International LIGO SURF Program 2024 LIGO-India - Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

LIGO Laboratory at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) hosts a 10-week summer student research program every year, called the LIGO SURF Program. In order to support the LIGO-India project, LIGO has graciously agreed to host a few talented and motivated undergraduate students from Indian institutions, pre-selected by LIGO-India Science Collaboration, as part of this program.

Link to the online application form for Indian Students  (Accepting applications for Summer  2024) 

The program encourages undergraduate students to participate in the development of gravitational-wave instrument science through the LIGO Project. Selected students will work on summer research projects either at the Caltech campus in Pasadena, California or at the LIGO Observatory sites in Washington or Louisiana. The program runs from  June 18 – August 24, 2024. Considering the fact that the summer vacation period in major Indian undergraduate institutions starts early, LIGO/Caltech has agreed to host the Indian students during the period from mid-May through the end of July, 2024. The selected candidates are required to attend the full program. Please apply only if you will be able to attend the entire duration of the program during these dates.

Below are details of the program and selection process:

  • The projects are mainly related to experimental physics and may contain some aspects of mechanics, electronics, optics and control systems. However, this is NOT an appropriate program for other aspects of engineering (such as civil, chemical, biological engineering, computer science etc).
  • Particular emphasis will be placed on experimental physics projects undertaken in the past; see here for a sample list of projects offered by this program in the past year. The projects require a strong background in the fundamentals of physics, high motivation and hard work. Previous research experience in good experimental research projects, a proven academic track record, demonstrated a willingness for hard work and interest to work in the area of research will be highly valued.
  • This is a highly competitive program. We receive 300-400 applications from India alone from which only 2 or 3 are selected. Generic applications with no sign of significant motivation toward this area of research are discouraged.
  • Two letters of reference are required as part of the application process. The letters are collected through a Google Form which can be found at this link: Link for reference lettersPlease send this link to the referees whom you have identified in your application form.  The deadline for sending reference letters is 14th Jan 2024.  
If you think you satisfy all the criteria mentioned above, please apply using the online application indicating your interest in the LIGO SURF program. *** Application deadline is 12th Jan 2024***.

  • All applicants will be notified of their status by mid-March, 2024

Selected Indian students: Summer 2023