ASPIRE 2021 Astrophysics Summer Program for International Research Experience

Deadline: 15th April 2021

ASPIRE 2021 Astrophysics Summer Program for International Research Experience

We are excited to welcome applications for the second edition of ASPIRE (Astrophysics Summer Program for International Research Experience) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands!

ASPIRE will be a 8-week online programme for highly-motivated students to work at the cutting-edge of astronomical research at the Anton Pannekoek Institute (API), University of Amsterdam. Our goal is to give you the experience of astronomical research at a world-leading institute and help kick-start your journey into a science career and all the other avenues it can open. You’ll gain new research skills and an advisor who will be your guide and mentor. We are especially seeking students whose opportunities to access to such experiences are currently limited.

With ASPIRE, you’ll be working on exciting 8-week individual research projects with our API postdocs and PhDs, while embedded within a faculty-led research group, taking place in the Dutch summer time between 14 June – 06 August 2021. Our topics range from exoplanets and their atmospheres, to the extreme astrophysics of massive star explosions, transients and black holes.

The projects cover different aspects of theory, modelling and observational research, and will introduce you to members of the different API research groups. ASPIRE will also include a once-a week series of tailored lectures by API researchers who will provide some basics on programming and research skills, as well as an exciting look into the research frontiers we explore at the API.

We will have several online social events throughout the programme too so you can meet API researchers, from MSc and PhD students to the postdocs and the faculty. At the end of the program, we will hold the ASPIRE symposium, where you and your fellow ASPIRE students will present short talks on your research achievements from the program.


In order to apply, be sure that you meet the following requirements:

  • Be available for (most of) the 8-week programme (14th June-6th August 2021).
  • A student who is not currently enrolled in a PhD program and has already started (or finished) an MSc in a physics or astronomy (or very closely related field) student with a passion for astronomy research.
  • A strong and confident working level of English.


You will need the following in order to fill in the application form:

    • Curriculum vitae (1-3 pages)
    • List of relevant Physics/Astronomy degree courses taken
  • Motivation letter (2 page max, not more than 1500 words)
    The letter should contain the following details, in no particular order:

    • Why do you think you should be selected for our programme?
    • Which are your existing skills?
    • What is your background?
    • How do you see yourself benefiting from this program?
  • One reference letter. The candidate should arrange a referee to submit a letter in support of their application. This referee should be someone who can speak about the candidate’s potential and abilities as a researcher, and not just a lecturer of a class who does not know the candidate that well. The candidate should arrange for the letter of recommendation to be sent by the referee to [email protected], with the candidate’s name as the subject line. IMPORTANT: Please provide the letter writer with the following PDF of instructions: View and Download template here

IMPORTANT: All your documents should be submitted as PDFs and with file names no longer than 10 characters, and files sizes less than 2Mb. Please make sure your CV and motivation letter pdfs are named as follows: fullname_CV.pdf and fullname_motivation.pdf.

If you have the above documentation, please follow the link below to apply. The link will send you to our application form. Please register and follow the instructions. There you will be able to upload the documents.


For more Information: Visit the website for ASPIRE 2021 Astrophysics Summer Program for International Research Experience

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