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 about 15 January 2024 and the program will start 28 June 2024.

When is the deadline for applications?

The deadline for applications for the current round is listed at the top of the home page.

How do I apply?

Visit the application page here.

When is it, and for how long?

The program will run for about 6 weeks in June/July/August . For exact dates, see the home page.

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 takes place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the Anton Pannekoek Institute (API) for Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam.

Do I need to attend the whole 6 weeks?

Yes. Students should plan to be available for the full period of the programme.

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).

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. We do, however, give strong priority to students who through their regular place of education have less access to frontline research in astronomy. Students in an integrated MSc/BSc programme may apply, provided the programme has a total length of at least 5 years, and the student has completed the first 3 of those years.

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, provided you are elgible for the appropriate visa to travel to and stay in Amsterdam.

I am not European, can I apply?

Yes, most definitely.

Does it cost anything?

No. The program is completely free. We pay for travel, lodging, and food and living expenses.

Do I need to book accommodation?

No. We will arrange accommodation for all accepted participants.

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?

We would like to have all reference letters by the application deadline.

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 are 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 March.

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.