How to Apply to AstroTech

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Important Dates

Fall 2021: Application opens!

January 20, 2022: Deadline to apply

Early March 2022: Applicants notified

August 7, 2022: Participants arrive

August 8 – 12, 2022: Summer School at UC Berkeley

August 13, 2022: Participants depart 

Steps

Steps:

  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 20, 2022
  6. You will be sent part B when it becomes available sometime after January 20, 2022

*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 20, 2022 

Tips:

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 astrotech@ucsc.edu

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Application

The AstroTech Summer School application consists of two required parts: 

  1. Part A, which opens in Fall, is the main application. 
  2. Part B, which will be available in late Winter, is a supplementary questionnaire that includes questions relating to your ability and willingness to adhere to precautionary measures that are required due to COVID-19, as described in the AstroTech COVID-19 info page. AstroTech will announce the format, as well as precautionary measures required of all participants and instructors early, 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 the January 20, 2022 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.  

Required Materials

Online application: Part A (opens in Fall)

  • Information section
  • References section
  • Transcripts section

Online application: Part B (opens late Winter)

  • Questionnaire related to COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Information section 

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

References 

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 20, 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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Eligibility and 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” above, for details on each application section. 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.

— Selection Criteria Overview —

  • Interest in a career in astronomical instrumentation and value of AstroTech toward that goal (uniqueness of opportunity and career alignment)
  • 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 diversity, equity and inclusion, and becoming a more inclusive team member to improve teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Availability for the full duration of the summer school

Interest in a career in astronomical instrumentation:

Priority is given to applicants who are interested in pursuing a career in astronomical instrumentation. 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 fields. Applicants are encouraged to bring up any part of their background that demonstrates their interest in an instrumentation career in their application.

Academic level:

Priority is given to “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 (including those not currently enrolled), and are intenting to pursue graduate studies related to astronomical instrumentation are also considered.  

**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 in astronomical instrumentation.**

Interest in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):

A core goal of AstroTech is to increase participation of women, people of color, and other marginalized groups in astronomy instrumentation, and contribute to making the field a more inclusive environment. Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate their interest in DEI in general (through involvement in activities, organizations, personal experiences, etc.), and specifically in AstroTech’s focus on how to be a more inclusive team member.

Citizenship:

To be eligible for the summer school, applicants must be studying or working in the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories) during the program year i.e., 2022. U.S. citizenship is not required. 

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Contact

Individuals with questions about AstroTech should contact AstroTech program staff – astrotech@ucsc.edu