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Astrobiology REU

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Academic Level:
For most summer research programs, this is your upcoming status as of the fall. Always check with the individual program's website for details.

Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior

Students will work with scientists at the SETI Institute and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center on projects spanning the field of astrobiology from microbiology to planetary geology to observational astronomy.

Who should apply

Current Sophomore and Junior Undergraduate Students who are United States Citizens or Permanent Residents

Financial support

$4500 ($450/week) - In addition, participants will be provided with dorm housing and a $50/week food allowance. Travel reimbursement is up to $600 for travel from home or campus to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Program

The SETI Institute (, a non-profit private scientific research institution located in California?s Silicon Valley, invites you to apply for a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates program for highly motivated students interested in astrobiology research. You will work with scientists at the SETI Institute and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center on projects spanning the field of astrobiology from microbiology to observational astronomy.

The program includes a week-long field trip to the SETI Institute?s Allen Telescope Array, located at the Hat Creek Radio Astronomy Observatory in Northern California, as well as a field experience at hydrothermal systems at nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park. Students will also participate in local field trips to places like the California Academy of Sciences and other nearby locations of scientific interest, and attend seminars, lectures, and discussions on astrobiology. You will live in dormitory housing near the campus of the NASA Ames Research Center and observatory facilities at Hat Creek. At the end of the summer you will give presentations on your research projects, and the best projects will be selected for submission to a national scientific conference, which the selected students will be funded to attend.

Three main research areas will be emphasized, with projects including:

-Biochemistry and the Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth -Detection of biosignatures

-Survival of microbes under extreme conditions

-Planetary Science and the Search for Life in the Solar System -Asteroid dynamics

-Mars geomorphology and spectroscopy

-Astronomy and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) -Meteor showers and their parent comets

-SETI and radio astronomy.

Application Deadline: 2/1/2024

Participating Institution(s):
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SETI Institute (Lead)
NASA Ames Research Center

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Computational Sciences
Geological Sciences

Optical Spectroscopy
Planetary Geology
Planetary Science
Space Sciences

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Page last updated 3/22/2023
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