Summer Undergraduate Research Awards

**Applications for the 2024 TSI SURA are now open!**

TSI Summer Undergraduate Research Awards are a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to join TSI’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 TSI’s research areas here.

Undergraduate summer researchers will also be able to participate in our TSI 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.


Value of the Award: Undergraduates selected for TSI SURAs receive a total stipend of approximately $8300 for the whole summer. Projects are typically carried out over 14 to 16 weeks during the summer (starting on or around the first week of May).

Deadline to apply: Feb. 22, 2024 , 11:59 PM


Who can apply: 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 Trottier Space Institute at McGill Space is committed to equity, diversity, 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 application form.

Please include the following documents, all of which must be uploaded to the online form as PDFs:

  • A statement of interest (1-2 pages) that includes: your motivation for applying for the TSI SURA, your relevant experiences, your research interests, and how they align with TSI’s research areas. 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)

More information on what to include in your Statement of Interest and CV can be found in “Guidance on preparing your application materials” at the button of this page.


Research Areas & Supervisors:

Summer undergraduate researchers can work with any of TSI's faculty members:

  • Robert Brandenberger (Physics)
  • Cynthia Chiang (Physics)
  • Jim Cline (Physics)
  • Nicolas Cowan (Physics, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
  • Andrew Cumming (Physics)
  • Matt Dobbs (Physics)
  • Natalya Gomez (Earth & Planetary Sciences)
  • Daryl Haggard (Physics)
  • Oscar Hernandez (Physics)
  • Yi Huang (Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences)
  • Vicky Kaspi (Physics)
  • Eve J. Lee (Physics)
  • Adrian Liu (Physics)
  • Nagissa Mahmoudi (Earth & Planetary Sciences)
  • Ken Ragan (Physics)
  • Richard Léveillé (Earth & Planetary Sciences)
  • Katelin Schutz (Physics)
  • Jonathan Sievers (Physics)
  • Tracy Webb (Physics)
  • Lyle Whyte (Natural Resource Sciences)

We recommend visiting professors’ research website to learn more about what they work on. Some available summer research projects with Physics professors can be found on the Physics Department's summer undergraduate website


Science Education & EDI projects: 

Projects with a science education or equity, diversity, and inclusion component will also be considered. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, please include information about what you’d like to work on in your Statement of Interest.


Contact Information

If you have any questions about the application process or TSI, please contact the TSI Program Administrator, Carolina Cruz-Vinaccia.


Some Guidance on Preparing your Application Materials (non-exhaustive):

What to address in your Statement of Interest (1 - 2 pages long):

  • Motivation for applying: why you’re interested in pursuing summer research, including what your goals are and how this program contributes to them (e.g is the application a stepping stone to longer term career goals like graduate school, job in the private sector, etc)
  • What you hope to gain from the experience: skills you hope to acquire, and how those skills will help you achieve your goals
  • Experience you’ve gained so far (either within or outside academia) and how that is related to your motivation and goals
  • Research fit: which projects/supervisors at TSI you’re interested in and why
  • Capacity for engagement: why this program and TSI are a good fit for you, and what you hope to contribute to the program
  • If you’re interested in pursuing a Science Education or Science Communication component in your work, please elaborate on what you’d to do and how you see it aligning

Things to consider when putting together your CV:

  • That it’s organized and contains all necessary information
  • Experience outside the classroom can be varied: clubs, organizations, jobs, extra-curriculars, volunteering
  • Specify what you accomplished and the skills you gained from each experience
  • Highlight any areas where you’ve shown leadership skills or have a track record of achievement (if applicable)
  • Note: Significant out-of-classroom experience is not expected for students in their 1st or 2nd year

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