, most definitely.

Does it cost anything?

No. The program is completely free. Since this year's programme will be exceptionally held completely online we do require a (somewhat) reliable Internet connection for you to participate. If this is financially difficult at your current location please mention it in your application. We have some funding available to help with issues like this.

Do I need to book accommodation?

No. This year's programme will be held completely remotely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

What do I need to do to apply?

You can check the required documentation in the application section.

Should I attach my reference letter to my application?

No, please ask your referee to send the letter directly to aspire4api@gmail.com, with your name as subject.. Please provide your referee with the letter writing guide pdf which you can download in the application section.

When does my referee need to send the reference in by?

Ideally we would like to have all reference letters by the application deadline on 13th May 2022. If this causes a problem for you some small delay is acceptable. In this case please contact us at aspire4api@gmail.com.

I do not have an academic background in astronomy, can I still apply?

Yes, however a background in physics or very closely related field is mandatory. Please be clear in describing how your skills and knowledge match the projects you have selected.

How should I send the documentation?

Here you can find all the information. The application will be run through a google form.

How big can the uploaded files be?

The file sizes for your documentation is specified in the google form.

Are late applications accepted?

No, late applications will not be accepted.

When will you make offers?

We expect to announce the outcome of the selection process in late May.

What should I do if the application process fails?

If you receive error messages during the application process or your PDFs fail to upload, try to restart the process. If everything else fails, please get in contact with us at aspire4api@gmail.com as soon as possible.

How can I promote the ASPIRE summer program?

You can freely download and distribute our poster which contains the essential information about our program. Click here or use the top menu to navigate to the page.

I didn't find my question in this FAQ. Who can I contact for further information?

You can send any inquiries regarding the programme to aspire4api@gmail.com.