How to Apply to AstroTech

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Important Dates

Fall 2020: Application opens!

January 21, 2021: Deadline to apply

Late February March 2021 or later: Applicants notified

July 18, 2021: Participants arrive

July 19 – 23, 2021: Summer School at UC Berkeley

July 24, 2021: Participants depart



  1. Create an account on the application portal
  2. Fill out the information section of the online application completely.
  3. Upload unofficial transcripts
  4. Submit the name and contact of at least 1 reference*
  5. Review and submit part A by January 21, 2021
  6. You will be sent part B when it becomes available sometime after January 21, 2021

*References will be emailed a link to complete a reference questionnaire instead of submitting letters. Deadline for all parts of the application, including transcripts and reference questionnaire(s), is January 21, 2021 


Begin the process early! 

Gather unofficial transcripts and notify references of the deadline to submit their reference questionnaire. 

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact

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The AstroTech Summer School application consists of two parts in 2021. 

  1. Part A, which opens in Fall 2020, is our regular application. 
  2. Part B, which will be available in early 2021, will include questions that relate to your ability and willingness to adhere to precautionary measures that are required due to COVID-19, as described in the AstroTech 2021 COVID-19 info page.  AstroTech will announce the format, as well as precautionary measures required of all participants and instructors early in 2021, after the application Part A closes. Part B of the application will be sent to all applicants at that time. See the “Required Materials” section below.

***Both parts, A and B, are required and must be submitted for your application to be considered complete. ***

Applicants must submit Part A by January 21, 2021 deadline. Part B will become available after Part A closes. Thus, applicants should not wait for Part B to be available to submit their application.  

- Selection Criteria -

We consider various factors in the selection process. Applicants will have the opportunity to address these factors through written responses on the application form, by identifying a reference for further input, and by providing relevant academic transcripts. See the section on “Required Materials” below, for details on each part.

The following lists our selection criteria:

  • Career goals related to instrumentation
  • Value of AstroTech to the applicant (uniqueness of opportunity and alignment with applicant’s career interests)
  • Prior coursework and academic performance relevant to instrumentation
  • Skills or experience relevant to instrumentation (we will consider technical skills/experience, and broader skills/experience with creating things and addressing open-ended problems) 
  • Interest in equity & inclusion
  • Interest in improving teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Availability for the full duration of the summer school

Additionally, a core goal of AstroTech is to help reverse the underrepresentation of people of color, women and gender minorities, and other marginalized groups in astronomy instrumentation.  We especially encourage individuals from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Required Materials

Online application: Part A (opens fall 2020)

  • Information section
  • References section
  • Transcripts section

Online application: Part B (opens early 2021)

  • Questionnaire related to COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Information section 

Answer questions about your interest in AstroTech, personal background and experiences, and career motivations.


Provide contact information (email address) for a reference who can speak to your experience and interest in a discipline related to astronomical instrumentation. 

Named references will receive an email with a personalized link to submit a questionnaire to address your career goals, motivation, and teamwork, and how AstroTech will be a beneficial opportunity to you. We are looking to hear from a reference who can speak to your experience and interest in a discipline related to astronomical instrumentation (astronomy, physics, engineering, computer science). Letters of recommendation will not be accepted.

We recommend that you submit your reference’s contact information as soon as you begin the application. They will receive a questionnaire that they must submit by January 21, the same date your application responses, transcript(s), and application part A are due.

Transcripts section

  • Providing unofficial academic transcript(s) for all relevant institutions

***All required materials defined above can be provided via the online application form via “apply now” button at top of page ***

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To be eligible for the summer school, applicants must be studying or working in the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories) in 2021. U.S. citizenship is not required. 

Academic level:

“Upper-level” undergraduate students (at least two years of undergraduate experience prior to attending the summer school) or graduate students in the first two years of a graduate program, whether terminating in a Masters or PhD.  

Individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree but are not enrolled in a graduate program are also eligible.  

 Disciplinary background:

Technical work in astronomy instrumentation includes a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds in engineering, physics, astronomy, and computer science. We will consider applicants in any of these disciplinary areas.

**We will also consider applications from individuals outside of the above described academic or disciplinary background, who can demonstrate the value of AstroTech to their career trajectory.**

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Individuals with questions about AstroTech should contact AstroTech program staff –