Northwestern University, CIERA - Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics

826 23766
Reu ID:Northwestern-CIERA-REU [#23766]
Reu Title: CIERA REU Student
Reu Type:Student programs
Location:Evanston, Illinois 60208, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Astrophysics
Appl Deadline: finished (2022/11/17, finished 2023/08/05, listed until 2023/02/01)

*** this reu has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Apply here for Northwestern University's CIERA Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU): Astrophysics in its Modern Interdisciplinary Context.
For program details, please visit


We highly value diversity. Women, members of under-represented groups (including ethnic, racial and gender), and students from small colleges without astronomy and/or physics PhD programs are all encouraged to apply.

The NSF will only fund REU positions for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent residents of the U.S.. If you are not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident of the U.S., and you can obtain your own funding and are interested in our program, you can inquire by emailing In this case, please do not submit an application before contacting us.

Also the NSF will only fund REU positions for students who are enrolled in a degree program (part-time or full-time) leading to a baccalaureate or associate degree. Students who are transferring from one college or university to another and are enrolled at neither institution during the intervening summer may participate. Students who have received their bachelor’s degrees and are no longer enrolled as undergraduates are generally not eligible to participate.


You will need to provide the names and email addresses of two referees who have agreed to write letters of recommendation. We encourage you to fill out this online application form as early as possible so that your referees have sufficient time to upload their letters of recommendation.

There are two pages to the application; the first is a coversheet that is standard for the service that we use, and the second is specific to our REU. There may be a few duplicate questions between the two pages, but please fill them all out to the best of your ability. We recognize that the online form (linked above) has room for improvements. Nonetheless, this is a very popular website for academic job applications, and many of your future applications for other positions may use a similar format. We’ve attempted to provide very clear instructions, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email

We will send our first round offers on March 1, 2023, and we will allow students one week to reply to any offer. Please note that Astronomy and Physics REU site directors may have slightly different offer and response dates, though we have coordinated to ensure that students will receive all their Astronomy and/or Physics REU first-round offers before you are required to respond to ours. If you are required to respond to an offer for a domestic Astronomy or Physics REU prior to March 1, 2023, please notify Because of necessary organizational lead time, international REU sites may require earlier response dates.


Top 5 Research Topic Choices

In the online form, you will indicate your top 5 choices among the possible research topics available to pursue during the summer CIERA-REU program.

Education, Work Experience, and Plans for the Future

In the online form, we ask a series of short answer questions about your educational background, previous work and/or research experience, your interests, and plans for the future.

Background in Computers

In the online form you will describe your background with computers and computer programming. You will be asked to specify your expertise in a variety of programming languages (e.g., Python, C/C++, MatLab, etc.) and also given space to include a list of additional coding languages that you are familiar with. Also list any computer science and/or tech courses you may have taken.

Important note: Programming experience is not a requirement for our REU. We seek students with a range of computational backgrounds and will provide research opportunities appropriate for beginner to advanced levels in computing. Our REU is designed to help you develop these computational skills.

College Transcript

We require copies of transcripts from all current and former colleges and universities you have attended. These do NOT need to be official copies. Scanned copies or other electronic versions are fine; please be sure that your name is included on the transcript (this is sometimes not the case with transcripts that students can access online). Official copies may be requested for students who receive offers; if requested, the offer will be contingent upon the receipt of the official transcripts.

Upload a PDF version. If you have multiple transcripts, please combine them into a single PDF file.

While we take these grades into account, student’s enthusiasm, initiative, and future goals are equally as important.

Letters of Recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation. In the online form you will provide us the email addresses for your references. We will email them instructions. In the online portal, you will be able to view the status of your letters of recommendation.

Suitable referees include professors who know you well and researchers you have worked with. Referees from high school are normally only a good choice if this is your first year since finishing high school.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the description.

Further Info:
email address
CIERA - Northwestern University
1800 Sherman Ave. 8th floor
Evanston, IL 60201 , USA