Research Experience for Students
The ICG offers a variety of research opportunities aimed at providing experience of working as an academic scientist.
- Undergraduate Summer Research Placements
- Build a satellite this summer – two 4-week summer placements available in 2022
- ICG astrophysics research placements – one or two 8- or 4-week summer placements available in 2022
- SEPNet placements available in 2022 – apply through the SEPNet placement scheme website
- Year 12 4-6 week summer “Nuffield Research Scheme”
- Year 10 Work Experience
For details on how to apply please continue reading.
Undergraduate Summer Internships
Undergraduate projects available in Summer 2022 will be continually added.
CanSat Research Placements – two placements available for summer 2022
For the first time we will be launching a summer program on building small satellites. We are looking for two undergraduates to lead a pilot project building CanSats (satellites that fits inside of a 330ml drink can). This will require, building, integration and testing the CanSat and developing software. The projects will be of 4-weeks duration and expected to start in July.
We are seeking undergrads excited about space technologies and with an interest in either instrumentation, software or both.
If you are interested in building a satellite please send an application to Dr. Becky Canning (becky.canning ‘at’ port.ac.uk) by the midnight Friday 22nd April 2022. This should comprise a CV and a cover letter indicating why you are interested in this project. The successful applicants will be notified by 30th April 2022.
University Funded Research Placements
We are sometimes able to support University of Portsmouth funded projects. In 2022 we will be supporting one or two short summer projects (8- or 4-week research internships).
To apply for these (if you are not eligible for either SEPNet or Ogden) please send an application to Dr. Becky Canning (becky.canning ‘at’ port.ac.uk) by the midnight Friday 22nd April 2022. This should comprise a CV (including details of your University units and specific details on marks in different units) along with a cover letter indicating why you are interested in a placement in Portsmouth, and what type of project you would be most interested in. The successful applicants will be notified by 30th April 2022.
1. Using redshift space distortions to test dark energy – Dr Johannes Noller
Redshift space distortions (RSDs) are one of the key observables for measuring how matter clusters together and how structures form in cosmology. They are a tracer of the velocity field of matter (e.g. of galaxies) and this velocity field in turn is an excellent tracer of the distribution of matter in the Universe. How matter clumps together and forms structure is highly sensitive to the nature of gravity or potential new physics present in the form of dark energy. In this project we will therefore use a range of RSD measurements from different cosmological surveys to test different theories of dark energy.
2. Exploring new black-holes and compact objects spacetimes – Dr Marco Bruni
SEPNet Placements at ICG
Undergraduate student at SEPNet (South East Physics Network) Universities can apply for the SEPNet placement scheme to spend eight weeks working on a research project at ICG. The scheme is only for physics undergraduates on Year 2 BSc/MSci/MPhys programmes and Year 3 MPhys/MSci programmes at SEPnet partner universities (Hertfordshire, Kent, Open, Portsmouth, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex). Eligible students will be emailed instructions about how to apply and more details can be found on the SEPNet placement scheme website.
Ogden Trust Placements at ICG
Often the Ogden Trust offers 6-8 week paid internships. These are open to Ogden alumni (i.e. gifted physicists (mainly) currently or previously on means-tested scholarships). They are advertised to Ogden undergraduates in all years and to Ogden students in their final year at school. ICG is pleased to support this scheme and continue at least one Ogden placement each summer. Students must apply via the Ogden Trust.
Public Engagement Placements
Sadly we are not able to support a public engagement placement in summer 2022 but we hope to continue this in future years.
Recently we have also supported a variety of public engagement placements. In 2017, the following public engagement placements ran. Please click here for further details about the two projects:
- Investigating the impact of the Portsmouth StargazingLIVE events at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. (Funded by an STFC Small Award). Dr. Karen Masters and Dr. Jen Gupta
- The Tactile Universe Outreach Internship. (Funded by The Ogden Trust). Dr. Jen Gupta, Dr. Nic Bonne and Dr. Coleman Krawczyk
For more information on potential future public engagement placements please contact Dr. Jen Gupta (jennifer.gupta ‘at’ port.ac.uk).
Examples of previous Undergraduate Research Placements
- 2015 Summer Research Placements
- 2016 Summer Research Placements
- 2017 Summer Research Placements
- 2021 Summer Research Placements
Nuffield Research Placements
Nuffield Research Placements is a UK-wide scheme giving students in the first year of post-16 studies a chance to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians for 4 – 6 weeks over the summer holidays. ICG has supported this scheme for the last several years, typically taking 1-2 students each summer.
Students eligible for this scheme are:
- In their first year of post-16 studies (Year 12 or equivalent).
- Studying one or more A-levels (or equivalent) in maths, science, engineering or a technology-related subjects.
- Studying at a UK school or college and resident in the UK.
(Anyone studying for a degree, or similar higher-level qualification, at a university or college is not eligible to apply)
- Available for a minimum of four consecutive weeks during the school summer holiday period.
In addition the scheme is targeted at students who:
- Have 5 GCSEs at grade B or above, including Maths, English and a science.
- Have an interest in studying science, technology, engineering or maths at university.
- Want to find out more about careers in STEM.
To ensure no-one is excluded because of financial need, travel costs are provided for all students, and means tested burseries are also available.
Students from all schools and colleges in the UK are eligible to apply to the scheme. However,the Nuffield Foundation (and ICG) are particularly keen to encourage students with no family history of Higher Education, or who have not had the opportunity to participate in an enrichment activity of this nature before, to apply. Only a small number of places on the scheme are awarded to independent students each year.
News items about previous Nuffield Research Placement Students:
Examples of previous research projects:
- Summer 2015: Exploring the morphologies of galaxies in single-band SDSS images
- Summer 2014: An investigation in how the prominence of spiral arms correlates (or not) with measures of ongoing star formation in spiral galaxies.
Year 10 Work Experience Week
In June we sometimes run a special “work experience week” inviting local young people from Y10 to spend a week at the ICG. This is a chance to experience the environment of a professional astronomer or cosmologist. You will work on a small research project with a research supervisor (one of the ICG Academic Staff or Postdoctoral Researchers), as well as participate in a range of specially designed activities (e.g. tailored lecturers, and a campus tour). You will also get chance to meet other young people interested in exploring astronomy/cosmology as a career.
Unfortunately we are unable to run this in 2022. We hope it will be back in 2023. However, we may be able to accommodate individual work experience students – do contact the ICG if you are interested.
We especially encourage applications from students who aren’t sure that a career in science is for them, but are interested in exploring their options.
News items about previous work experience visits:
- 2016 Work Experience Week
- 2015 Work Experience Week
- 2014 Work Experience Week
- 2013 Work Experience Visits
If you would like to discuss a different research experience placement we may be able to accommodate a your requests. Please contact the ICG Work Experience and Research Placements Organizer, Dr. Becky Canning via becky.canning ‘at’ port.ac.uk for more details.