ODI Program in Chile

Claudio Rivera Chilean Student presentation
Claudio Rivera, NRAO ODI Chile summer intern, presenting at the SOCHIA 2016 meeting


Program Manager- Antonio Hales


The ODI Chile Program

NRAO's Office of Diversity & Inclusion's Chile Program is a new initiative designed to broaden participation of under-served and underrepresented populations in the field of astronomy.


NRAO, through ODI Chile, aspires to provide learning opportunities in Radio Astronomy for the under-represented. This means is that the ODI Chile program will provide opportunities for underrepresented students to undertake research, with NRAO scientists, in the area of radio astronomy.  The ideal is for the development of long-term mentor/mentee relationships leading to eventual professional opportunities for the interns.

ODI Chile Organization

ODI Chile is part of the NRAO Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The Program Manager is Antonio Hales.

Summer Internship Opportunities

The NRAO/AUI Office of Diversity and Inclusion is pleased to announce that applications to its summer student research program for undergraduates in Chile will be accepted beginning September 1, 2016.  Students project may involve any aspect of astronomy ('full-spectrum' astronomy), including original research, instrumentation, telescope design, astronomical site evaluation or astronomical software development.

The internship will be conducted in the offices of the Joint ALMA Observatory, in Santiago, Chile, under the supervision of NRAO/ALMA scientific staff.

Students from all Chilean universities are eligible to participate in the program. NRAO/ALMA Supervisor's choose their own student candidates from all applications received. Students are encouraged to review the webpages of the NRAO ALMA staff for an idea of the types of research being conducted at the NRAO.

Who is eligible for this summer research opportunity?

The NRAO Chile undergraduate research experience program is open to undergraduates currently enrolled in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) course at a Chilean university. The internship will be conducted primarily in English; interns will be expected to be able to read scientific literature in English.  A radio astronomy background is not required, but a solid BcS astronomy level background is essential.  Preference will be given to 3rd and 4th year students.  We are particularly interested in recruiting students from universities in the vicinity of radio telescopes.

How long is the program?

The program runs from 8-10 weeks over the summer, from mid-December to mid/end-February, 2017.  At the end of the summer, participants present their research results as a short talk, and submit a written report. Often, these projects result in publications in scientific journals. Financial support may be available for students to present their summer research, if appropriate, at the yearly meeting of the Chilean Astronomical Society (SOCHIAS).

Is there financial assistance?

Stipends are available for the 2016 summer student program:

  • US$120/week for Santiago residents (i.e., those with housing in Santiago)
  • US$200/week for non-Santiago residents (i.e., those who will need to obtain temporary housing)
  • Actual travel expenses to and from Santiago (if needed) may be reimbursed, up to a maximum of US$300.

Students are expected to arrange their own lodging prior to arrival in Santiago. Housing resources are listed at "Information for Incoming Summer Students."

When would I start?

The start dates for the 2016/2017 program are December 14th and Feb 24th (with a short recess during the holidays). A later start date is possible if necessary due to travel or academic schedule.  Students are expected to be on site for 8 to 10 consecutive weeks.

How do I apply?

An Application Portal will be opened on September 1st, 2016. In order to prepare your application, here is a list of the required application materials:

  • a statement of interest in the program, to include your interest in STEM careers (and astronomy, in particular), and anything about your background and experience that may help us make a decision regarding this opportunity
  • copies of (unofficial) transcripts from all colleges or universities attended. You will be asked to upload these transcripts as a single PDF
  • letters of recommendation from two people who can evaluate your ability, experience, and potential. You will be asked to upload these letters as a PDF.

When are the applications due?

Applications are due no later than close of business, Monday, October 31, 2016.

When can I expect to hear a decision?

Initial offers of appointments will be made on November 15th, 2016.