Summer Internship 2024 at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg 

(Ref.no. 356)

Your tasks and our offer:

The MPIA offers a number of positions for internships every year to bright bachelors and masters students who desire to acquire hand-on experience of research and instrument development in astronomy, or wish to fulfill their degree's requirement. At least two internships will be awarded to candidates from developing countries (see attached list).

The institute invites students to work full-time for up to three months on various research projects (see attached list). Travel costs are supported and a salary is offered (~1000€/month, or ~820€/month net with full social benefits), as necessary. The internship typically takes place during the summer (between May and September) but not necessarily. Assistance will be provided to seek accommodations as close as possible to the institute or the city centre -which is not easy in such a touristic city as Heidelberg.

Your Application:

The applications for the 2024 internship are NOW OPEN.

Please submit the application through our web application portal (https://career.mpia.de/). Below are the required documents for the Summer 2024 application. Please review the information carefully as some details have changed relative to previous years. The deadline for applications is February 9, 2024 (midnight anywhere in the world).

In 2024 we expect to have ~10 internship positions.

Non-EU national bachelor students: please see the important note at the bottom of this page.
Feel free to contact the coordinator, Dr. Ivelina Momcheva (internship@mpia.de) for more information.

All applications and reference letters must be submitted using our online application system.

The application process is the following:

1) Register at the online application portal

2) Upload the following four required documents in four separate PDF files in the web portal (note: only PDF is accepted):

- Your curriculum vitae (CV). The CV should be up to three pages long. Please include the following information (if relevant): current enrollment status, expected graduation date and average grade; prior post-graduate education, enrollment dates and average grades; other relevant education (e.g., online courses, summer schools, etc.); a short summary of prior research experiences, topics, length and supervisor; computer skills and programing experience; lab and instrumentation experience; awards, scholarships, internships; work and volunteer experiences; extracurricular activities; contact information; links to professional online profiles (e.g., personal webpage, GitHub, LinkedIn); other information relevant to the internship and project requirements. The CV should not include a photo of the applicant.

- A transcript of your grades (e.g., scans of certificates; pre-university level are not required); these do not need to be translated, but a transcription of grades written in non-latin alphabet would be appreciated.

- A cover letter listing your top 3 selected projects. Please use the form provided here and check the boxes of your selected projects. The selection is not ranked. A description of all 2024 projects is available in the list of projects document. The cover letter is just the list of projects. No additional cover letter is expected. 

- A brief one-page research statement that motivates your application. The research statement can include some (but probably not all) of the following topics: a brief summary of previous research experiences; a discussion of what interests you about the selected projects and why you think you are a good candidate for them; how your skills fit the requirements of the projects; an explanation of what motivates you to do scientific research in astronomy; a discussion of how this internship fits with your future educational and career goals; examples of situations where you demonstrated grit, preseverance or overcame challenges. If your major is not astronomy and/or you do not have any astronomy courses, please describe what other experiences have prepared you for this internship.

3) Have a single letter of reference uploaded into the system. You need to provide the email address of the letter writer in the application system. An invitation will be automatically send to them and they will be able to upload a confidential letter. 

We first select candidates based on preparation in astronomy, their previous research experience, technical expertise, motivation and grades. In the second stage, for short-listed candidates, we review the recommendation letters and search for a good supervision match based on the students’ interests, schedule, and expertise. There are no minimum requirements candidates need to meet to be considered. All applications are reviewed. 

Important note for non-EU nationals seeking an internship for their Bachelor’s degree due to administrative visa constraints: the internship must take place while the applicant is still studying for their Bachelor’s to the final day of the internship. The student must obtain their degree on a day (graduation date) after the end of the internship. It does not apply to students holding a Master’s (and technically ready to start a Ph.D.). In addition, Bachelor students must have at least four completed semesters at the beginning of the internship (May/June, 2024) to be eligible for a visa.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from women, persons with disabilities, and minorities are particularly welcome. The MPIA supports its employees in the search for suitable child care. For questions concerning promoting equal opportunity for all employees and prospective employees at MPIA, please contact the Equal Opportunity Officer (equality@mpia.de) and regarding disabilities guidelines and regulations please contact Ralf Launhardt (sbv@mpia.de).

The 2024 summer internship program will be in person. In exceptional cases internship can be done remotely if supervisor and project allow this. In this case we can unfortunately not offer a compensation.

Go to Editor View