Students in the 2010 CASS Summer Vacation program.

Students in the 2010 CASS Summer Vacation program.

Summer scholarships in space

Summer vacation scholarships are available with CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS).

  • 4 August 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011

Overview of summer vacation program

CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS) is the premier radio astronomy facility in Australia. Headquartered in Sydney, it operates world-class observatories at Parkes and Narrabri in New South Wales, and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex at Tidbinbilla near Canberra. It is currently building the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) in Western Australia.

Research projects offered in the summer vacation program are usually in the areas of astronomy/astrophysics, computing, engineering and outreach/education. Most placements will be at CASS headquarters in Marsfield, Sydney. A computing position will be at the Paul Wild Observatory at Narrabri, NSW, and the education/outreach project will be at the Parkes Observatory, NSW. Scholarships are available for 10 working weeks in the period 28 November 2011 to 10 February 2012.

All students are expected to be present in Sydney at the start of the program and to be available to work between these dates.

Students receive a weekly stipend. Each student undertakes a research project under the supervision of a research scientist or outreach specialist.

The program also includes an observing trip of several days to the Narrabri Observatory, where students will work in small teams and use the radio telescope to take observations for their own projects. Students will be selected according to their interests and the project needs of the supervisor, taking into account academic merit and referees' statements.


Accommodation costs are paid by students.

We can arrange reasonably-priced accommodation for students working in Sydney.

CASS headquarters are located at the Radiophysics Laboratory in Marsfield, 20 km north-west of the Sydney city centre and close to Macquarie University.

Students placed at an observatory can be provided with on-site accommodation.

Travel expenses

Students living outside Sydney will be given the cost of an economy rail fare, or the cheapest available airfare, to and from their nearest capital city.

Students placed at Parkes will receive some assistance for travel to and from Sydney during the program.


CSIRO summer vacation scholarships are available at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science for graduate and undergraduate students who have completed undergraduate courses of three years or more in relevant disciplines.

Participants undertake a research project under the supervision of a research scientist.

These include:

  • astronomy
  • physics
  • computer science
  • science education
  • science communication

and closely related subjects.

How to apply

Applications for the ATNF Summer Vacation Program must be made online. Go to the CSIRO Careers site and in Current Vacancies search for NSW00515. Details of the program and specific projects are available here.

Your application must address the selection criteria, and include:

  • your four most preferred projects (in order of preference);
  • why you would like to participate in the program, with some information about your academic background and your longer-term career goals; and
  • your curriculum vitae/resume, with details of the subjects you have studied and the grades you have obtained.

Applications are open now, and close on 28 August 2011.

Discover more about CSIRO's work in Astronomy & Space Technologies.