Summer Undergraduate Research Award

The McGill Space Institute (MSI) is calling for applications from undergraduate students for the MSI Summer Undergraduate Research Awards.

MSI Summer Undergraduate Research Awards are a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to join the MSI’s interdisciplinary, vibrant community of over 100 researchers, while engaging in cutting-edge research in astrophysics, planetary science, atmospheric science, or astrobiology. You can learn more about the MSI’s research areas here.

Undergraduate summer researchers will also be able to participate in our MSI Undergraduate Summer Program, a weekly seminar and workshops series culminating in a research showcase. The primary goals of this weekly seminar series are to provide guidance and mentorship for students at the earliest stage of their research careers, and foster a sense of community among our summer researchers.

MSI Summer Undergraduate Research Awards are valued at $3500, which will be matched by your supervisor. Projects are typically carried out over 14 to 16 weeks.

Deadline to apply: February 28, 2021 (11:59 pm EST)


All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program in physics, astrophysics, planetary sciences, astrobiology, or a related field at a Canadian university are eligible to apply.

The McGill Space Institute is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the community. We invite applications from all eligible candidates, and especially those who are members of underrepresented groups, including women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous People, racialized people/visible minorities, and LGBTQIA+ people (sexual orientation and/or gender identity minorities).

How to apply:

To submit your application, fill out the following form. Please include the following documents, all of which must be uploaded to the online form as PDFs:

  • A short statement of interest (max. 1 page) that includes your research interests and motivation for applying. If you have a strong preference for a particular supervisor or project, please include that in your statement.
  • CV
  • A copy of your most recent transcript (official transcripts preferred, but unofficial transcripts will be accepted as well)

Research Areas & Supervisors:

The MSI faculty members who are looking to supervise summer research students are:

  • Cynthia Chiang (Physics)
  • Nicolas Cowan (Physics, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
  • Andrew Cumming (Physics)
  • Matt Dobbs (Physics)
  • Natalya Gomez (Earth & Planetary Sciences)
  • Daryl Haggard (Physics)
  • Vicky Kaspi (Physics)
  • Eve J. Lee (Physics)
  • Adrian Liu (Physics)
  • Ken Ragan (Physics)
  • Tracy Webb (Physics)
  • Lyle Whyte (Natural Resource Sciences)

We recommend visiting professors’ research websites or contacting them directly to learn more about what they work on. Contact information can be found on the MSI Faculty page. Some available summer research projects with Physics professors can be found on the Physics Department website. Projects with a science education or equity, diversity, and inclusion component will also be considered.

If you have any questions about the application process or the MSI, please contact the MSI Coordinator, Carolina Cruz-Vinaccia.

The MSI Summer Undergraduate Research Awards are made possible by a generous donation from the Trottier Family Foundation.

*Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly likely that the vast majority of projects will be remotely supervised.